Come festive season and you are sure to find balance transfer credit card offers in your mailbox and on the calls that come from your credit card company. During the course of splurging that we do in the holiday season, we realize that we have shopped quite a lot and we may have to pay through our noses for a fair part of the year. Well, it does not happen to all of us, but some of us may just sink in credit card debt due to the shopping frenzy of the holiday season.
Balance transfer credit cards offer a way to come out this sticky situation, where our credit balances are shifted onto a new card and we enjoy an interest free period (or negligible interest) for a certain amount of time, running into months, known as the introductory period. After this promotional period is over, the interest rate may revert to the original but if we are able to pay off our balances in this golden period, there is nothing like it.
Meanwhile, here is a checklist of balance transfer credit card offer that we need to do before we can take one:
1. The introductory APR rate
2. The period for which the introductory APR lasts
3. Annual Fees, if any- Find out if you can get a balance transfer credit card with no annual fee.
4. Fees for balance transfer- Go for the one without fees.
5. To what rate will the interest rate revert to, after the promotional period; credit purchases rate or the cash advance rate? Stay away from the offer, if you come to know that the interest rate reverts to cash advance rate after the promotional period expires.
6. Do we have to do any purchases to initiate the balance transfer offer? If yes, it is your personal call to accept it or not. But it is better if the purchase is affordable and you should also make it a point to pay it back before the promotional period is over, otherwise the balance can revolve and a higher APR may become applicable later on.
7. Will you be made know about the expiration of the promotional period in advance?
8. Find out if the information that is given by the company representative is also mentioned in the website of the credit card company.
9. The penalty in case of not being able to pay back the money before the due-date. In other words, what are the finance charges applicable, the late-fees, over-the-limit fees etc?
10. Find out if there are any other offers available like rewards points, air-flier miles etc for usage of the card and what conditions are applicable with reference to cashing those points.