Credit card balance transfers are one of the financial world's great empowering features, but they can only be done successfully if you follow the regulations and don't fall disgusting of them. Firstly you must see the benefits, then the pitfalls. These two facets are more than or less lasting characteristics of the credit card balance transfer system.
The benefits can be summarised as the merchandise of a twofold strategy:
You can transfer credit card balances once the initial interest free clip period is up to another card, and so go on your interest free credit.
You can more or less program to make this in advance as long as you have got a manner of determination new cards to transfer to, and you remain in control of your finances and spending.
Taking these two together - the transfers and the planning - you can take to give yourself interest free credit for a long time, even interest free credit for years.
The pitfalls are as follows, and must be considered carefully. These are:
Overshooting the Interest Free period
This is a important and cardinal issue. There is no point taking out a card with a known nothing interest clip time time period or low interest period if you just travel and breach that time period. Check the day of the month that the interest free allocation ends, and then backtrack by about 10 years before then. Ten years is about the right clip to apply for a new card. Remember that the application itself will take time, and that this clip will change from card to card. Take into account seasonal changes in the velocity and effectivity of the mail delivery. In the tally up to Christmas, for example, it would be wise to allow two weeks.
Minimum Repayment Obligations
Remember to check on what your agreed monthly repayment arrangements are. You may have got to pay back a certain percentage (three percent or more, depending on the card) or hazard incurring minimum payment fees. This is true even if it happens within the interest free period, as the credit card supplier will desire to cognize that you can at least keep a minimum repayment to warrant the assurance in you when you originally signed up. On some cards, however, such as an arrangement may not apply.
Late Payment Obligations
Much the same as above, but this clip the accent is on paying within a certain clip per month. Again, the card issuer may desire some sort of self-assurance that money will be repaid even though interest is not being charged. There will be an extra fee charged if your payment is late, and for small balances this may well be proportionally higher than the interest which would otherwise have got been collectible (if the charge is a lump sum, as is usually the case). If this arrangement exists, then the best policy is to pay the minimum the same twenty-four hours as you get the statement.
Remember to check the small black and white before you apply for the card. This may include information about an annual fee, which is the fee that the issuer will charge you every twelvemonth for using their credit card. By no agency all credit cards have got an annual fee, but you must retrieve to construct this in to the sum cost of using the card. Things like annual fees be given to muddy the APR figures, which would otherwise give a good indicant of how much your credit card actually costs. It is therefore an of import factor to see when crucial which credit card is the right 1 for you.
Exceeding Your Credit Limit
Whatever you do, don't transcend the credit bounds that you agreed and signed up for at the clip you applied for the card. If you make this then you will probably be charged (depending on the card supplier) a percentage or a level fee. This would be particularly reckless, as it would travel against everything that you put out to make in the first place, namely to derive a fixed amount of credit without paying any interest on it!
Of the above five negative factors to be considered, it is always best to believe of them all together, as each of them may impact in different proportionalities depending on the credit card and lender. For example, one card may not charge annual fees, but will come up down very heavy on late payment charges; while another card will be indulgent about an overextended credit bounds but will offset this with a fixed annual charge.
It is possible to ran into the criteria of the first two positive benefits, as well as avoid all the pitfalls by careful timing. As long as you transfer your credit card balances in a timely fashion, and detect the regulations of the transfer itself, you cannot travel wrong. Always retrieve that there are more than credit cards out there to transfer your balances to.