Should You Transfer Your Credit Card Balance?

Among all the credit card offers you receive you might come across a few offering balance transfers. Whether it is transferring one card balance to the same lender or to a different lender, the offers always seem too good to be true.

Offering up zero percent APR, no interest for “x” amount of months, no transfer fees, and so on the lenders want you to transfer your current balance over to them. Many offers seem really good, but not all offers are alike so it’s up to you to figure if one could work in your favor or not.

On the positive side, some transfer offers are legitimately worth it. The average 0 percent introductory rate offer for a balance transfer is 10 months meaning you’d pay zero percent interest for 10 months, more than 1 month longer than last year. If you have a high balance the lower interest rate could save you hundreds of dollars. A lower rate might also help you pay off your debt quicker since the interest will not continue to mount up. The less interest you pay, the more you can put towards paying your balance off.

One of the downsides of these offers is that the offer can sometimes be deceiving. Make sure you know up front how long the low interest is for and any penalties that may cause you to forfeit the offer. If the lender is offering 0 percent interest, find out if there is a transfer fee and how much it will be. Also, be realistic about whether or not you’ll be able to pay the balance off. If your balance is high and you have several debts you need to pay then paying this particular card off may not be as easy as you think. Ultimately lenders want you to keep your balance high so that they can collect the interest once your introductory time period is over.

The point of transferring a balance is to get the most benefits out of it as you can including paying the debt off. Don’t be fooled by the bright bold letters on that lender’s envelope and always read the fine print.

The Takeaway

As with all credit card offers reading the fine print will either seal the deal on applying for the card or give you a reason to toss the offer. Balance transfers are no different, know what you’re getting yourself into and crunch the numbers to see if transferring your current balance will be worth it. In some cases a debt consolidation loan might be a better option than adding another credit card to your credit report. Contact AmOne to discover what credit options may be right for your situation.