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Believe it or not, banks will actually compete for your debt. Nick gives three easy steps for utilizing a balance transfer to save you thousands.
A balance transfer is a bonus offer for people with credit card debt to move it from Bank A to Bank B. Why does a bank want your debt? Because the debt is amazingly profitable for them ($60 billion was generated from interest last year alone.) Credit card companies will offer you a 0% interest rate for 18 months on the hope that you’ll spend on the card, miss a payment, or not transfer the remaining balance at the end of the promotional period – all of which will result in high interest charges. The good news: by following a few simple rules, a balance transfer card is the single best tool to help you become debt-free.
Never use a credit card at an ATM.
Cash advances on credit cards are incredibly expensive.
Always pay on time.
Set up a recurring payment. Late payments can result in loss of the offer and hurt your credit score.
Get that transfer done within 60 days.
On most cards, offers are only valid if you complete the transfer within the first 60 days.
Don’t spend on the card.
Unless the 0% offer extends to purchases, you will be charged interest on your spending. So do the balance transfer, and keep the card out of your wallet.
Don’t try to transfer debt between two cards of the same bank.
0% balance transfers are only valid when transferring from one bank to another.
Have a plan for the end of the promotional period.
One month before your rate expires, look for another offer because when the 0% period expires, the interest rate will rise significantly.