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Updated on Tuesday, June 13, 2017
When you have a less than stellar credit score, and you’re battling credit card debt, it can seem like a steep uphill battle. You want a balance transfer, but finding a card that you qualify for and that has a low introductory rate for balance transfers can be tough. This is where the Aspire Platinum Mastercard® from Aspire FCU (from a credit union) comes into play.
It offers a 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 6 months and 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 6 months. It also doesn’t charge a balance transfer fee during the introductory period. There is a $0 annual fee, and the standard purchase APR is much lower than the competition at 8.15% - 18.00% Variable. This is the best balance transfer for fair credit that we could find on the market.
Aspire Platinum Mastercard® from Aspire FCU
- Intro BT APR
- 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 6 months
- Balance Transfer Fee
- $5 or 2% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater
- Regular Purchase APR
- 8.15% - 18.00% Variable
- 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 6 months
In order to apply for this credit card, you need to open a savings account and maintain a minimum deposit of $5, and you will need to be a member of the credit union. Fortunately, anyone can join the credit union. During the credit card application process, you can elect to join the American Consumer Council (at no cost), which will make you eligible for all credit union products.
The credit card itself is relatively simple. The Aspire Platinum Mastercard® from Aspire FCU has been created for people with average credit. The card has a good intro balance transfer offer and much lower ongoing interest rates than traditional credit card companies.
The balance transfer offer is relatively simple. You will get a 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 6 months with no balance transfer fee during this period. The APR goes to 8.15% - 18.00% Variable once the introductory period ends. Although there are much longer balance transfer offers in the market, most of those are not available to people with fair credit. So, although this is a relatively short balance transfer, it might be the best offer for someone with fair credit.
The card has a $0 annual fee. After the 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 6 months ends, the interest rate will revert to the standard purchase APR, which is from 8.15% - 18.00% Variable. Most credit card issuers tend to start in the teens and end in the 20s (14%-24%, for example). These are very good rates — and for people with fair credit, these could be excellent rates.
Just remember: You can only transfer debt from other credit card issuers. That is probably not an issue (because you most likely do not already have debt with Aspire), but it is something to remember. Also, the intro 0% offer lasts for six months from the date you open the card, not six months from the date you transfer the debt. So you should get the transfer done as soon as possible.
The Aspire Platinum Mastercard® from Aspire FCU is designed for those with a average credit score, somewhere between 600 and 700. If you fall in this range, you are likely to qualify.
Just remember that credit score is only part of the underwriting decision. Most credit card issuers, including this credit union, will want to know that you can afford to repay the debt. That means you will need to have a job and sufficient income.
Finally, a balance transfer for people withaverage credit.
If you have average credit, it can be impossible to get approved for a balance transfer offer. This is one of the only (and by default, best) deals that we could find to get an intro 0% balance transfer. Just remember: This offer is for people withaverage credit. If you have good credit, you can find a much better deal with someone else (with a longer balance transfer). But if you have fair credit (low 600s), this is probably one of the best deals out there.
Low ongoing APR.
Because this balance transfer intro offer is only for six months, you will probably still have debt remaining after the balance transfer is over. Fortunately, Aspire offers credit union rates. There are no rewards on the card — but that helps to keep the interest rate low. Remember, the APR goes to 8.15% - 18.00% Variable once the intro period ends.
Short introductory period.
The Aspire Platinum Mastercard® from Aspire FCU has a very short introductory period of only six months. This is low compared to other cards that have intro periods around 15 months and can be as many as 21 months (or more). If you have good credit, you can find better deals elsewhere.
No rewards program.
You might also take note that the Aspire Platinum Mastercard® from Aspire FCU does not include any rewards program. Aspire offers the Platinum Rewards MasterCard and World Rewards MasterCard as rewards card options. However, they both require a good to excellent credit score.
To transfer your existing credit card debt to a new balance transfer credit card, you need to call your new credit card company and give them your old account number. Then they will pay off that credit card for you and tack that debt onto your new card. There are a few things to make note of before you complete a balance transfer to ensure the most benefit:
- Note that you can’t transfer balances between cards from the same bank.
- Make sure you request a balance transfer within six months of receiving your new credit card or receiving an offer.
- Check to make sure the terms of the balance transfer match the offer you received.
- Make sure you always pay your bill on time or you may lose your balance transfer offer.
If you have fair credit (low 600s), this might be one of your only options. However, if you have good or excellent credit, there are much better balance transfer deals on the market.
Many cards offer an introductory period of at least 12 months, and some offer introductory periods of 21 months or longer. These cards also do not charge an annual fee or new member fee.
If You Want a Longer Intro Period (And Are Willing to Pay a Transfer Fee)
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card has an introductory 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers (and an intro 0% for 18 months on Purchases). After the intro periods end, the APR will be 13.74% - 23.74% (Variable). This is one of the longest intro periods we have seen and can be extremely beneficial. There is a balance transfer fee of Balance transfer fee applies with this offer: 3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum. This fee is not waived during the intro period, unlike Aspire. However, the length of the intro period may save you money if you have a large amount of debt and need time to pay it off. The on-going APR for this card is higher than Aspire, ranging from 13.74% - 23.74% (Variable), but if you plan on paying off your debt before the end of the intro period and pay each statement on time, the APR won’t be a major point.
The short introductory period makes the Aspire Platinum Mastercard® from Aspire FCU a good option for people with a average credit score who have a debt to pay off. Not only do you get a nice low intro rate, but the ongoing APR will likely be lower than your current credit card.
However, if you have good credit, then you could easily get a balance transfer card with a longer introductory period.
Yes, anyone can join at no cost. When you apply for the card, you will also be asked to register as a member of the credit union, at no additional cost. All that is needed is for you to deposit $5 in a savings account. Note that the $5 must remain in the account during the length of time you have the credit card.
Once the introductory period is over, interest will start to accrue at the standard purchase APR on a go-forward basis, currently 8.15% - 18.00% Variable. Interest during the introductory period is waived — so you do not need to worry about a retroactive interest charge.
In the short term, your credit score will probably take a small hit (5-10 points) because you applied for new credit. However, over time, a balance transfer can increase your credit score with proper practices. This is because while new credit makes up 10% of your credit score, the amount you owe accounts for 30%. By using a balance transfer, you will reduce your interest rate. That should help you get out of debt a lot faster.
The information related to the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.