While the holidays may have looked different, it didn't curb American spending; knowing how to "see through" the balance transfer window can be crucial
FOSTER CITY, Calif., Jan. 13, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- As millions of Americans look at debt accumulated during the holidays, CardRatings.com, a leader in online credit-card ratings, reveals its latest side-by-side comparison of nine balance transfer credit cards to help consumers navigate key terms and conditions that could affect their ability to climb out of debt.
While balance transfer cards with 0% introductory interest rates can help people who want to retire credit card debt, consumers must understand that it's vital to pay down as much debt as possible before the introductory window closes, in order to avoid potentially high interest rates.
"Our annual assessment of balance transfer cards allows consumers to compare interest rates, fees and other factors side-by-side in order to seize the best option," explains Brooklyn Lowery, senior managing editor for CardRatings. "Most critical, though, is not missing that window of opportunity."
Find the new side-by-side balance transfer comparison here: Balance transfer credit cards 2021 comparisons.
It's important when researching balance transfer credit cards to consider how long an introductory 0% period is needed to pay off the balance interest free and, if applicable, begin to earn cash back and other rewards. Cards geared specifically toward balance transfers rarely charge a fee, but rewards cards that feature a balance transfer offer often do.
Our listing shows comparisons for the following popular cards and more:
Length of BT period
Length ofpurchase intro period
Citi Double Cash Card
18 months onbalance transfers
3% of eachbalance transfer; $5 minimum
Withinfourmonths ofaccount opening
13.99% to 23.99% (Variable)
U.S. BankAltitude Go Visa Signature Card
Either 3% of theamount of each transfer or $5 minimum, whicheveris greater
Within 45days fromaccountopening
14.99% to 23.99%(Variable)
12 billingcycles onpurchases
Citi Diamond Preferred Card
18 monthson balancetransfers
3% of eachbalance transfer;$5 minimum
Within four months ofaccount opening
14.74% to 24.74% (Variable)
18months on purchases
Mastercard Black Card
For first 15 billing cycles on balancetransfers made inthe first 45 daysafter account opening; after introis 14.99%
Either $5or 5% of the amountof eachtransfer, whicheveris greater.
Within 45days of account opening
Mastercard Titanium Card
For first 15 billingcycles onbalancetransfersmade inthe first 45 daysafter accountopening; after intro is 14.99%
Either $5or 5% of the amountof each transfer, whichever is greater.
Within 45days of account opening
"While opening a balance transfer card and making your transfer within the transfer period window is a great first step to paying off debt, there is more work to be done," stresses Lowery. Some tips to maximize benefits of a transfer credit card include:
- Make a plan. It's crucial to figure out how much is needed to pay monthly in order to pay off debt before the introductory period ends. Using a balance transfer calculator can help.
- Don't miss payments. Even if you must sell homemade crafts in order to hit the mark, it's important to do whatever it takes to make the monthly payment on time. Automatic payments help.
- Analyze spending habits. Credit card debt can accumulate out of unforeseen emergencies or by living beyond your means. If "living beyond means" is a consistent problem, it behooves the consumer to spend some time assessing spending habits and budgets.
"The sooner a balance is transferred to a card with a 0% introductory offer, the more value there is from the transfer," concludes Lowery. "The interest is likely high on the existing card, so why wait to transfer?"
Lowery is available for comment and can expand on the importance of understanding how to utilize credit card balance transfers in the most advantageous way. Lowery is the resident credit card expert for CardRatings and specializes in helping everyday credit card users get the most out of their rewards.
About CardRatingsCardRatings is owned and operated by QuinStreet, Inc. (Nasdaq: QNST), a leader in providing performance marketplace technologies and services to the financial services and home services industries. QuinStreet is a pioneer in delivering online marketplace solutions to match searchers with brands in digital media. The company is committed to providing consumers with the information and tools they need to research, find and select the products and brands that meet their needs. CardRatings is a member of QuinStreet's expert research and publishing division.
CardRatings innovated online credit card ratings and has been offering independent ratings and reviews of credit card offers since 1998. The website collects and maintains data on more than 700 credit card offers and carefully compiles objective lists of the top credit cards by card type, making it easy for consumers to find the right card to fit their needs. Sign up for the bimonthly newsletter here.
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