Over the first couple of months of the year many people decide to shift their more expensive credit card balances from high interest cards to 0% balance transfer cards in order to save money on interest charges. However, although this can prove to be an effective moneysaving solution there are things that you need to look out for with 0% balance transfer cards.
By looking at different aspects of these credit cards you can make sure that you are selecting the right solution for your needs, and you can make sure that you are not paying over the odds. Some of the things to bear in mind when looking at 0% balance transfer credit cards include:
1. Check the interest free period: The interest free or 0% period offered by 0% balance transfer credit cards can vary in terms of length from one provider to another. In order to get the best deal and enjoy maximum flexibility you should check and compare the different 0% period offered by different cards and find one that offers a generous interest free period on transferred balanced.
2. Check the transfer fee charged: Most 0% balance transfer credit cards charge what is known as a transfer fee, and this is charged for the privilege of transferring your balances. The transfer fee is usually between 2-3% of the total amount of money being transferred, and can work out expensive. In some cases, depending on how much you are transferring, you may find that a consolidation loan could prove a better solution. You should check the transfer levels and work out how much you will be paying.
3. Avoid making purchases on the card: If you take out a 0% balance transfer credit card then use it for balance transfers only. Avoid the temptation to also spend on the card, as otherwise your purchase balance will get trapped behind the transferred balance, where it will sit and accrue interest whilst your repayments are applied to the interest free transferred balance.
4. Check the interest rate: The idea is that you repay your balance within the interest free period so that you are not charged interest, but it is still worth keeping an eye on the interest rate charged on these cards so that you know what rate of interest you may have to pay in the event that you do not clear your balance in time.
5. Check the small print: It is a good idea to check to small print with these credit cards so that you can see what sort of fees and charges are imposed, as well as check on any restrictions, exclusions, etc.
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