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Business Credit Cards 0 Apr Balance Transfer
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If you have Chase Freedom or Chase Freedom Unlimited, you may be awarded a lower APR offer, but if you need to maintain a balance, this may not be your best option. Crystal Cox/Business Insider
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Credit card issuers are known to send out promotional offers from time to time, but this week my colleagues and I noticed that we were getting emails from Chase almost every other day.
I got a promotional 4.99% APR offer from April through September on Chase Freedom Unlimited® – a much lower rate than the 19.24% to 27.99% variable that kicks in later. In addition, the partner has a promotional offer of 0% APR on balance transfers through Chase Freedom® through May 2021, after which the APR increases to 24.49%. (These APRs are specific to targeted offers and are not based on publicly available APRs.) According to commenters on Doctor of Credit, other issuers, including Amex and Citi, have submitted similar offers.
Should you benefit if you receive one of these promotional offers via mail or e-mail? Either way, there’s no harm in choosing, but here are some factors to consider before transferring your money to a card that carries a promotional balance transfer, or APR.
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The key to using credit cards responsibly is to pay only what you can afford each month and always pay your account balance on time and in full. With that in mind, you shouldn’t use a targeted advertising offer as an excuse to spend more than you can afford. A 4.99% APR is better than a 24.49% APR, but either way you’ll be paying interest, which should be avoided if possible.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t times when you don’t need to have a balance on your card – for example, when you make a big purchase that needs to be paid over time. In these cases, you always come out ahead by opening a new credit card with an introductory APR offer on purchases or balance transfers, or by using one of the best balance transfer credit cards to move your balance and pay it off. in the initial APR period.
The credit card promotions offered my colleagues and I promotional APRs for periods ranging from six to 15 months, but none of the promotions waived the APR for the introductory period. If you open a new credit card with an introductory APR offer, you can enjoy waived interest for a fixed period before the variable rate comes into effect.
Some of these cards, such as Chase Freedom Unlimited®, may offer promotional APRs to existing cardholders. But as you can see, if you’re a new cardholder, you can get no APR for a certain period of time instead of a low APR – and if you can avoid paying interest, you should!
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On the other hand, if you have a balance on a card that works with a reduced APR offer and you don’t want to open another credit card (or you don’t qualify for one), it’s worth taking advantage of any targeted opportunities. one. Offer to receive if it helps lower your interest expenses.
Sarah Silbert is a senior reviews editor at Personal Finance Insider. He oversees vertical guides and reviews covering topics including banking, credit cards, insurance, investing and mortgages. Its goal is to empower readers to make smart, informed financial decisions. He was the author and editor of the Insider’s Road to Home series, which won a silver award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors. He is also a certified trainer in personal finance (CEPF). Sarah can be contacted at email@example.com. Learn more about how Personal Finance Insider selects, rates and covers financial products and services » Most or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This can affect which products we write about and where and how the product appears on the page. However, this does not affect our ratings. Our opinions are our own. Here is our affiliate list and how we make money.
A balance transfer is a type of credit card transaction where debt is transferred from one account to another. For those paying off high-interest debt, such a move can save significant money on interest payments if done strategically. For example, a credit card with a 0% APR introductory offer on balance transfers can be paid off interest-free.
However, balance transfers come with certain costs and limitations. Generally, you must pay a balance transfer fee – usually 3% – 5% of the total amount transferred. And if your card has a low balance transfer limit, you may not be able to transfer the entire balance.
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While the exact process for balance transfers can vary, the following steps are generally required when dealing with major issuers:
1. Introduction to balance transfers Apply for a card with a 0% APR offer or use an offer on an existing card. To get the best deals, you must have good or excellent credit (typically a FICO score of at least 690). Something to keep in mind: Transfers from the same publisher are generally not allowed. For example, if you want to transfer a balance from one Citi card, you cannot transfer it to another Citi card.
2. Start a balance transfer. If you’re doing it online or over the phone, you’ll need to provide information about the debt you’re trying to transfer, such as the name of the issuer, the amount owed, and account information.
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Sometimes balance transfers can be initiated through convenience checks or mailed to you by check issuers. But before you use one, read the terms and conditions to see if it counts as a balance transfer and what your interest rate will be.
3. Wait for the transfer to complete. Once the balance transfer is approved, which can take two weeks or more, the issuer will usually pay your old account directly. This old balance (plus the balance transfer fee) will appear on your new account.
4. Pay the balance. When the balance is added to a new card, you are responsible for making monthly payments on that account. And if you pay it off in the initial 0% APR period, for example, you could save a bundle.
Credit card debt isn’t the only type of debt you can transfer. Many issuers also allow cardholders to transfer other types of debt, such as auto loans or personal loans, to their credit card.
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The goal of a balance transfer is to save you money, so you’ll want to choose a card that helps keep your spending down. The ideal balance transfer credit card comes with three big zeros:
With such a card, you can pay off your debt without spending a penny on interest or fees. Cards with no transfer fees are rare these days, so you’ll only find two of the three. But with no annual fee and a 0% introductory offer on balance transfers, the card is great value. Interest costs add up quickly and are often much more expensive than a one-off 3% to 5% term.
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