Reminder: Get a 0% APR Balance Transfer Card Before Interest Rates Skyrocket!
Finding the best 0% interest balance transfer credit card deal is more important than ever. According to a Federal Reserve insider, there will be two or more interest rate increases in the near future. This means your current credit card interest can skyrocket at any time, putting you even further behind in debt.
Transfering your debt to a 0% APR balance transfer card is the best thing you can do to pay down a large debt. I’ve personally used this strategy to pay off a large credit balance. US News and World Report even did a feature on my success story.
Why does this work? Because getting an eighteen month 0% APR balance transfer card is basically getting a 1.5 year interest-free loan. During this intro promotional period, every dollar you pay goes towards paying off your debt. On the other hand, if you continue staying with your current high interest card, 50-70% of your monthly payment goes to paying off interest (i.e. directly into your bank’s pocket). For more information, check out my colleague Holly Johnson’s article where she lays out the pros and cons of a balance transfer credit card.
How We Ranked the Top 0% APR Balance Transfer Deals
My team of personal finance researchers have analyzed hundreds of card offers to help you find the best deal. We hope the comprehensive chart we provided above is helpful. But if you feel overwhelmed, just remember: Any 0% APR card you pick is probably better than the high interest card you’re using right now. But if you want some quick guidelines, this is what to look for:
- The longest 0% APR period possible — Generally 12 month is average. 14 is good. 15-16 is great. 18 months 0% APR is pretty much top of the line.
- No annual fee — When you’re in debt, the last thing you want to do is incur more fees!
- No penalty APR — You don’t want to have your interest rate raised due to a late payment.
The BankAmericard hits all these criteria. That’s why it is the balance transfer solution I recommend most to my friends, family, and readers. There’s no better time to activate this deal.
Interest rates can go up on your card for any reason, any time. The Federal Reserve can raise your rate. Your bank can raise your rate or worse -- cut your credit line with little notice. Doing a balance transfer to a 0% APR card protects you against those negative effects. It allows you to stop paying interest so you can focus on paying down the principle.
You’re Not Alone: 47% of Americans Don’t Know About Balance Transfer Deals
According to a recent report from CNBC’s Yoni Blumberg, almost half of Americans don’t know how a 0% balance transfer offers work. That’s not surprising. With so many different reward deals in the market, it can be difficult to keep track of them all. Which is unfortunate since these offers are often a great solution to a common financial problem.
Doing a balance transfer is very easy and takes only a few minutes. Some of the banks even say you can get approved for a card in as little as 60 seconds. The process is simple:
- You select the card you want from the list above.
- Click apply which will take you to the bank’s secure application page. Review the terms again to make sure it’s a good fit for you.
- Then with your social security number and some other bits of personal information you can complete the application and get an answer as fast as 60 seconds or less.
- Finally, you provide your new credit card company with some information about your old credit card, and verify the amount you want to transfer.
If you have applied for a credit card before, this process is no different. If you are still confused, check out Wise Bread’s comprehensive checklist for how to do a 0 percent balance transfer.
Does This Balance Transfer Strategy Work Only For Credit Card Debt?
There’s a big misconception that balance transfer offers is for credit card debt only. That’s not true at all. You can transfer all kinds of debts to a 0% APR card. When you sign up for a 0% balance credit card, the issuing bank will provide you with physical checks that can be used like regular checks. You can use these checks to pay any kind of bills, like medical debt, holiday shopping debt, home improvement expenses, vacation expenses, etc.
What Kind of Credit Do You Need For The Top Balance Transfer Deals?
Generally you need to have decent credit to get approved for the best balance transfer cards. Which means if you have already missed several payments this year, you might not qualify for a low interest credit card transfer.
Ultimately doing the balance transfer on the right card will improve your credit. By stopping the compounding interest payments, you can pay off your debt faster, which will improve your credit score. Remember -- as much as 35% of your payment history makes up your credit score. A 0% balance transfer deal can help you keep making the payments while ensuring that 100% of the payments goes toward paying the debt instead of interest.
What Do Financial Experts Say About Low APR Balance Transfer Cards?
Not paying high interest is such an obvious benefit that experts generally agree these cards are a fantastic deal. Some experts warn that one potential downside is the psychology aspect of balance transfer deals. They think if you don’t have to worry about interest for 18 months, you might get too comfortable and stop paying off debt aggressively.
In my opinion, that’s not necessarily true. If you don’t do a balance transfer, you are racking up a ton of interest per month. That puts you under a lot of pressure. People don’t make good decisions under pressure. A good balance transfer card deal can relieve that pressure and give you time to plan and think. For more on how financial stress affects your decision making process, check out this study.
Should I Cancel My Current Credit Card After Balance Transfer?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions. You should definitely stop using your old high interest credit card. However, it’s debatable whether you should officially cancel it. This is because doing so may increase your debt-to-credit ratio. Another good question I get is “Should I consider the purchase APR in addition to the balance transfer APR?” If you do plan on using a credit card after the balance transfer, then yes, the purchase APR can be a big draw. It’s good to pick a card that has the longest 0% balance transfer APR and purchase APR.
Be Free of Your Debt Today With a Smart Balance Transfer Card
I’ve personally paid off $10,000 in debt before. Let me tell you -- it feels great to get that debt off your back. I don’t think I could’ve done it without using a tool like these no interest intro period cards. If you keep paying interest the cards are just stacked against you. We already did all the research and reviewed hundreds of the best balance card offers. In a few minutes you can be interest free for 18 months. Take your first easy step to being debt free today.