One frequently over looked item that credit card users need to look out for is the credit card balance transfer life. Some people transfer their credit card balances from one card to another for the savings of a lower APR, then get shocked when the credit card balance transfer life expires and their APR shoots up.
Many credit card companies use the lure of a credit card balance transfer as a way to draw in more customers. The credit card balance transfer is usually at a low percentage rate—in some cases, no interest at all—which can be a substantial amount of savings for someone with a great deal of credit card debt. Someone who had been paying anywhere from 15 to 25 percent interest on thousands of dollars in credit card debt could make a balance transfer and suddenly be paying three percent or less.
That offer, however, may be for a limited period of time. This period of time is known as the credit balance transfer life and can vary from one card or offer to another. Many cards offer balance transfers with no credit card balance transfer life, which makes them a great more appealing to those with a credit card balance transfer life. However, most companies don’t make the fact that they have put a credit card balance transfer life on their offers the most obvious of things. As a result, credit card users could receive a sudden shock in three or six months, or perhaps a year, when the credit card balance transfer life runs out.
Reviewing the fine print on a balance transfer offer for a credit card balance transfer life is an extremely smart move to make before even considering making a balance transfer. If there is a credit card balance transfer life, it is likely the benefits of the low interest rate will only be for a short period of time before the card holder finds themselves in the same situation as they did before—or worse. Some credit card companies increase the APR on credit balance transfers above their regular rate once the credit card balance transfer life runs out, which could mean spending even more money than before the transfer was made.