Balance Transfers

Should I close an old credit card after transferring a balance?

Congratulations on taking advantage of a balance transfer offer to cut the amount you're paying in annual service charges. Whether or not you should close out that old credit card depends on a few factors: Whether your old card carries an annual fee. Whether you're planning any major purchases in the next few years. Whether you're strong enough [...]

I did a balance transfer to one of those 0 percent interest cards for a span of some months - but my first bill came and there was over $375 in some sort of fee. What gives?

Welcome to the new reality of balance transfer credit cards. When zero percent transfer deals first gained popularity, banks used them as promotional weapons to snatch their competitors' most lucrative customers. Today, they're still an important part of most credit card deals, although consumers now pay a premium for the convenience of consolidating debt. The $375 [...]

Does interest accrue on a balance transfer?

In most cases, banks assess finance charges on balance transfer credit cards at a similar APR to cash advances. However, the balance transfer deal has become a popular method to lure customers from competing banks. Understand the differences between popular balance transfer credit card offers to learn whether you'll save cash or blow out your [...]

Should I close my old credit card after a balance transfer?

FICO's Rachel Bell recently covered some of the common "scoring myths" on her company's official blog. Her response to the same question illustrates how much has changed since last decade's credit crunch rewrote the rules about lender risk. Bell writes that lenders now feel that having extra available credit shows that you're actually less of a [...]

I have fair credit 630-690 post deed in lieu of foreclosure. Can I transfer a balance of $16,500 with this type of credit rating?

Q: I have fair credit 630-690 post deed in lieu of foreclosure. I would like to transfer a balance of $16,500 due to divorce. Can it be done with this type of credit rating? A: It's possible, but it won't be easy, and it won't come cheap. If your score settled into the low-to-mid 600s after you [...]

What's better: zero percent APR for one year, or 6 percent for 3 years?

If you're using credit cards strategically, as part of a comprehensive personal finance plan, your ultimate APR shouldn't make any difference. Even with median "go-to" rates around 15 percent, you'll save the most money with 0 APR credit cards -- if you qualify for one. Here's where our credit card calculators can really help you find [...]

I have two credit cards with balances of $18,000 and $12,000. I would like to put them together under one credit card with lower interest.

First, for you to qualify for a new credit card with a $30,000 credit limit, you'll have to have an excellent credit score. You'll also need to prove to your prospective credit card issuer that you have enough income to pay off a $30,000 debt pretty quickly if you need to. Second, I want you to [...]

I have eight credit cards with a total amount of $13,000. I pay only minimum payments. How can I make only one payment each month?

Q: I have eight credit cards to pay, with a total amount of $13,000. I pay eight separate bills each month, and I pay only minimum payments. How can I make only one payment each month? A: First, a wake-up call. With eight active credit cards on your report, few banks will entertain a balance transfer [...]

Do balance transfers hurt your credit in any way?

Balance transfers offer some of the best opportunities to save money and to pay down your debt, as long as you use them responsibly. However, the temptation to dip back into an extended line of credit can wreck your chances of optimizing your credit score. First, remember that responding to any instant approval credit card offer [...]

I carry heavy balances on various cards. Are 0 APR cards worth looking at for balance transfers, in order to pay the balances down quicker without the interest penalties?

Either one of these balance transfer credit cards can jumpstart your plan to get out of debt, but only if you're committed to changing a few of your personal finance habits. In a 2004 Frontline documentary on PBS, an official for the American Banking Association called "revolvers" the "sweet spot of the banking industry." Carrying a [...]

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