Credit card balance transfers are perfect for transferring your balances from other credit cards that have higher interest onto one card with a lower rate. Once a cardholder transfers to a low interest rate credit card, he or she will pay less in interests. This way, you will save money and will theoretically be able to pay off the balances sooner. How does one choose the best credit card for balance transfer? Let’s discuss.
One element that makes credit cards the best candidates to fill the role as a balance transfer credit card is an introductory rate that is even lower than the primary rate. The best balance transfer credit cards have a 0% introductory APR. Some of the cards that fall into this category are Discover’s Discover It Card, Citi Simplicity Card, Capital One Platinum Prestige Credit Card and Citi Thank You Card. And of course, there are others that have the 0% introductory rate.
As stated earlier, if you are trying to lower or eliminate debt then you want a balance transfer credit card with an initial 0% APR. The longer this rate lasts, the longer time you have to put your finances back on track.
Discover’s Discover It Card: This credit card meets the first requirement by providing an 18 month introductory offer of 0% APR on balance transfers. This APR is also good for 6 months on new purchases. Other money saving attributes of this card includes no annual fee, no foreign transaction fee and no late fee if you should fail to make a payment on time. However, this applies to the first late payment only. Subsequent late payments will cost you. On the positive side, these late payment will not cause your APR to rise.
While staying within your credit limit is part of being responsible when it comes to maintaining a good credit rating, it is comforting to know that you will not be charged a fee for going over your line of credit.
Citi Simplicity Card: This credit card offers an 18 month introductory 0% APR for transfers and purchases, making it a solid choice as a balance transfer credit card. Late payments will not totally set you back with the Simplicity Card either. There is no penalty for late payment—no late payment fee, and no automatic increase in your interest rate. There is also no penalty for going over the card’s credit limit.
Capital One Platinum Prestige Credit Card: At the time of the writing of this article, the Prestige Credit Card is extending a promotional offer of 0% APR for 12 months (July 2014) on balances transferred from other credit cards. Transfers are subject to a 3% transaction fee. As is customary with all Capital One credit cards, there is no annual fee attached to the Platinum Prestige Credit Card. There is also no foreign transaction fee, which is another characteristic of Capital One cards.
As the name of this card indicates, only applicants with very good to excellent credit will qualify for this card.
The Discover, Discover It Card gives cardholders 5% back on the purchase of items in specific categories. The items change quarterly. Any purchases not in the 5% cash back category will reap the cardholder 1% cash back. So regardless of what is bought there will be cash back. All rewards can be used immediately at Amazon’s checkout.
There are many reasons why people find themselves in financial difficulty with credit cards and need to transfer balances. The Discover It Card can help avoid some the issues that sometimes hamper cardholders. If a cardholder should become unemployed he or she may be able to get a lower interest rate on the existing balance, get an adjustment in payment or some other form of help to reduce the financial burden. Payments can also be made by phone or online to avoid a payment being late, as it might be if mailed at the last minute.
The Citi Simplicity Card does not offer a rewards program, but all the fees are up front, and there are fewer charges than many credit cards have.
The Capital One Platinum Prestige Credit Card also does not have a rewards program.
While the introductory 0% APR offer is paramount for good balance transfer credit cards, you also want to take a peek at the normal interest rates that you will be paying once the introductory period expires. This will vary for different customers, so be sure to know what you will pay ahead of time, so you will not find yourself in another financial bind.
Most often, a balance transfer credit card does not offer any rewards, or at least not as many rewards as other cards. Also, not all credit card balance transfers are geared toward people with excellent credit, so there are options for consumers with less than perfect credit histories. With these in mind, choose the best one for you that saves you money and yet lets you on a good credit card rewards program.