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Take Advantage of A Balance Transfer Credit Card

Aug 17, 2007
One of the more recent innovations in credit cards that has come around that is really helpful is a balance transfer credit card. This is a feature that is on most types of cards but it could really be to your advantage. Here are some ways that this card can help you and some tips on how to choose the right one.

The first thing you want to do is to select the type of card that is just right for you. Whether it be an air miles card, or a driver's credit card, or a rewards card, or even a business credit card, you should select which one will give you the greatest advantage. You can determine this by looking for the largest amount or type of purchases you make each month.

Once that is done, you want to start looking at the balance transfer options and compare them. You need to look at more than just to see if it says there is a 0% APR interest rate on balance transfers. All balance transfer options on different credit cards are not equal. Some will charge you as much as four percent of the transferred amount - even if there is 0% APR interest! Many balance transfer credit cards will not charge you to do this, so look around and find one that will not.

Balance transfer credit cards also have different lengths of time for the amount transferred that you can get the 0% APR interest. Some will give you that rate for only three months, but will allow you to have 0% APR interest on all your new purchases for a year or longer. Other credit cards (the best ones) will give you that great interest rate until it is paid off - an unbeatable feature on the best cards. If you can get this, and you have balances on other credit cards, this is the way to go.

Another thing that you want to watch for is just how long a time period do you have to be able to put existing debt on your new balance transfer credit card. It is very important that you find out about this because many cards will only allow you to use this feature when you apply for the card. You literally have to fill in the amount of all transfers, and the card information, when you apply. Transfers, on some cards, cannot be made after that.

Finally, as with any credit card offer, be sure that you also look at the interest rate. It will eventually be the rate you will be paying if you have outstanding balances. Get as low of an interest rate as possible, or, apply for a new balance transfer credit card before the introductory period on this card expires - especially if you still have outstanding debt. However, instead of fully charging up the old card when you make the transfers, be sure to destroy the old card and reduce your debt altogether - that way you are sure to get the best savings.
About the Author
Joe Kenny writes for the Credit Card Guide, with some great 0% credit cards or compare credit cards, or search for 0% balance transfers deals.
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