Believe it or not, the best balance transfer credit cards are not necessarily the cards that offer 0% for a long duration. Nor are they the cards that offer balance transfers with no transfer fees. Choosing the right credit card to transfer balances involves taking a few factors into consideration to ensure that you are applying for the card that is ideal for your personal financial situation.
The first thing one should consider when trying to find a credit card for the purpose of transferring balances is whether or not any purchases will need to be made with the credit card. Often times, card issuers will offer a promotional period of low interest for balance transfers, but will have a much higher rate of interest for purchases. The problem with this is that almost all cards state in their terms that payments go to pay off the low rate balance segments before paying off the higher rate balance segments. This means if you make one purchase on the card, it will be accruing interest at the higher purchase rate until the entire balance transfer segment at the lower rate has been paid off completely.
Another factor that must be considered when transferring balances from one credit card to the other is what kind of fee is associated with the transfer. A few years ago, many banks offered balance transfers with no transfer fees, however these days an offer like this is extremely rare. More often than not, nowadays a balance transfer offer will require a fee of at least 3% of the total transferred amount, though many times card issuers place a maximum on the fee of anywhere from $50 to $250.
The third main point that one must keep in mind when trying to find the best balance transfer credit card is what the annual percentage rate of the card will go to after the end of the balance transfer promotion. This is a very important step to remember as it is not uncommon for a credit card with 0% for 12 months to immediately escalate to a standard APR around 15-20% the day after the promotional period ends. With interest accumulating daily in many cases, it can get quite expensive having a large balance sit on a balance transfer card after the promotion has ended.
The best way to ensure that you find the most suitable credit card for your personal needs is to do some comparison shopping at a website that offers comparisons of several credit card offers.
To research and compare the best gas credit cards side by side, choose from over 100 current offers online at CardSense. They take the hassle out of researching, analyzing program terms & conditions and providing free credit card reviews.
Don't get stuck with the wrong gas credit card, compare gas cards side by side in plain English at Cardsense.net
Adam Carnegie also contributes to the popular Credit Card Blog at CardSense.