A Better Balance Transfer
By: Larry Goldberg
A balance transfer is a great financial tool to help consolidate higher interest rate credit card bills and payments into one. Several credit card companies offer options specifically designed for debt consolidation efforts. Make sure you know the full details on the balance transfer option, however, before you apply.
The first thing you need to know about finding a credit card with a better balance transfer option is the credit card APR (annual percentage rate). Many credit card companies offer zero percent credit card APR interest to get you started. This special offer interest rate can last for different periods of time, as specified by that particular credit card company, but generally the time frame is designated for the first 12 months. A zero percent interest credit card APR can save you tons of money in interest when you choose this option, thereby allowing you to pay off your credit card debt sooner.
Some credit card options only offer the zero percent credit card APR on balance transfers but not on regular credit card purchases. If available, choose a credit card balance transfer option that also gives you the zero percent credit card APR on everyday purchases. You will also want to check the credit card APR that the credit card will default to after the 12-month special introductory interest offer expires.
Look for the credit card balance transfer option that offers you the lowest fee for using their services. There is generally a fee for transferring your credit card balances to another credit card utilizing the balance transfer option, but that fee amount can be worth it to save you money on interest you otherwise would be paying. Also, to get a better balance transfer option, choose a credit card with no annual fee.
Some credit card companies presenting balance transfer options offer extra incentives such as a one percent cash back option, airline miles for every one dollar spent, discounts on hotels or rental cars, or allowing you to earn points for every dollar you spend that you can use at specified stores, or use to get gift certificates from specialty shops. Regardless of the offer, make sure it’s something you can use and will be worthwhile to you before you apply for that particular balance transfer option.
Compare all balance transfer offers before you make your choice to confirm that all important issues to you are covered by the credit card company you select as your better balance transfer option.
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