- 1 Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards
- 2 What is a 0% balance transfer credit card and how do they work?
- 3 transfer balances between credit cards
- 4 Balance Transfer Credit Cards from Our Partners
- 5 Chase Balance Transfer Credit Cards - A Way to Reduce Your Debt?
Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards
So you want to reduce the interest amount associated with existing credit card debts, don’t you?
Shop around to find the best balance transfer credit cards based on how long it will take to clear these debts.
Basically, balance transfers are designed to help borrowers save money on their credit card debts and pay them back faster.
It’s necessary to pay attention to their fees and terms before applying and understand that this solution usually requires a good credit score to be approved.
Credit cards that have the longest 0% introductory period usually have higher balance transfer fees (around 3% of the amount that you want to move across).
If you’re sure that you can afford paying back the credit card debts in several months, it’s advisable to pick a card with a shorter period and zero balance transfer fees.
Most people choose between two popular options: the first one with lengthy periods and balance transfer fees and the second one with zero balance transfer fees and shorter periods. It’s only up to you to decide on the best one.
What Credit Card Balance Transfers Are All About
Once you receive lower-rate balance transfer offers from lenders, you may wonder what they are all about. Keep in mind that they can be an effective way to save money in addition to getting extra benefits associated with consolidating debts into one single payment.
For example, if you have a high balance on your credit card, you may be eligible to transfer relevant debts to the other credit card with lower rates, thus, saving some cash on interest rates and paying back these debts faster.
A balance transfer is when people pay off their balances of existing loans and credit card debts by transferring them into other credit card accounts.
Sometimes, they’re charged a specific fee to do that, and it’s a percentage of their transfer balances. You are allowed to transfer only the amount that it up to a credit limit on your new card, and you can’t exceed it.
Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards Top 5:
Barclaycard Platinum 42 Month Balance Transfer Credit Card
Halifax 41 Month Balance Transfer Credit Card
Virgin 41 Month Balance Transfer Credit Card
Tesco Bank Clubcard Credit Card
Bank of Scotland Platinum 40 Month Balance Transfer Credit Card
The Basics of Balance Transfer Process
It involves a few key aspects that will be reviewed below:
- After accepting a particular balance transfer offer, you need to determine an account number, who you need to pay and how much.
- When you get approved for balance transfers, credit card companies contact all of your billers and creditors to pay them the indicated amount. Remember that it may take up to a few weeks to complete this process, but it often takes around seven days.
- If any of your credit card payments are due before that time, you’re required to make them on time to avoid problems associated with late fees.
Everything about Balance Transfer Fees
Even the best balance transfer credit cards can be associated with certain fees, and they range from 2% to 5% of your transferred debts.
Nowadays, it’s possible to find 0% introductory balance transfers without any fees, but they’re available only for a limited period of time.
The greatest benefit associated with their use is that these credit cards allow users to pay off their piled debts faster and avoid further financial complications.
You can save some money on interest rates if you succeed to get low promo rates offered by credit card companies, but you should spend time to shop around and find the best deal.
It’s no wonder credit card balance transfers are so popular these days, and they’re available in different types, so choose the one that suits you perfectly.
What is a 0% balance transfer credit card and how do they work?
Transferring the balance from one credit card to another could save you money. But what are 0% balance transfer credit cards, how do they work and can anyone get one?
How do 0% balance transfer credit cards work?
A balance transfer credit card, as the name suggests, allows you to transfer the balance or debt from one credit card to another that charges a lower rate of interest over a specified period of time, helping you save money and pay off some of your debt.
The majority of balance transfer credit cards offer 0% interest on balance transfers for a specified term, which means that as long as you don’t continue to build debt on the new card and you pay the minimum monthly payment, you’ll pay no interest on your debt until the deal ends.
For example, if you’ve built up a debt on a credit card that is charging you 15% on whatever you owe, but transfer the balance to a 0% balance transfer deal for three years, as long as you manage to pay off your debt before the deal ends you’ll have paid zero interest instead of 15% interest on whatever you owe. Effectively you’ll have used the 0% balance transfer period as a kind of interest-free loan.
Balance transfers on credit cards are quick and easy to action, but as with all credit cards you’ll need to apply for one and have your application approved first. All cards have application criteria ranging from how much money you earn to not accepting transfers from certain other providers. So, make sure you read the small print before you apply as being turned down for a credit card could affect you credit rating.
Are there any charges for transferring your balance?
While you may make huge savings by not having to pay any interest on the debt you transfer for a given period of time, you will almost definitely be charged for the privilege of moving your balance from one credit card to another. Most balance transfer credit cards charge a fee for the transfer.
