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What is a Balance Transfer Credit Card?


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When lenders such as credit card companies compete, the ultimate winner is you, the consumer. This is what a balance transfer credit card represents - credit card companies competing for your business.

A balance transfer credit card means extremely low interest - or zero interest - for an introductory period that can last as long as 12 months. This can make a huge difference in the total amount you will pay for interest.

The exact rate will depend on which company is making the offer, but currently, many lenders are offering 0% on all balance transfers from high interest credit cards for periods of six months to a year. Some of these cards offer a low introductory rate or 0% on purchases as well, and/or cash-back rewards based on the amount of your purchases. Such a balance transfer credit card may offer rewards that include discounts on motor fuel, frequent flyer miles, hotel and restaurants and car rentals.

It should be noted that a balance transfer card may have a fee for such transfers; however, this fee is minimal and does not exceed 3% of the balance transfer up to a maximum of $75.

In any event, transferring balances from a high-interest card to a balance transfer card - even for six months - is a smart idea and can potentially save you hundreds of dollars.

Bank of America Platinum Plus

Offering a credit line of up to $25,000, the Bank of America Platinum Plus VISA is currently offering in introductory rate of 0% on balance transfers as well as purchases for a period of six months. After this, the regular APR of 8.99% will apply. In addition, this balance transfer credit card offers online banking services and security protection against unauthorized use of the card as may result from identity theft or fraud. There is no annual fee for this balance transfer credit card.

Citi® Home Rebate Select MasterCard

This card may be a good choice for homeowners or those planning on a home purchase. In addition to an introductory APR of 0% on all balance transfer for 12 months, this card offers rebates on mortgage principal amounts for homeowners or statement credit that can be applied to a future mortgage. There is no limit on the yearly amount of these rebates, and no annual fee.

Chase Platinum Master Card

In addition to 0% APR for a period of 12 months, this balance transfer credit card offers an interest-free grace period on balances paid in full every month. Other benefits include international travel accident insurance and a collision damage waiver on rental cars.

Discover® More Card

The introductory rate on balance transfers is good for up to 12 months. This balance transfer card offers the most generous rewards that includes rebates of up to 20% for online purchases and “Double Rewards" with over 100 merchants. Customer services is readily available 24/7.

Blue From American Express

This balance transfer card offers 0% for up to 15 months, after which such transfers will be assessed a low 4.99% for the life of the loan.

Susan Slobac is a personal financial advisor. She specializes in working with individuals to improve their credit rating, build assets and maximize the benefits of cash back credit cards .


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