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3 Things to Look for in a Balance Transfer Credit Card

  • February 22, 2022
  • By Erin Palmer

    Erin Palmer

    Content Marketing Specialist

    Erin Palmer is a content marketing specialist for Suncoast Credit Union. She has written articles for numerous publications and websites, including the Chicago Tribune and Huffington Post. Erin is happiest when curled up with a book, lounging on a beach, or laughing with her family.

    We’d love to hear your thoughts about the blog! Email us and share what you think.

You have a credit card with an interest rate that you don't love. When your bill arrives each month, you cringe at the payments. Sound familiar?

If you're in a similar situation, a balance transfer credit card can help. This simply means transferring the balance of your high interest rate credit card to a credit card with lower interest rate.

But how do you choose which credit card to transfer your balance to? Let's go over three things to look for in a balance transfer credit card.

How Long Can You Keep the Rate?

Since the whole reason you are transferring your balance is to get a better rate, it makes sense that the first thing you consider should be the rate. However, it’s important to also know how long you get to keep the rate.

For a lot of credit card balance transfer offers, there is an introductory annual percent rate (APR). This means that the rate only lasts for a set period of time. After that introductory period ends, the rate will increase. And these increases can be significant.

So a 0% introductory rate can be helpful when your balance is able to be paid off entirely during the promotional period. But if you aren't sure whether or not you can pay off the balance during that window, you could be left with a high interest rate or even bigger balance due to the accrual of interest at the new rate.

If you need more time to pay off your high credit balance, consider looking for a balance transfer credit card that lets you keep the low rate until your transferred balance is paid in full. This will let you save money with a lower interest rate, but also gives you the time to pay off your balance without worrying about your rate going up.

Are There Transfer Fees?

Another thing you want to look for when considering credit card balance transfer offers is whether or not there is a transfer fee. Often these offers include a transfer fee, ranging on average anywhere from 3% to 6% in fees on the total amount of the balance transfer, which means you'll have to pay to be able to transfer your balance.

When the whole reason you are transferring your balance is to save money, paying a fee does cut into your overall saving opportunity. So you need to determine if the transfer is still worth it after paying a fee, especially if your rate is also for a limited time only.

Finding a balance transfer credit card that doesn't include a transfer fee can help you accomplish your ultimate goal to save money. Free is better than fees, after all!

Does the Card Have Rewards?

Once you figure out the rate and fee details of your balance transfer credit card options, you can start to look for some additional features. A lot of credit cards offer reward points or cashback options, which can really help you save compared to a card with no rewards.

Rewards might not be the most important credit card feature. But when you earn cash back or use those reward points for an exciting vacation or luxurious gift, you'll be happy you have them!

So if you can find a balance transfer credit card that has everything you're looking for to save money plus rewards to enjoy, you have a winner!

Savings Icon

Want a balance transfer credit card with a low rate that remains until your transferred balance is paid in full PLUS no transfer fees PLUS your choice of cash back or reward points? We’ve got you covered!


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