The fees are usually calculated on the amount of debt you want to transfer and the length of the 0% balance transfer period. As a general rule of thumb the larger the debt you transfer and the longer deal remains interest-free, the greater the fee you can expect to pay.
Transferring your balance from one credit card to a 0% balance transfer credit card is a great way to give you a bit of breathing space from high interest rates and soaring debt. However, you still have to pay off your credit card debt.
Balance transfer providers will stipulate what the minimum monthly payment on your balance is when you sign-up, so make sure you can afford to pay it. If you default on your payment you may find your 0% interest rate revoked and replaced with a higher rate of interest than you were paying before you made the transfer.
Once you’ve transferred your balance make a payment plan and stick to it. At the very least make sure you make the minimum payment each month and if possible pay off more to help clear your debt before the deal ends.
Don’t use your credit card to make purchases or to withdraw cash. Generally, the 0% deal only applies to the balance you’ve transferred or has a limited period of 0% interest on purchases.
Any purchases made after the introductory period will be subject to interest at the card's usual APR.
As with all credit cards make sure you shop around for the best deal to suit your circumstances. If you intend to pay off your debt in a short period of time go for a balance transfer credit card with a shorter deal time as you’ll probably spend less on transfer fees.
And bear in mind you can’t transfer balances between cards from the same providers.
Don’t forget, if you haven’t paid off the balance on your card once the low or no interest introductory period ends you will be notified of an increased interest rate for the remaining balance.
You should make sure that you are then able to at least make the minimum payment each month otherwise you risk racking up more debt.
transfer balances between credit cards
What do you exactly mean by Credit Card balamce transfer? When a customer avails of a Credit Card, he is given a particular limit on that Card. He can spend upto that particular limit, and has to repay within a particular credit cycle, normally 45 days.
Now, the balance in a Credit Card is not actual money, but virtual balance. Hence, there does not arise a question of balance transfer.
One can however, withdraw cash from his Credit Card from ATM, but beware…The charges are humongous…..
So, use Credit Card diligently. If used wisely, it is a very good solution to a person’s credit issues, but if used unwisely, it can become a huge liability…
Balance Transfer Credit Cards from Our Partners
These credit cards offer an introductory zero percent or low balance transfer promotion for qualified customers. Some of these no-annual-fee offers are only available for a limited time, so the time to take advantage of them is now.
Introductory balance transfer offer credit cards offer you the opportunity to trade a high interest rate on an existing credit card debt balance for no or low interest payments on a new card. Sound too good to be true? It's not. Introductory balance transfers are legitimate credit card offers that can greatly benefit certain customers. The keys are knowing what to look for in a balance transfer offer, and how to use one effectively so you don't get deeper in debt.
But a balance transfer credit card will likely make more sense than a cash back rebate, travel or gas credit card, since any reward benefit from those cards would likely be quickly eaten away if you revolve your balance. However, it's important to understand that these credit card offers have features that differ considerably from one card to the next. Also keep in mind that an offer that makes sense for one customer's situation might be a bad idea for another customer.
The better you understand balance transfer offers, the greater your chances of making them work to your advantage.
Elements of balance transfer offers
An introductory balance transfer offer allows you to take an existing balance from one credit card, and transfer it to the new card while paying no or low interest on that balance for a specified period of time. As straightforward as that sounds, there are a number of variables involved in these offers:
- The introductory balance transfer APR period. The period for which the credit card will offer no or low is limited, and that time limit can vary from one offer to another.
- The balance transfer fee. The credit card may be charging no interest on those transfers, but there is usually a one-time, upfront fee for making the transfer.
- Interest rate on new purchases. Even though balance transfers will have no or low interest for a while, interest on new purchases may kick in immediately.
- Interest rate on transferred balances. Eventually, those balances will start to be charged the standard or on-going interest rate.
- Credit limit. As with any credit card, there will be a limit on how much you can charge, and your balance transfers will immediately cut into this limit.
- Miscellaneous fees. Be aware of any other fees the credit card charges.
Be sure you get information on all these variables before acting on any balance transfer offer.
Balance transfers make the most sense when they are part of a plan to reduce your credit card debt over time. If you have been carrying a balance, gaining a temporary reprieve from higher interest rates on that balance can certainly make it easier to pay down principal.
Ideally, if you can time your schedule for paying down your balance so that it coincides with the introductory balance transfer period on the card, you don't have to concern yourself with what the balance transfer interest rate will be once it kicks in. The longer the introductory balance transfer APR period, the more time you have to pay down your debt before you start racking up interest.
