Bottom Line Inc

You Can Avoid Credit Card Balance-Transfer Fees

0

If you want to lower the interest rate on your credit card balance, you might choose to transfer the balance to a new credit card, possibly one with an interest rate as low as 0%.

But be careful—there might be a “balance-transfer fee” equal to 3% or 4% of the amount transferred. That’s a hefty $300 or $400 fee if you transfer $10,000.

How to avoid a fee…

Look for a card that offers low ­balance-transfer fees in addition to low interest rates. For example, Chase Slate is a no-annual-fee card that waives its 3% balance transfer fee for transfers made within 60 days of opening an account and offers a 0% interest rate on the money transferred as well as on new purchases for 15 months (ChaseSlate.com).

Credit card terms and offers change frequently, so search online for the phrase “best balance-transfer credit cards” to find other appealing deals.

If you apply for a card and are ­declined…

Call the issuers of credit cards that you already have. Start with cards that you have used responsibly for years with few, if any, late payments or other problems and on which you are currently not carrying a balance. Say that you are thinking about transferring your debt to a new card—mention a specific one and its attractive balance-transfer offer—but that first you want to find out what transfer deals your existing card could provide. Your card issuer might offer you better transfer terms than it is advertising because you are a responsible borrower. Example: An issuer might offer to cap its transfer fee at $100 or $200 rather than require you to pay its 3% or 4% fee on the entire amount. If a phone rep does not offer an attractive deal, ask to speak to a supervisor.

print
Source: Scott Bilker, founder of DebtSmart, a credit-management website. He is author of several books about credit cards, including Talk Your Way Out of Credit Card Debt. DebtSmart.com Date: November 1, 2015 Publication: Bottom Line Personal
Keep Scrolling for related content View Comments