If you have been juggling all sorts of credit card payments and are drowning under a sea of monthly bills, you may be looking for a way to make things a lot easier to deal with. You need to be looking into balance transfer credit cards.
The idea of a balance transfer credit card is to offer you one card where you can consolidate all those other cards and have only one monthly payment to pay. In addition to making things easier, if you look for the best balance transfer credit cards out there you may well be able to save a bit of money while paying off your debt.
The key to finding the best balance transfer credit cards is to shop around and ask a few questions:
What is the introductory rate?
By shopping around you may be able to find great introductory rates for your balance transfer credit cards. Some of the best balance transfer credit cards offer 0% interest. This means you can just work on paying down your principal and not worry about interest stacking on for the duration of the introductory rate.
How long does the introductory rate last?
While a 0% introductory rate is a good thing, it is important to note the length that rate will be available will change by company. Some companies only offer the rate for the first 3-6 months that you own the card. Others offer a year or more with that 0% interest rate. The longer the introductory rate stays in place the more you can pay down the principal on your balance transfers
What will the standard rate be?
You should always know what the interest rate will be once the introductory rate has ended. All cards will switch to a ‘regular’ rate after the introductory period and this is the interest you will be paying on any remaining money on the card. The lower this is, the better.
Is there a transaction fee?
Most cards will charge a balance transfer transaction fee. This is a fee you will have to pay to move your money from your old cards to the new credit card. You should find out how much this will cost to see if it is worth it.
Is there an annual fee?
Some credit cards charge annual fees, others don’t. Make sure you know if the card you are considering does so you are not surprised by an annual charge you were not expecting.
Are there credit standards to be met?
Before you get your heart set on a balance transfer credit card you should make sure you can qualify for it. Some cards want higher credit standards and if you have less than perfect credit you could find yourself disappointed by rejection.
What’s in the fine print?
Always read the fine print and know what is expected of you when using the card. Many of the best balance transfer credit cards only work well if you follow the rules. The first time you are late or miss a payment, you may void the introductory rate and a high interest rate may kick in for the remainder of your balance.