Here are some things to be concerned about when considering an introductory APR balance transfer offer:
- Very short pay-down periods. If you are planning on paying off the balance in a few months, the balance transfer fee might exceed the money you save on interest.
- Very long pay-down periods. At the other extreme, if you don't have a realistic plan for paying down your balance by the end of the introductory balance transfer APR, then you might ultimately find that you've traded up to a higher interest rate. Also, you'll simply be shuffling your debt around rather than really addressing it.
- High new purchase interest rates. If the interest rate for purchases on the new card is significantly higher than on your old card, you'll want to make sure you don't diminish the savings on the balance transfer by racking up more expensive new charges.
If you think you can benefit from an introductory APR balance transfer offer, here are some steps for moving forward:
- Do some comparison shopping before you apply. Use the resources on IndexCreditCards.com to compare offers. Remember that turning in a credit card application can affect your credit score, so be selective about applying for cards.
- Figure out a game plan for paying down your balance. Use the low or zero percent interest period as a deadline for your debt reduction plan.
- Make your transfers on time. The introductory APR balance transfer offer may apply only to transfers made shortly after the card is activated, so make sure you don't miss your opportunity.
Used properly, introductory APR balance transfer offers can be a good tool for reducing your credit expenses. Make sure to do your research and find the best balance transfer option for you. This in turn can help with the ultimate goal of paying down your credit card debt.
Chase Balance Transfer Credit Cards - A Way to Reduce Your Debt?
If you've ever run up a large credit card debt you might know the feeling. It's the way you feel when you can't see when you will ever have it paid off. It's the way you feel when a lot of the money you pay back is just the interest. And you can only afford to keep up with the minimum payments.
But there are options. You could consolidate your debt with a loan. Or with a line of credit. Another choice is to get a credit card with better terms. For example, with a lower APR interest rate. Then you transfer the balance of the first credit card debt onto the new card. Credit cards that are good for this are known as Balance Transfer Credit Cards. Besides lower interest, other terms can help when transferring a balance. These include no transaction fees for balance transfers and an introductory period with zero interest.
Chase Balance Transfer Cards are well designed for transferring a credit card debt. The best are Chase Slate, Chase Freedom, and/or Chase Freedom Unlimited. For business balance transfers the Chase Ink Business Cash card is a good pick. But for a personal credit card balance transfer, the best pick is the Chase Slate balance transfer credit card.
Comparing Chase Balance Transfer Cards
The Chase Slate credit card is the best option for balance transfers. First, it has an intro balance transfer offer for people getting new cards. For the first 60 days after opening your account, there is no balance transfer fee. You get 0% intro APR for the first 15 months. The Annual Fee is $0. You also get your monthly FICO credit score for free as a sign-up bonus.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card is also good for balance transfers. It also doesn't charge any interest on balance transfers for the first 15 months (0% APR). There is no annual fee. However, there is a Balance Transfer Transaction Fee of either $5 or 5% of each transfer. So if you were going to transfer $10,000 in debt from one credit card to the Chase Freedom Unlimited card you'd pay a balance transfer transaction fee of $500. You would not pay this with the Chase Slate credit card. But with the Chase Freedom Unlimited card, you get 1.5% cash back on all purchases. And as a sign-up bonus, you get $150 cash back after you spend $500 in purchases in the first 3 months.
The Chase Freedom credit card is the third balance transfer option offered by Chase. Like the Chase Slate credit card and the Chase Freedom Unlimited card, it has 0% APR for the first 15 months. It also has no annual fee. But you will pay 5% in balance transfer fees (or a minimum $5 balance transfer fee). You get a $150 sign-up bonus when you spend $500 in the first three months. If you activate it each quarter, you can get 5% cash back (on up to $1500 spent) when you purchase in bonus categories (e.g. with select merchants). And you get unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Compared to Other Chase Credit Cards
Other Chase credit cards are designed more for collecting reward points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Program than for balance transfers. The Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card doesn't have an introductory rate. So the Balance Transfer APR is going to be your full APR. It does have a $0 fee for the intro year as a sign-up bonus, but after that, it's a $95 annual fee. The interest rate for this card is also higher than for the Chase Slate card. But are you more interested in points than transferring a balance? You get a 50,000 reward point sign-up bonus with Chase Ultimate rewards if you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
The Chase United MileagePlus Explorer card is also better for points, in particular for collecting and spending travel points. But it would not be considered a good option for balance transfers for the same reasons as the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card.
