To choose the right balance transfer credit card, compare your existing credit card’s APR with each prospective card’s balance transfer APR, balance transfer fee, and regular APR to see which card makes your debt cheapest to pay off in the end. The point of a balance transfer is to save money while paying off a debt. So if you find a balance transfer card with a $0 balance transfer fee and a 0% APR period on balance transfers that’s long enough for you to pay off the entire transfer without interest, you may have found the best option. But there are some caveats to keep in mind while you compare balance transfer credit cards.
Tips for Finding the Right Balance Transfer Credit Card
Check your credit before you shop
Most balance transfer credit cards require at least good credit. It’s no fun to find the right credit card just to find out that you don’t qualify for it. So check your credit score for free before you find the right credit card.
Calculate how much your debt costs on your current card
It’s important to know how much your debt would cost if you didn’t transfer the balance. That way, you’ll know how much money you stand to save in the same timeframe with a balance transfer. Using a credit card payoff calculator will help.
Calculate how much a balance transfer will cost on each prospective card
The costs associated with a balance transfer include the balance transfer fee and the promotional APR (if it’s not 0%). Most balance transfer credit cards have a transfer fee, but some don’t. The card’s regular APR also is an important consideration, especially if you might not repay the full balance within the card’s low interest introductory period.
Know how long of an intro APR period you’ll need to pay off the debt
How much can you feasibly pay every month? It’s important to be realistic about this, because most balance transfer credit cards have high regular APRs after the intro period ends. Use a balance transfer calculator to figure out how much you’d need to pay each month.
See if the balance transfer card lists a minimum credit limit
You won’t know how big the new card’s credit limit will be until you get approved for it. So it’s possible you may not be able to transfer your entire balance to the new card. That’s a big caveat. Some credit cards give a minimum credit limit in the card’s terms, so check to see if your best balance transfer option lists a minimum limit. You can also do partial balance transfers.
Overall, the best balance transfer deals have a year or more of 0% APR on balance transfers, no balance transfer fee and no annual fee. Balance transfer credit cards relieve the burden of interest for a while, which makes a big debt easier to pay off. Keep these tips in mind when you’re shopping and you’ll be well on the road to choosing the right balance transfer credit card for your situation.
WalletHub Answers is a free service that helps consumers access financial information. Information on WalletHub Answers is provided “as is” and should not be considered financial, legal or investment advice. WalletHub is not a financial advisor, law firm, “lawyer referral service,” or a substitute for a financial advisor, attorney, or law firm. You may want to hire a professional before making any decision. WalletHub does not endorse any particular contributors and cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of any information posted. The helpfulness of a financial advisor's answer is not indicative of future advisor performance.
WalletHub members have a wealth of knowledge to share, and we encourage everyone to do so while respecting our content guidelines
. This question was posted by WalletHub.
Please keep in mind that editorial and user-generated content on this page is not reviewed or otherwise endorsed by any financial institution. In addition, it is not a financial institution’s responsibility to ensure all posts and questions are answered.