Reaping Your Rewards

Credit card balance transfers: The landscape is changing


Balance transfers are valuable tools, but the radically changed 2009 landscape means they’re trickier and harder to find.

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Transferring a credit card balance from one card to another used to be an easy task, and a standard piece of advice for smart consumers: Got too much credit card debt? Then get yourself a low-rate balance transfer credit cards and buy time to pay the debt off cheaply.

But in late 2008 and into 2009, getting and wisely using a balance transfer has turned into a tricky business, with limited credit limits, tighter credit standards and an end to caps on balance transfer fees. While there remain many scenarios when it makes sense to transfer a balance to another card, the equation has changed. This set of articles will help guide you as you answer the new balance transfer questions: How? Why? Where to?

1. Balance transfer basics
2. Things to watch out for
3. Post-holiday transfers

4. Other options

Balance transfer basics

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.

Things to watch out for

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 much more harm than good.

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.

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The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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Credit Card Rate Report Updated: September 23rd, 2020
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