Benefits of Chase Balance Transfer Credit Cards
The benefits of Chase Balance Transfer credit cards are that they give you a better deal when it comes to paying off a credit card debt. Instead of paying off an existing credit card debt that's racking up high interest, you get 15 months of no interest. With Chase Slate, there is no balance transfer fee for transferring up to $15,000 if you do it in the first 60 days. And there is no annual fee so you don't have to pay anything to get the card.
Compared to Other Balance Transfer Cards
The Chase Slate card is viewed as one of the best balance transfer cards out there. However, there are other good cards for balance transfers.
The Discover Card has the Discover it 18 Month Balance Transfer offer which has an intro rate of 0% APR for 18 months (3 months longer than the Chase Slate card). It also gives you the chance to earn cash back and have it matched in year one. You can use this as a credit to pay down the debt you transferred. But there is a 3% balance transfer fee. The interest rate for people with the best credit score is lower than the Chase Slate card.
The Barclay Ring MasterCard has no balance transfer fee so it is ideal for transferring large balances. However, you have to make your transfer in the first 45 days. That's 15 days less than Chase Slate. They offer 15 months at 0% APR as an intro offer just like Chase Slate. Their interest rates for those with the best credit rating are lower than Chase Slate.
The BankAmericard credit card gives a low (0%) intro APR for the first 12 months. So the zero APR period is less than Chase Slate. This applies to balance transfers within the first 60 days of opening the credit card account. However, there is a 3% balance transfer fee. It only appears to apply to transfers done in the first two months. And there is a balance transfer fee that is not charged by Chase Slate.
Chase Balance Transfer Card Transfer Rates
For the Chase Slate card, there is no balance transfer fee for the first 60 days. The maximum credit is $15,000 and you can transfer that full balance amount. After the first 60 days, the balance transfer fee is 5% with a $5 minimum.
For the Chase Freedom card and the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card, the 5% balance transfer fee is charged from day one. There is no intro period with no balance transfer fees.
An excellent credit Fico score is 750 points or above. The average credit Fico score for a Chase Slate balance transfer card is 685. But it is important to note that the amount of credit you are offered is also associated with your credit score. So if you have a credit Fico score of 650 you might barely get approved, but your available credit might only start at $500. For those who want the $15,000 max credit your credit score better be excellent.
There is no annual fee for any of the Chase Balance Transfer cards (Chase Slate, Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Unlimited). That is permanent, not just for the intro period.
Late payments for Chase Balance Transfer cards are charged a penalty fee of $15 if the balance is under $100. The late fee is $27 if the balance is $100-$249. The late charge is $37 for a balance of $250+.
Foreign Transaction Fees for the Chase Balance Transfer cards are 3% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars. Fees for cash advances are either $10 or 5% of the value of each transaction (whichever is greater). These are from the moment you start your account, there is no introductory rate for a cash advance or foreign transfer fees.
APR on Balance Transfers with Chase
There is 0% APR on balance transfers for the first 15 months with all three Chase Balance Transfer cards. The length of time that 0% Intro Balance Transfer APR applies is always 15 months regardless of your credit score. After the 15 months is up, however, you will get a new APR. It will be between 15.99% and 24.74%. The APR you are offered after 15 months will be based on your credit score. This will apply to balance transfers as well as all purchases. Cash advances will have an APR of 25.99% regardless of credit score.
Card holders have generally positive reviews about Chase Balance Transfer cards. However, there are some issues you find when you check out the reviews. It doesn't seem like any reviewer got the $15,000 maximum credit during the 60 days "no balance transfer fees" or 15 months "0% APR" periods. Examples are more like $500 to $3,000. So if you have a credit card debt of $15,000 and you'd like to transfer the full balance with no fee and at 0% APR don't get your hopes up. Another complaint is that after the 15 months of 0% APR the APR jumps up to a high rate based on your credit score.
If you already have a great credit score, then the Chase Balance Transfer cards are a good option. But the reality is that if you have a big unpaid credit card balance you probably won't have a great credit score. You probably won't get flat out denied if you apply. But you also probably won't get a credit limit that will let you move a $10,000 debt to a Chase Balance Transfer credit card account. Especially during the introductory offer periods (60 days for no transfer fee, and 15 months 0% APR). But you can move some of your debt over and your credit limit will eventually rise. At that point, you can move the rest over, but it will cost you a balance transfer fee since you'll be past the 60 day intro period. But with a lower interest rate than your original card, you might actually see a light at the end of the tunnel.
But within the available options, the Chase Slate balance transfer card is one of the top choices. It has a long period with zero percent APR. It has a long period to make the initial transfer from your original account with no fees charged. So if your credit score is in good shape then the choice to move your debt to a credit card with better terms is a no brainer.