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Balance Transfer Credit Card Offers Gaining Momentum

Aug 17, 2007
Only two out of three credit card customers pay their balances off every month, paying more than they should (and could). If you're one of them, do not despair; with a credit card balance transfer you could easily do a balance transfer and save! If you recently made a big purchase but you can't possibly make your payment on time, try using a balance transfer credit card that would allow you to you could save a lot of money transferring your balance to other balance transfer credit cards that will allow a very low or even a 0% APR on balance transfers.

Sounds confusing? Not at all! Here's how this can be done. You fill out an application for a new balance transfer credit card; enter your other credit card accounts and the amount you want transferred from the old account to the new one. Your balance switches accounts, and your interest costs plummet. Generally, you will have up to a year to pay this balance off with a zero percent (or very low) interest rate.

Some other "traditional" credit cards will even offer a low interest rate over the lifetime of the balance until it's paid off. If you are not sure if you could pay the whole balance in the prearranged zero-interest time-frame, this may seem to be a better option for you. But, using balance transfer credit cards would never be a risk if you plan effectively in advance for balance transfers and, in turn, will help you to save a lot more!

A balance transfer credit card would prove to be a great advantage if you have several cards with outstanding balances. Balance transfer credit cards permit you to do credit card balance transfers all into one account, and pay zero interest for the introductory months. Here are some things you should know, however, before you take the leap.

1. You should end up with a smaller payment amount.
Balance transfers would allow you to bring your interest costs way down, allowing you to make monthly payments, eliminating your debt gradually over the zero interest period.

2. A balance transfer does not mean debt elimination...
NEVER regard balance transfer credit cards to be the answer to all your prayers; it is NOT a way to run away from debts! If you are not able to pay off your balance in full during the introductory period, you may be charged interest on the entire amount of the consolidation, which would prove to be much, much more.
Be sure you check the terms and conditions of the card you apply for. Also, some customers see the new credit cards (or the newly paid-off old cards) as free money, and they continue to spend on them, with the result that they will have just as much debt as they did when they started - plus the balance on their new balance transfer credit cards. Yikes!

3. Transfer at the right time
If you transfer a balance from a card right before the finance charge is accrued and calculated for that month, you will get almost a month's free of interest expense. If the balance transfer is done before the interest and finance fees get placed on your statement, you should not have to pay those costs!

4. Cutting back = GOOD; Overspending = BAD
Some credit card companies will charge substantial over limit fees if you go over your assigned credit limit. A balance transfer credit card can give you some wiggle room if you have emergency expenses. Transferring high balances to new accounts can avoid these fees.

5. How do credit card balance transfers really work?

A credit card balance transfer is just like making any charge on your other credit card accounts. The difference is that the debt obligation moves from one credit card issuer to another, rather than from your credit card to a retailer. When one credit card is debited, the other is credited. Make sure you research your options, so that you know the balance transfer steps for the cards that you are using. It may be good to contact your existing creditors to find out if there are specific requirements on their cards regarding balance transfers. Sometimes companies make this a difficult process to navigate so make sure that you are absolutely clear about how the process works for each specific balance transfer offer.

As long as you use your balance transfers in the right way, it can be an excellent tool for financial management in difficult times.
About the Author
For more on how a balance transfer credit card can save you money, Robert Alan recommends that you visit CreditCardAssist.com
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