Those 0 percent credit card balance transfer offer dwindled during the recession. Now, they’re making a comeback — but you have to watch for the fees and fine print.
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Tempted to take advantage of that 0 percent credit card balance transfer offer? If you do, it may cost a bit more than it used to.
Almost given up for dead during the depth of the recession, balance transfer offers are back — although the terms are not as generous as in the past. The balance transfer credit cards of 2010 came with higher balance transfer fees and no cap on those fees. So, instead of the 2 percent to 3 percent balance transfer fee of 2008, issuers have raised the bar from 3 percent to 5 percent. And instead of capping that fee at $50 to $75, there is likely no cap. (See “The return of 0 percent balance transfer offers“)
Before you sign on the dotted line, read CreditCards.com’s compendium of articles and watch a video on what you need to know about balance transfer credit cards.
Balance transfer basics
The return of 0 percent balance transfer offers
If you’ve noticed a fresh spate of 0 percent balance transfer offers in your mailbox lately, you’re not alone, experts say. However, the latest offers come with some new terms and conditions that could trip up unsuspecting consumers. Includes a chart of some of the latest current balance transfer offers.
Balance transfer calculator
This calculator calculates the amount of interest you’ll save by transferring existing balances to a lower rate card.
9 things to know about balance transfers
If you’ve racked up debt on a high-interest credit card, transferring the balance to a card with a lower interest may sound like an enticing way to save cash — but it’s not quite as simple as it sounds.
Balance transfers 101
Interested in a balance transfer but not sure how to go about it? This article explains the basic concepts and things to think about before making the leap.
Credit card consolidation
Methods for credit card consolidation and how to save money in interest and finance charges.
Comparing balance transfer credit cards
Not all balance transfer credit cards are the same. It’s important to know what to look for in a card and how to use it wisely before making the plunge.
Is a balance transfer right for you?
If you have a large debt on a high-interest card, how do you determine if transferring that balance to a lower-interest card is right for you?
Video: Balance transfers and your credit
The Credit Guy — Todd Ossenfort of Pioneer Credit Counseling — explains what a balance transfer is and how it can affect your credit.
Things to watch out for
5 new rules in the balance transfer game
Transferring a credit card balance used to be so easy and painless that some consumers referred to it as a game, but this 2008 story describes how the game changed, with issuers imposing higher fees as the economy soured and a new credit card reform law loomed.
6 steps for successful credit card balance transfers
A balance transfer may seem like the answer to your debt problems, but there are several hidden pitfalls that may undo all your potential savings. These six tips will help you get the most out of a balance transfer.
Too many credit card balance transfers can be a bad idea
A balance transfer to a low-interest credit card may be the best step if you’re drowning in debt. Too many balance transfers, however, can result in more harm than good.
How credit card balance transfers affect your credit score
When you transfer a credit card balance from one card to another, you lose points on your credit score. But if the rate is lower and the limit is higher, you gain more.
Purchase protection on balance transfers
If you transfer the balance of a credit card purchase to another card, does the original purchase protection still apply?
Transferring balances after the holidays
Holiday spending can lead to financial hangovers
Exchanging gifts during the holidays is always a grand time, but the financial aftermath is such a drag. There are several methods you can use to get out of post-holiday debt, including transferring balances.
Post-holiday credit card bills getting you down?
Transferring credit card balances to a new card may be the best option for consumers starting off the new year with stacks of bills. Balance transfers can be risky, so it’s important to make sure you know what you’re getting into.
Balance transfer and other consolidation options
Become debt-free with credit card debt consolidation
There are several ways to climb out of the debt pit. One is through consolidating balances onto a new, low-interest card. Learn how this method can help you become debt-free.
Credit card debt consolidation
Slowly paying down credit card debt on a high-interest card may not get you anywhere. You should consider consolidating your debt through a balance transfer, but not without first being aware of the pros and cons.
Social lending and debt consolidation
Social lending can be a good choice for consolidating and retiring credit card debt, but it has drawbacks.