Balance Transfer Credit Cards FAQs

1. How do you transfer credit card balance to another card?Transferring high-interest credit card debt to a less costly card is a great way to save money. You can complete a transfer to another card over the phone, online, or by using a special check provided by your card company for that purpose.

2. Are balance transfers bad for your credit?Receiving a credit card transfer offer is usually a good thing. Balance transfers can help you make the switch from higher-interest rate cards to lower interest rate balances. If you pay down the transferred balance faster, while saving money with a 0 transfer credit card, it can actually help boost your credit score. When paying down balances it’s worthwhile to note that you should also try to use only 30% of the available credit line offered to you.

3. What are balance transfer cards with no transfer fee?No balance transfer fee credit cards allow you to transfer balances from other credit cards without paying an extra charge for the transfer transaction. Many card companies charge a fee of approximately 3% of the total amount transferred, or they’ll charge a minimum fixed amount. Those fees apply each time you complete a transfer, so it pays to compare balance transfer credit cards and credit card transfer offers. No balance transfer fee credit cards are a more cost-effective option, and you can apply the savings toward paying down your card balances.

4. How is balance transfer interest charged?Balance transfer interest can be either a 0% promotional APR rate, or it can be the rate charged at your regular interest rate (e.g. 13.99%). Make sure you know your balance transfer rate before you complete the transfer, because the balance transfer interest is charged as soon as the funds are transferred. Balance transfer interest is normally calculated as your interest rate (e.g. 0% or 13.99%) multiplied by your balance on the account, divided by 12 months or the annual period.

5. What are balance transfer cards for fair credit?Balance transfer credit cards credit cards typically offer the best possible transfer rates to people with superior credit. If you only have “fair” credit, you’ll likely still qualify for a low transfer rate, somewhere below 5%. Some companies may still offer 0% rate, but perhaps only for six months rather than 12 months. Once you’ve paid off high balances, look for opportunities to raise your credit line, so you can eventually qualify for a long-term 0% balance transfer credit card.

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