Bank Of America Credit Card Balance Transfer Offers – Balance transfer credit cards allow you to transfer debt from one card to another, but do they really save you money?
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The essence of the 0% balance transfer credit card is to help you temporarily eliminate the interest burden on your debt. Getty Images/iStockphoto
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A long period of high inflation took its toll on U.S. debt. Credit card balances rose a record 17% last year, according to the New York Fed’s quarterly report on household debt and credit. And with the average annual percentage rate (APR) on credit cards hitting a record 20.33% this year, those interest payments will quickly add up.
It could cost you hundreds or even thousands. “We’re seeing more and more people carrying credit card debt too often to cover everyday needs,” said Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst at Bankrate, citing a recent report on growing debt levels. “More than a third of American adults have more credit card debt than emergency savings, the highest level since we began tracking in 2011.” Enter balance transfer cards, which offer 0% interest for a set period of time. We’ll go into more detail about these below, but they include:
With the 0% balance transfer credit card, you can eliminate interest charges on your debt for up to 21 months, potentially saving you thousands of dollars.
However, if you don’t pay off the debt at the end of the designated 0% action window, this rate can go up to around 30%. Additionally, most balance transfer cards charge a one-time transaction fee of 3% to 5%, says Matt Schulz, chief credit analyst at LendingTree. They also typically require you to transfer the balance by a certain date (usually around 60 days) to receive the 0% offer; and if you do not pay your bill, the issuer may cancel the offer.
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Given the wide range of options for these types of promotions, the Picks team has compiled the best.
0% APR on balance transfers for the first 18 months after account opening (then 18.99% – 28.99% variable APR).
0% APR for the first 21 months after account opening on balance transfers and 12 months on purchases (then 18.74% – 29.49% variable APR).
0% APR for the first 15 months after account opening on purchases and balance transfers (then 19.99% – 29.99% variable APR).
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0% APR for the first 15 months after account opening on purchases and balance transfers (then 18.99% – 28.99% variable APR).
0% APR for 21 months on balance transfers and 0% APR for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening (then 17.99% – 28.74% variable APR).
0% APR for up to 18 months with a three-month extension for on-time payments on purchases and qualified balance transfers (then 17.24% to 29.24% Variable APR).
0% APR available for 21 billing cycles after an account is opened for purchases and balance transfers in the first 60 days.
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0% APR for the first 18 states after account opening on transactions made within 60 days.
“Divide the remaining balance by the number of months in the promotional period to find the monthly payment that will help you pay down the debt by the end of the offer,” says Melissa Lambarena, credit card expert at NerdWallet. She adds: “It’s important to pay on time as the issuer may cancel your promotional offer if you don’t.” Additionally, avoid placing new purchases on the card to keep track of your progress. “
Also, make sure you transfer your balance to the new card relatively quickly. Schulz adds that “many cards require the transfer to be made by a certain date to take advantage of the 0% offer.” The deadline can be 60 days or longer, so there’s plenty of time, but it’s still important to know what the deadline is.”
Other important factors to keep in mind are that you can usually only transfer your credit to another issuer, and usually only those with good credit scores, such as 690 or higher, can qualify. “If you can qualify with good credit, look for a balance transfer credit card that has no annual fee, a low balance transfer fee of 3% or less, and a long enough interest-free window to pay off debt,” Lambarena said. “To determine if this option is worth it, you’ll need to do the math to find out if the balance transfer fee is less than the interest costs you’re paying over time with your current card.”
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Andrew Shilling is a reporter for Picks and writes about saving, retirement, investing and other personal finance topics. Previously, he was associate managing editor at Financial Planning magazine and both a reporter and editor at the Queens Ledger/Brooklyn Star Newspaper Group.
The following comments are not provided or solicited by any bank appearing on this site. Comments have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the Bank’s responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered. Check out the best balance transfer credit card offers available to consolidate your debt and reduce interest payments.
Are you stuck in a mountain of debt? Do what many other people do to free themselves: balance transfers. Choose one of the best balance transfer card deals to get you started.
The transaction usually costs around 3% of the transferred amount (charged to the card that receives the balance). And unlike purchases, balance transfers accrue interest immediately – there is no grace period.
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Fortunately, depending on the credit card, there may be special offers and terms that include waiving the balance transfer and/or an extremely low interest rate on the balance transfer.
When you transfer the balance to a card with a lower APR, you’ll pay less interest – so you can focus on paying off your debt.
Why do you need a low interest rate? Well, a low interest rate allows more of your payments to be applied directly to your principal balance. If you would receive 0% APR on a balance, transfer
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