Balance transfer credit card offers have been flooding the market for some time, giving consumers with a good credit score the opportunity to save some money. Issuers are offering cards with a 0% APR for 15-18 months on the amount you transfer from one card to another. In some cases, you may even receive 0% APR on your purchases for that time period.
Transferring a balance from one credit card issuer to another can be beneficial. Cardholders have the chance to consolidate their debt and possibly save a substantial amount in interest penalties.
But balance transfers do come with some risks:
* It usually costs money to transfer a balance from one card to another. Typically, you’ll pay a 3% balance transfer fee. Before applying for a balance transfer, you need to do the math to compare your current interest costs to the combined cost of the new card’s APR and the balance transfer fee (which is charged up front).
* Pay attention to the ongoing interest rate you will pay after the introductory rate expires, especially if you don’t think you can pay off the entire balance during this introductory period.
* If you do not have a good credit score, chances are you may not get the advertised introductory offer. You may receive a higher ongoing APR, a shorter introductory period, or the issuer may not allow you to transfer your total balance.
* It is crucial to pay your credit card bill on time every month. If you are late on a payment, your introductory period is likely to end immediately and you’ll be paying the ongoing APR on the balance that you transferred.
* The 0% introductory APR may only apply to the transferred amount, not future purchases. Check the terms and conditions of the card to see if the introductory offer includes new purchases. If not, any purchase made with the new card will be at the ongoing interest rate.
Here are the Top 5 balance transfer credit cards for 2015:
The best balance transfer card on the market today. It offers 0% APR for 15 months and then has an ongoing interest rate between 12.99% and 22.99%. But what makes this card so attractive is that there is no balance transfer fee if you make the transfer during the first 60 days of being a cardholder. After that, the fee for future balance transfers is 3% of the amount transferred. No annual fee.
Discover it 18 Month
A very attractive introductory period for your balance transfer: 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 18 months. In addition, you receive 0% introductory APR on purchases for 6 months. The ongoing interest rate is a relatively low 10.99% to 22.99%. There is a 3% balance transfer fee. This card also comes with a rewards program.
Cardholders receive 1% cash back on all purchases, but also 5% cash back in certain categories that change each quarter up to a certain amount. From January through March 2015, cardholders can earn 5% cash back on gas and ground transportation up to $1,500 in purchases. There is no annual fee on this card. Discover provides their cardholders with their free FICO score online and on their monthly statement.
Capital One Platinum Prestige
The Platinum Prestige card offers a 0% introductory APR on the amount you transfer as well as all purchases until May 2016, 15 months from now. After that, the ongoing rate will be a relatively low 10.9% to 18.9% variable APR. There is a 3% balance transfer fee. This card does not have an annual fee or any foreign transaction fees.
Citi Simplicity Card
This card has one of the best introductory offers in terms of APR. The Citi Simplicity card has a 0% introductory APR for 18 months on both purchases and balance transfers. Then, an ongoing variable APR between 12.99% and 22.99% . There is a 3% balance transfer fee. This card is rather unique in the industry in that it has no annual fee, no late fee and no penalty rate.
Barclaycard Ring MasterCard
This card does not come with an introductory period, but it is another one that does not have a balance transfer fee. The APR is 8% on the amount your transfer and what you purchase. This is also the ongoing APR. The card does not have an annual fee. You have to have excellent credit to qualify. You receive a 1% statement credit back on the amount of balance transfers made in the first 60 days of account opening.
LowCards.com simplifies the confusion of shopping for credit cards. It is a free, independent website that helps consumers easily compare credit cards in a variety of categories such as lowest rates, rewards, rebates, balance transfers and lowest introductory rates. It also gives an unbiased ranking and review for each card. Created by Hampton & Associates, the company has been analyzing the credit card industry and supplying objective websites on various consumer expenses for 15 years.
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