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Balance Transfers

How to transfer a balance to a U.S. Bank credit card

Summary

Considering a balance transfer to a U.S. Bank credit card? Here’s everything you need to know, including card options, fees, restrictions and tips for improving your chances of approval.

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Are high interest rates causing the debt on your credit cards to soar? It might be time for a balance transfer to a credit card that offers an introductory 0 percent interest rate.

This move will give you time to pay down your credit card debt without worrying about it growing each month because of high interest rates.

If you’re considering transferring a balance to a U.S. Bank credit card, here’s everything you need to know, including rates, promotional periods, fees and odds of approval.

See related: 9 things you should know about balance transfer cards

U.S. Bank balance transfer options

U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card

  • Balance transfer fee: Either $5 or 3 percent of the amount you transfer, whichever is greater.
  • 0 percent promotional period: 18 billing cycles.
  • Regular APR: Variable 14.24 percent to 25.24 percent based on your credit. For more information, see U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card review.
  • Worth noting: This is a basic credit card, so you won’t earn any rewards or cash back bonuses.

U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card

  • Balance transfer fee: 3 percent of the amount you transfer or $5, whichever is greater.
  • 0 percent promotional period: 12 billing cycles.
  • Regular APR: Variable 15.74 percent to 25.24 percent based on your credit. For more information, see U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card review.
  • Worth noting: 5 percent cash back on two categories of your choice (up to $2,000 in quarterly purchases). 2 percent cash back on one category of your choice. 1 percent cash back on all other charges. $150 bonus if you charge $500 within the first 90 days.

U.S. Bank Cash 365 American Express Card

  • Balance transfer fee: 3 percent of the amount you transfer or $5, whichever is greater.
  • 0 percent promotional period: 12 billing cycles.
  • Regular APR: Variable 15.74 percent to 25.24 percent based on your credit. For more information, see U.S. Bank Cash 365 American Express Card review.
  • Worth noting: This is a fairly simple card; you’ll earn 1.5 percent unlimited cash back on all of your charges. The card comes with a $150 sign-up bonus if you charge $500 in eligible purchases during the first 90 days of opening your account.

FlexPerks Select+ American Express Card

  • Balance transfer fee: $5 or 3 percent of the amount you transfer, whichever is greater.
  • 0 percent promotional period: 9 billing cycles.
  • Regular APR: Variable 15.74 percent to 25.74 percent based on your credit.
  • Worth noting: 1 FlexPoint for every $1 in purchases that you charge. 10,000-point sign-up bonus worth $150 after spending $1,000 in the first four months.

What to know about U.S. Bank balance transfers before applying

  • Don’t delay: You’ll need to request your balance transfer within 60 days of opening your account. If you miss this deadline, you won’t qualify for that no-interest offer.
  • You can’t transfer a balance from one U.S. Bank card to another card issued by U.S. Bank.
  • The balance you transfer to a U.S. Bank card will not earn rewards points or cash-back bonuses. Those perks are reserved only for new credit card purchases.
  • Approval isn’t guaranteed: U.S. Bank will look at your credit and finances during the application process. The bank could reject your request if your credit is too weak.

How to improve your chances of approval

U.S. Bank will look at your credit score and debt-to-income ratio when determining whether to approve you for a balance transfer. If your credit score is low and your debts too high, you might struggle to earn this approval.

That’s why you’ll need to have your spending habits under control before you apply for a balance transfer. People who overspend tend to run up their credit card debt.

Having too much credit card debt also hurts your credit score. Finally, people are more likely to miss payments or make late payments if they are struggling with high credit card debt.

Matthew Zimmelman, an attorney in New York City who focuses on bankruptcy and other debt issues, said that he often sees clients who turn to balance transfers when their credit card debt is too high. The problem? These clients haven’t come up with a plan to pay off their debt before the 0 percent offer ends.

“Spending is a key part of the problem,” Zimmelman said. “The inability to control spending is often the reason why consumers have so much debt. People often use credit cards as a crutch. If you can’t control spending and stick to a tight budget, the debt will continue to mount.”

See related: 10 things NOT to do when you apply for a credit card

How to initiate a balance transfer on a U.S. Bank credit card

If you already have a U.S. Bank credit card:

  • Log into your account and click on the “My Accounts” tab at the top of the screen.
  • Click “Request a Balance Transfer” in the “Take Action” drop-down menu on the left of the screen.
  • Select your offer from the choices available to you.
  • Provide information about the credit card from which you are transferring a balance. This should include card issuer, card number and the amount you want to transfer.
  • Click “submit” to initiate the balance transfer.

If you are applying for a new U.S. Bank card:

  • Start an online credit card application for your new U.S. Bank credit card. You will be asked if you’d like to transfer a balance from one of your other credit cards. Select this option.
  • Provide the account number and issuer of your existing card. Then list how much of that card’s debt you’d like to transfer to your new U.S. Bank credit card.

How to make a balance transfer work

Transferring your debt will provide you with temporary relief from high interest rates. But it won’t solve your underlying debt problems.

Freddie Huynh, vice president of credit risk analytics with Freedom Financial Network in San Mateo, California, said that too many people transfer their debt but don’t come up with a plan to reduce their overspending.

Then, even if they pay off their credit card debt before the 0 percent balance transfer offer ends, they run up more credit card debt in the future.

“They are not confronting the real issue,” Huynh said. “Look at the reason behind the situation. If it’s living outside your means, balance transfers can give a false sense of progress on paying off debt. If you cannot control your spending, you might run up bills on both the old and the new card.”

Another mistake people make is not paying off the debt they’ve transferred before the 0 percent offer ends, said Cara Ivy,  personal finance coach and owner of Harper Woods, Michigan-based The Ivy League. When the 0 percent offer ends, these people are left with their new card’s regular APR, which can be 20 percent or higher.

Others can’t resist the temptation and make new charges on the 0 percent card before paying off the debt they’ve transferred, Ivy said.

“Stop thinking of credit cards as a source of income,” Ivy said. “Most times we find ourselves with maxed-out credit cards is because we treat our cards like cash instead of debt. It’s easy to swipe today, but that expense could cost you for months, sometimes years.”

What’s up next?

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Published: July 9, 2019

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