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Tips on Transferring Credit Card Balance

credit card balance transferIf you’re trying to eliminate your credit card debt, you may have decided that your best bet is to transfer the balance to a new card with a special rate for transferred balances. While the idea of moving your balance to get a lower rate is definitely a good one, there are some things you need to know and some pitfalls you want to avoid. These key questions will help you make the right decision when evaluating credit card offers.

Is there a minimum amount you must transfer?
If so, beware of the rate after the introductory period. The credit card company is betting that you won’t pay your balance off in time and they will be able to charge you at the higher rate on the remaining balance.

Does the introductory rate apply to new purchases?
If not, find out the interest rate for new purchases will be. If the rate is high, you’ll want to put this card away and not charge anything else to it. Any payments you make will more than likely apply only to the balance you transferred, and the balance from your new purchases will continue to increase at the higher rate.

How fast do you think you can pay off the balance?
If the new card has a fee, you need to factor that into the equation, especially if you plan on taking a long time to pay off the balance. No annual fee is the best.

What happens if you are late on a payment?
By paying late, you’ve technically violated your contract with the credit card company. This gives them the right to increase your rate. Make sure you make your payments on time, or that great 0% rate for balance transers will disappear!

When transferring balances, make sure you know all of the details of the offer before you make a final decision. Remember, the card company’s motivation for offering you a balance transfer deal is to gain your businesses as a paying customer!

Comments (10)
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10 Existing Comments
  1. James said:
    on July 28th at 05:10 am

    One thing that you should always be careful about with credit cards, or any type of debt, is that you do not think of an extension as a forgiveness. I know that some debt counsellors actually recomend that you don’t try to consolidate debt until you have a handle on your expenses – if you are still spending more than you are earning then that is what you must concentrate on. I have seen friends convince themselves that they are in a better financial position when all they’ve got is more debt.

    By all means go for 0% credit card offers, but this is not an excuse to let your spending stay out of control.

  2. KJones said:
    on July 29th at 03:14 pm

    After reading here I’ve again come to the conclusion that the most important thing you need to know is DO THE MATH!

    One particular deal we had a few years ago was to transfer our existing credit card balance to a new credit card.

    The offer was no interest on the transferred balance for 12 months, and no interest on new purchases for 6 months. This was very confusing, to say the least! After the no interest deal expired, we would wind up paying 1 percent more than what our current card was charging. After getting plenty of help from our calculator, we decided this would be an excellent deal as long as we kept our payments going at the same rate as we were already doing with our original creditor.

    We saved almost 50 percent on our bills for the next year following the transfer to the new card. I would like to point out that we were only able to save a significant amount of money by keeping true to our payments and also cutting out any extra purchases to the new card after about three months of opening the account.

    After we finished our get out of dept voyage with the new zero interest rate card, we closed that account. We did very well in keeping our credit rating at a shining level and were able to open yet another account with a different credit card company that offered a terrific interest rate to us based on our past credit performance.

    To say it in simple terms, I do recommend the transfer of a debt if you are sure you can commit to the finance terms outlined in their agreement. Also, be aware of how long they are offering the free ride.

  3. usacreditcards/ said:
    on August 1st at 02:25 am

    A credit card is a system of payment named after the small plastic card issued to users of the system. A credit card is different from a debit card in that it does not remove money from the user’s account after every transaction. In the case of credit cards, the issuer lends money to the consumer (or the user). It is also different from a charge card (though this name is sometimes used by the public to describe credit cards), which requires the balance to be paid in full each month. In contrast, a credit card allows the consumer to ‘revolve’ their balance, at the cost of having interest charged. Most credit cards are the same shape and size, as specified by the ISO 7810 standard.

  4. gkr said:
    on August 5th at 03:29 pm

    Unless the balance to be transferred significant enough to outweigh the transaction costs there is no point in using a credit card balance transfer. Also after transferring the balance to a zero percent introductory rate or whatever percent rate it is always easy to forget to pay on time and incur the high percentage rates thereafter. All it takes is one slip-up. If you transfer to an AT&T Universal Card the introductory zero interest rate will jump to nearly 29% rate for a late payment.

    When the balance is transferred form the old card to the new card it is important to keep an eye on using the old card. We tend to use it more and again add up the debts. Then both the cards will have huge balances making it tough to pay or pay late with penalty. This is only to regret later.

    With the money you save by transferring to low rate credit cards, it better to save the money that you would have paid on the old credit card. This will accrue over months. Ofcourse you should always remember to pay the debts on both cards in time. But the saved money will come in emergency or make use of it for another business venture.

  5. Steve "The Credit Card Debt Relief Man" B said:
    on August 14th at 12:23 pm

    Like mentioned you cannot go late, EVEN ON ANOTHER CARD. Most credit cards nowadays utilize “universal default”, this means that if you go late an anything that gets reported on your credit report, your credit card issuer can raise the interest rate. Even if you were always on time with that particular card. This is a very serious matter and should not be taken lightly. It is a very hard nut to swallow when you suddenly see all 5 of your credit cards with balances have the interest rates go from very low, to very high without warning.

  6. Steven said:
    on December 9th at 01:40 pm

    I’ve been using credit card arbitrage for a while, and have made quite a bit off of the free money credit card companies are issuing these days.

    I will usually use this site:

    They keep up to date with all of the newest 0% Balance Transfer options, and they have some great info on it as well.

    Just make sure you don’t miss a payment!

  7. sammy said:
    on August 3rd at 02:26 am

    Beware the “0% until the transferred balance is paid off” fine print. Your payments may be applied to the 0% balance rather than new purchases.

    If you make new purchases at 21%, for example, your payments wont apply to that balance until you have paid off the transferred balance first. If it takes you a long time to pay off that balance transfer, you could be adding huge finance charges if you keep using the card.

    My tip: Put the card away until you pay off the transferred balance and set up auto-payments.

  8. Scott Pape - get out of credit card debt said:
    on November 13th at 12:16 am

    Just thought i’d add my 2 cents worth.

    When transfering your balance to a zero or low balance transfer credit card I always recommend pulling out the old scissors and cutting up the new card so you cannot rack up anymore credit card debt.

    Dont spend money you dont have, to impress people you dont like, with things you dont need!

  9. Jay the PayDay Guy said:
    on December 11th at 09:54 pm

    People say payday lending bad buat for people with bad creadit come to us. We know people who come to this site havev bad credit. Why not come to where you can really get a loan?