It wasn't that long ago when everyone was getting balance transfer credit card offers in the mail; cards that provide a low interest rate upon transfer. The low rate remains in effect throughout the life of the balance. Unfortunately, many companies have been forced to close due to the maintenance cost of these card programs. Needless to say, balance transfer credit card offers are now very limited and usually blossom into much higher rates, once the promotional period is over.
Still, if you carry a balance on your credit cards, then you might want to consider signing up for a 0% balance transfer credit card offer and transferring that credit card debt to a zero percent interest rate. If you carry a balance, a zero percent interest rate can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars over the duration of the 0% balance transfer offer. Here are a few tips to consider if you are thinking of taking advantage of a balance transfer credit card offer.
Make sure to compare. There are still some companies out there with balance transfer deals. Review their terms and pick the ones most suitable for you. These cards have no annual fees unless specified.
You should make sure that you know how balance transfer credit card offers work. After a promotional period, usually a number of months with 0% interest, the rate shifts to a higher (sometimes much higher) rate.
Not only that, to do a transfer, you may have to pay a certain fee (typically 3%) for the privilege of owning a balance transfer credit card. If you believe you can pay off your balance quickly (within the limits provided by the program) or if you're certain you'll be paying less in charges over time by using your new card, then doing the switch will be worth it. Check this balance transfer card calculator to see how much you can save with a balance transfer card, but be careful; even though you may think you will save money by switching to a new card, note that the terms and rules of credit card companies can be changed at any time.