Balance transfers have saved many consumers from paying high interest rates on credit card balances. In fact, many consumers switch from credit card to credit card using the 0% balance transfer promotion that many cards offer. Can you do a partial balance transfer?
Types of credit card transactions
There are basically three types of credit card transactions: cash advances, balance transfers and purchases. Each of them will have a different rate in accordance with the credit card agreement, with cash advances usually being the highest.
One credit card can have many balances and interest rates – one rate for purchases, another for balance transfers and the other for cash advances. Before the Credit Card Act of 2009, the credit card company made payments at its sole discretion.
Not surprisingly, this meant that payments were allocated in the most profitable way, which means that payments were first allocated to the balance with the lowest interest rate. Therefore, higher balances accrued over the long term, accumulating interest, as a result of which consumers repaid their debts longer.
Check your current balance and interest rate
Before you transfer your balance, get information about your current situation.
Check your credit card balance and interest rates. Credit card interest is usually expressed as an annual percentage rate (APR). You will need this information to choose the right card for your funds transfer.
Ultimately, you want to find a balance transfer card that can accept the amount you want to transfer and has a lower interest rate than you are already paying off your debt.
Two key features to look for in the best balance transfer offer
Once you know how to make a balance and you decide it is a smart move for you, you’ll want to find the best balance transfer offers you can qualify for.
In particular, you should focus on two functions.
First, the long initial period of zero interest rate for balance transfers. Currently, the longest introductory period is 21 months.
Still, many of the best cards have only 15 and 18 entry months.
Secondly, no balance transfer fee. The absolute best balance transfer fee available is a free balance transfer. Lack of balance transfers usually requires a balance transfer within the first few months of opening a new credit card.
Check out the individual credit card offers you’re considering for details. If you don’t secure the balance transfer without fees, the fees usually range from three to five percent, depending on the particular card.
To find the best deal for you, you need to consider the benefits of the initial 0% APRC for balance transfers with a balance transfer fee that you must pay.
Remember that you may not get the best of the same card.
Balance declined? What to do next
If you have been denied the balance transfer, all is not lost. You can simply switch to another credit card company and try again. Remember, however, that if you have been denied once, your chances of getting approved can be put against you.