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Friday, 22 June 2012

Compare Balance Transfer Credit Cards

How to Compare Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Balance transfer credit cards are credit cards that offer a special interest rate on accounts transferred from another credit card. Essentially, when you take advantage of balance transfer credit cards, you're borrowing money on your new credit card to pay off the balance on your old (higher interest) credit card, then repaying the new credit card company at a lower rate of interest. 0% balance transfer rates have been a popular incentive for credit card companies to attract business for the past several years.

Lately, though, many credit card companies have found that offering 0% balance transfers is a losing proposition for them as customers play credit card shuffle, moving their account balances from one card to another whenever the 0% interest rate ends. In order to combat that practice, credit card companies are getting more creative with their balance transfer credit cards. That's why it's important to compare balance transfer credit cards to be sure you're getting the best possible deal - or at least one that actually will save you money in the long run.

Here are some things to watch for when comparing balance transfer credit cards:

1. How long does the introductory balance transfer rate last?
The 0% balance transfer interest rate is usually an introductory rate. As long as you pay off the entire balance within the introductory period - usually six to nine months - you pay no interest at all on the amount that you've transferred.

2. How much is the balance transfer fee?
Often, there's a charge for transferring your balance from one card to another. Be sure to include that fee in your costs when you compare balance transfer credit cards.

3. What is the interest rate AFTER the introductory period ends?
The introductory rate will end eventually. How much will you be paying in interest after it ends? Will that apply to the entire balance, or just the amount left on your transferred balance?

4. Are there other restrictions?
The newer balance transfer credit cards offer other incentives than 0% interest rates on your transferred balance, or may include restrictions to how long the balance must remain on the card. Many of the new balance transfer credit cards offer an interest free second year, or a one-month free payment rather than a 0% transfer fee as a way to get around the credit card balance shufflers. When you compare balance transfer credit cards, be sure to make a note of any restrictions on the balance transfer offers.

So you can see it's important to compare balance transfer credit cards to check the best deal. With credit card comparison sites you'll find all the latest no interest balance transfer credit cards, along with details so that you can compare balance transfer credit cards to be sure you're getting a deal that will save you money.

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