A balance transfer credit card is a great way to pay off a credit card balance more easily. If you’re trapped in credit card debt, especially if that debt is with a very high-interest credit card, you might be able to use a balance transfer credit card to pay less and still get rid of your debts. If you want to get the most out of the best balance transfer credit cards, here are four important steps to take.
1. Plan out Your Payments Over the Introductory Period
Typically, a balance transfer credit card will have an introductory period of 0% APR, after which the APR will typically go back up to about the level of a normal credit card. If you want to make sure you can pay off your entire balance before the APR goes back up, it might be helpful to plan out your payments. That way, you’ll be able to have a plan that will allow you to pay off your debt more easily.
2. Transfer High-Interest Credit Card Balances First
Balance transfer credit cards have credit limits just like any other credit card, which means you may not be able to transfer 100% of your credit card balances to your new credit card. If you have to choose between credit cards to transfer balance, make sure you start with whichever cards you’re currently paying the most in interest on.
3. See If There’s a Sign-Up Bonus Available
Most balance transfer credit cards don’t have a sign-up bonus, but it’s possible to find balance transfer credit cards that do have a bonus you can access when you spend a certain dollar amount within the first few months. If you find a card with a sign-up bonus, make sure you can achieve the bonus with your normal monthly spending, as you don’t want to gather even more debt on your new credit card.
4. Choose a Card With a Lower Balance Transfer Fee
Balance transfer fees are part of most balance transfer credit cards. This is a fee, which is typically a percentage of the balance that you’re transferring, that a card charges to initiate the transfer. Balance transfer fees are usually less than 5%, which is almost certainly much less than you’re paying in interest, but it’s still an important part of any card. Make sure you don’t choose a balance transfer credit card with an especially high fee, as it may end up allowing you to save less.
If you currently have a significant amount of credit card debt, you may want to use a balance transfer credit card to pay off that debt more easily. With 0% APR for a number of months, a balance transfer credit card can help you pay for your debt without having to pay the interest. If you’re interested in getting a balance transfer credit card, these four steps will make sure you’re getting the most out of yours.