by Claire Bowes
As you probably know, interest rates are at all time low right
now and if you arenít getting the best deal from your credit
card company then they owe it to you to either lower your rate,
or you owe it to yourself to find a better deal. You see, credit
card companies need your business in order to succeed and if you
refuse to pay a penny more than you have to then youíll be doing
yourself and others a big favour indeed. By doing this, youíll
avoid paying more than you should and the companies will stop
treating its clients inappropriately.
Now that this is clear, we will talk about the essentials of
balance transfers, how they work and how you can ensure that you
get the absolute best possible deal.
1. First and foremost, understand what a balance transfer is. A
balance transfer is when you transfer the balance from one card
to another in order to get a better interest rate than the one
that you are currently getting.
2. Second, to find the absolute best deals, look to transfer
balances on cards where the initial interest rate is 0% and the
amount after that is lower than the one you have now. For
instance, if youíre a cardholder that has an interest rate of
27.4% on a £1000 balance and you only pay £150 a month for 6
months, you will not pay off the balance in 6 months. Instead
you will pay £247 worth of interest and your balance after 6
months will be £346. In contrast, if you had a 0% card and make
the same monthly payment then your balance will be reduced to
£100 at the end of the 6 month period, a tremendous saving!
3. Third, donít throw those offers that you receive in the mail
away. If you have great credit then youíll likely have credit
card companies vying for your attention. Just use this power to
your advantage and find the very best 0% deal for you.
4. If no good deals seem apparent, then you have to find your
own deals. You can do this by conducting a thorough search on
the internet to see if you can find a 0% card offer.
5. Once youíve done this, request information and then review it
carefully. Pay close attention to the rate after the initial
introductory period is over. For instance, if you have two
choices of cards with 0% interest rates for 6 months and one
charges an interest rate of 15.00% after the initial period and
one that charges 11.00% after the initial period then by all
means choose the second one because it is by far the better deal
6. Read and then reread the credit cardholder agreement a couple
of times. Make sure that you understand all of the jargon and if
you donít, find someone that does before you sign it. Review it
closely to make sure that you are getting the best deal
possible. For instance, when evaluating deals, you should ask
yourself these questions: a. How long does the introductory rate
last? b. What will be the rate after the teaser expires? c. What
are the cards annual fees? Can they be waived? d. Are there any
transfer fees that you should be aware of? e. Are there any
perks that are offered? (Ex. frequent flier miles, free gifts,
7. Once youíve decided on an offer, fill out your application
fully and get it in the mail as soon as you can.
8. Once you get the offer, make sure that it is a 0% teaser rate
and if it isnít, then contact the company right away. If they
arenít open to doing so then tell them that youíre cancelling
the card and look for another company that delivers what they
promise. Your primary goal is avoid the old ďbait and switchĒ
while simultaneously saving money on interest.
9. While waiting for your new card, make sure that you continue
to pay on your old card to avoid glitches in your credit report
and once you receive notification that the transfer has been
made, make sure you contact the old company and make sure that
they received the payoff amount.
10. After the teaser rate is up, donít be afraid to jump from
one credit card to another after the teaser expires. You see,
there is absolutely nothing wrong with surfing cards and taking
advantage of 0% offers whenever you possibly can. Just keep
finding and researching great deals.
Thatís it my friend. Credit card transfers donít have to be so
confusing and daunting. If you follow the above mentioned steps
then you can and will win the balance transfer rate and stop
throwing your hard earned money down the drain.
About the author:
Claire Bowes is a successful freelance writer and owner of the The Credit Card
Centre where you will find further advice and tips on the best credit card deals, and 0% credit cards.
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