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2007-05-24 02:25:57

Credit card deals: your guide to using balance transfers

One of the best credit card deals that youíll find is using a balance transfer credit card with a low APR credit card or even 0 percent interest rate credit card benefits. Itís one of the simplest and smartest ways to lower your credit card interest over time.

With competition between credit card company plans so often, you can find many great credit card deals to take advantage of. You can then call your current credit card company and tell them that youíve found something better. That may help them to lower their interest rate. But, be prepared for a no, too.

Consider credit card deals like balance transfers

Balance transfers credit cards can provide card holders with a number of benefits. Transferring balances to a lower rate credit card can reduce your interest rate and the fees that you pay. But, pay attention because the credit card company you work with will have different interest rates on the credit cards they offer to you. Some offer 0 percent interest rate for six to twelve months, making them the most beneficial to you.

A balance transfer credit card can offer you may benefits including perks like no annual fee credit cards, reward credit cards and even provide you with additional money saving discounts. Some offer discounts on insurance and rental cars, for example.

Credit card companies use low interest rate balance transfers to attract new customers. There are three methods to transfer the balance on a card.

First just fill out the paperwork provided by your new card issuer. You can contact the credit card company that you want to transfer a balance to and have them handle it as well.

You can move these balances by writing balance transfer or convenience checks. These checks are provided by the balance transfer credit card company and work just like a standard check would, except that anything paid with these checks will be placed on your credit card.

Banks treat balance transfers like cash advances and have they have fees that are about the same. There's no fee for balances transferred with some offers. But, for some credit card company plans, there is a fee based on the amount of the balance transfer. This percentage will be assessed based on the rules of the credit card company. You can look for a zero percent interest credit card including those that are no balance transfer free credit cards.

There are other credit card fees that also can affect your balance transfers. For example, late fees are fees that are assessed when there are payments that arenít made on time. If you do this with a zero percent balance transfer credit card, your interest rate will bounce up significantly each time. This is in addition to the actual fee that will be assessed to the account just for being late.

Another fee that balance transfer credit cards also have over the limit fees, which are fees that are charged if you go over your credit limit. These can be any place between $10 and $30 or more. If you lose your credit card, a lost card replacement fee can be charged to you, depending on the situation and the credit card companyís rules regarding this.

You should also learn that the zero percent interest rates have additional stipulations on them. For example, there is generally no grace period for repaying the balance transfer, which means youíll need to do it as quickly as possible so as not to incur interest charges.

Make your payments on time to establish a good credit history. In addition to this, realize that when you do make a payment on your balance transfer credit cards, itís not going to go towards the new purchases that you made on that line of credit. Instead it will go to pay down the balance transfer principal first, then after this is paid down to the other purchase you have made.

Take full advantage of credit card deals

When it comes to balance transfer credit cards, you will have an introductory period which will give you a lower interest rate. For some this is a 0 percent interest rate, for others it offers a low APR for a limited time.

In any case, this is generally only on the balance transfer, not on cash advances or new purchases. Find out what the APR on cash advances are before you use them as they can be nearly as high as 30%.

Once the introductory period is over, you will have a new interest rate for your credit card, which could be a low interest rate credit card or a high one. When you compare credit cards, you should take this into account. Indeed you should try to pay off credit card debts including the balance transfers as soon as you can, even before the introductory credit card runs out of time. This is one of the best ways to use credit card deals to save you money overall.

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