Balance Credit Cards

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Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Finding the Best Available

Balance transfer credit cards are those that make an excellent choice for transferring balances from one card to the other.  The main purpose behind transferring balances is to remove debt from a card with a higher interest rate to one with a lower interest rate. 

In this way, the consumer can save money by reducing or even eliminating finance charges.  When looking for the best balance transfer credit cards, it is important to look at a variety of factors.

Consumers need to compare the programs before deciding on a credit card so they can choose the card with the rewards program best suited to their lifestyle.

Variety of Factors

The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is one of the first factors a consumer should consider when looking for the best balance transfer credit cards.  Credit card companies are hoping to steal your business away from other credit card companies.  As a result, they often make special introductory offers with lowered interest rates for balance transfers.  In many cases, this APR will even be 0.00%.  Be sure to find the balance transfer credit card offering the lowest APR, and then only use that card for your balance transfer.  Don’t use it to make any purchases.  This is what the credit card companies are hoping consumers will do so they can assess finance charges on the purchases they make with their card.

The length of the special introductory APR varies from card to card.  Sometimes, the length is also dependent upon the applicant’s credit history.  It is important to be sure how long this period lasts and to set goals to have the balance paid in full once the introductory period is complete.  The best balance transfer credit cards will keep the special introductory rate in effect on the card for the life of the loan.  In other words, the APR stays the same until it has been paid off entirely.  For consumers that will not be able to pay off the balance within the introductory period, this is certainly the best way to go.

Most credit cards assess fees when making balance transfers.  These fees are generally determined as a percentage of the total amount of funds transferred.  Most commonly, balance transfer fees are 3% of the amount transferred.  Many balance transfer credit cards will, however, waive these fees during the introductory period.  It is best for consumers to choose these balance transfer credit cards.  Otherwise, they may be paying large amounts in fees, negating the savings in finance charges.

Some balance transfer credit cards require initiating balance transfers at the time of application for the card.  Yet others allow balance transfers to be completed throughout the duration of the introductory period.  The best balance transfer credit cards are the former, simply because they allow for more flexibility.  Consumers who are sure they will not need to transfer balances later may, however, be happy with a credit card that only allows transfers to be made at the time of application.

Some balance transfer credit cards place restrictions on the types of balances that can be transferred.  For example, some business credit cards only allow business expenses to be eligible for introductory rates.  It is important for consumers to be sure to understand what type of balances can be transferred before applying for a card to ensure it meets their needs.

Many balance transfer credit cards also have special rewards programs.  Consumers need to compare the programs before deciding on a credit card so they can choose the card with the rewards program best suited to their lifestyle.  In addition, some balance transfer credit cards do not count the funds that are transferred toward the points system used in the rewards programs.  To get the most of the card, consumers should find balance transfer credit cards that do count the transfers toward their rewards programs.

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