Why Transferring Card Balances Can Save You Hundreds On Interest Charges Annually
Jugging numerous credit cards can be difficult. If there are several small credit cards, or a large balance that can be transferred to another card it may save a great deal of money. For instance, some new credit cards will offer a 0 percent interest rate just to transfer a balance to their card. If the balance transferred to the new card is around $8 thousand dollars and the interest rate is 18 percent, this has the potential to save a credit holder over $1 thousand dollars a year in interest alone. Some view this is a big hassle, but it could be well worth the effort just to make a simple transfer. When transferring to these companies with introductory offers, it is important to remember that the internet rate will not always be 0 percent. In fact, the interest rate could be more than the initial 18 percent that was being paid, so proceed with caution and read all the fine print.
There are many credit card companies to choose from. Some will charge an annual fee while others will not. If a person has good credit, they should be able to find a company that will not charge them anything. Those with poor credit often choose second rate lenders who can charge as much as a few hundred dollars in annual fees. The average annual fee is $50. On top of annual fees, some credit card companies will charge a balance transfer fee, but this fee should never be above $100 .The average balance transfer is three percent.
When the cards offer an introductory interest rate, they will expect the payments to be made on time. Reading the fine print it is often discovered that if a payment is late, the generous interest rate will revert to the original card rate and or a fine. While everybody should try to pay more than the minimum payment, at least paying the minimum will avoid additional charges and penalties
Another reason to transfer a balance is for perks. Those who fly frequently or participate in gas saving can also add up big. With the price of gas and airline flights those perks can spell big savings and be worth the balance transfer fee. Some cards will give a percentage back of the amount of money spent with them, which can add up to gift cards and other nice benefits. Having free gift cards and other benefits can add up big, especially during the holiday season.
The only thing to be weary of when transferring a balance is the debt to ratio. Having too many accounts open and or closing an account can impact the credit score. The FICO is measured on how close to being maxed a credit card is. If a person transfers all their balances to one card it may put that card near the limit. Having even one credit card that is maxed out can means a drop in the credit score. Balance transfers are great options but proceed with caution.