There are a lot of great balance transfer credit card options out there today. Unfortunately, with all these options, it is difficult to choose the one that is best for you. Apart from reading the fine print, you need to understand what options will be best for you and how they will help you manage your credit card debt.
This can get a little complicated, and at times it might seem like you need a special degree to do it, but it is really not as complicated as it seems. You can find the right balance transfer credit card for you with just a little research. Here is the ultimate guide to choosing the right balance transfer credit card.
Know the Interest Rates
Many people get stuck in a balance transfer credit card offer because they see a low introductory interest rate, but they don’t realize that the rate changes after the introductory period, and that rate might not be something that they can afford. This can create big problems, especially if you are trying to lower the amount of debt that you owe.
Save yourself the trouble by choosing a balance transfer credit card that has a low interest rate even after the introductory period. Many credit cards will charge you a fee if you drop the card after the introductory period, so find a card that you can see yourself sticking with for the long haul.
Understand Balance Transfer Fees
“Many credit card companies see the value in balance transfers, for them and for you as the customer, so they are willing to work to help you understand the process,” says Jeffrey Weber of SmartBalanceTransfers.com.
Know the exact specifications of the balance transfer fees. Some credit cards will have one time fees, others will have monthly fees until the balance is paid off, and some may have both. Some credit cards will also have limits to the amount that you can transfer, so make sure you are choosing a card with a high enough limit so you can transfer the entire balance.
Evaluate Annual Fees
The ideal situation would be to find a credit card to transfer your balance too that has no annual fee. There are many credit cards that offer this option, so it shouldn’t be hard for you to find one that works for you. But you also need to be careful to read the fine print concerning annual fees. Some credit cards require you to hold a certain balance or use your card some many times per cycle to avoid paying the annual fee. Follow these guidelines to keep your credit card free every year.
Learn how to use your Card Efficiently
Many balance transfer credit cards will offer rewards systems and cash back on certain purchases. You can use those rewards systems to not only get more money or rewards back, but also to help pay off your debt. Again, read the fine print to find out what purchases you need to make to earn rewards, and how you can earn the most rewards each cycle without increasing your debt.