For starters, you shouldn’t even consider a balance transfer credit card that doesn’t have either a 0% intro APR or a $0 balance transfer fee. And ideally, you want both. The easiest way to compare balance transfer credit cards is in terms of your total expected cost. In other words, how much will you have to spend on fees and interest charges while paying your balance down to zero? And the easiest way to crunch those numbers is with a credit card calculator.
But if you want to do things the hard way, we’ll try to make it as easy as possible for you. If you want to see how a 0% balance transfer credit card stacks up against a credit card with no transfer fee, divide the 0% card’s balance transfer fee by the length of its intro period (in years). For example, a card with 0% for six months and a 3% fee is basically the same thing as a card offering 6% and no fee (3% / 0.5 years = 6%). This is a rough way to convert a balance transfer fee into a balance transfer APR, thus turning an apples-to-oranges comparison into a level playing field.
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