Picking a balance transfer credit card can be confusing. But this latest listing of card offers, along with our Transfer Savings Estimator, shows how much you can save. Whether you're consolidating other credit card balances, or simply moving one balance to a new card, the Savings Estimator factors in any introductory rate, how long you'll keep the balance and any balance transfer fee. So check out this list of offers from our partners and find the one that's best for you.
See offers from our partners below.
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at Bank of America's
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at Capital One's
at American Express's
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Balance transfers can be a great tool for managing finances, if you use them to strike a course toward freedom from debt, not to put yourself on a path toward more of it.
It gives you a fresh chance to pay off debt without high interest compounding the debt each month, because balance transfer offers usually come with an introductory period during which little or no interest is charged.
It does not, however, grant you "card blanche" to ring up new charges. That's the temptation that will be dangled in front of you: Cards with a 0 percent balance transfer period often come bundled with a 0 percent period for new purchases. These combo offers have become the norm, found in nine out of 10 balance card offers.
That means one part of your brain -- let's name it Responsible You -- will wisely seek a good balance transfer card, determined as you are to whittle down a debt. But then that same card will whisper to you "Take me out and use me, I won't charge you interest -- yet." Irresponsible You will be tempted. Resist, or the move you took to eliminate debt will add it instead.
Before the transfer, set your goal and then do the math. In the goal-setting department, one key question is: How much can you realistically afford to devote each month to paying off your balance? Knowing that number will help you set a payoff date. If you're math-challenged, don't worry. A balance transfer calculator will help crunch the numbers.
The process itself is relatively simple. You can call the issuer to transfer the debt, perform the transfer online or use a convenience check provided by an issuer. But here's the part that trips people up: Don't immediately stop making payments to your old issuer. Continue to make minimum payments on the old card until your old issuer confirms that the balance has been transferred per your instructions.
Once the transfer has been made, keep an eye on your bank statements to verify the debt has been passed successfully, and then faithfully make your new payments to start knocking that debt down in size.
Updated: May 27, 2015
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