3 Card Offers
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0% for 15 months on Purchases and Balance Transfers
13.49% - 23.49% (Variable)
Earn 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter. Plus, earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases.
Earn 15,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $150 in gift cards at thankyou.com
0% for 18 months on Purchases and Balance Transfers
14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)
0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers
13.99% - 23.99% (Variable)
Earn 2% cash back on purchases 1% when you buy and 1% as you make payments for those purchases
Balance transfer credit card basics
How balance transfers work
Balance transfer credit cards can be a good way to consolidate credit card debt from multiple cards. Issuers will sometimes offer incentives to transfer balances from your old credit cards by offering a low or zero percent APR on the transferred amount for a limited period of time. This time period may vary based on the issuer and/or offer but typically can be 12 months or more.
Balance transfer fees
Balance transfer cards may have an upfront fee that can equal 3 percent or more of the total amount transferred. Sometimes the promotional rate is meant for a single balance transfer, and issuers may charge higher rates for balance transfers from additional credit cards. All of this information can be found in what is called a “Schumer box”, which contains a summary of costs of a credit card offer, such as “other APRs” where balance transfer information resides. Additional information to help you understand your costs can be found in this summary and within the terms and conditions.
Balance transfer impacts on your credit
Depending on your credit situation, a balance transfer could affect your credit. If you already have a high utilization rate, meaning your credit card balances are high compared to your credit limits, transferring the balance to a new card could affect your credit score. The addition of the new card may increase your total credit limit and decrease your overall utilization rate, but having a high utilization rate on a single credit card may still impact your credit.
Balance transfer considerations
- Your ability to pay: Considering the balance transfer cost, which is the fee percentage multiplied by the balance, and the length of the promotional APR, could be beneficial in helping you to budget. For example, if $5,000 is transferred with a 3% fee and the promotion was at 0% for 12 months, then in order to avoid any interest payments, you would have to be diligent enough to pay $429 every month. Any missed payment or balance after the promotional period would result at a higher APR, and could become costly.
- Financial goals: It may turn out that a balance transfer may not help your credit in the short term, but it could be a temporary trade-off. If your goal is to pay off the balance during the promotional period while the APR is low, then as your on-time payments continue and your balance decreases, your credit will start to improve.
- Avoiding more debt: After transferring a balance, you may consider not using the older card until your debt situation improves. You could close the older card to remove the temptation of racking up more debt, but in doing so, you may negatively impact your credit score, since you will reduce your total credit limit and raise your utilization rate. Also, if you had the card for a long time, you could be removing an account that was beneficial to your credit, since creditors like to see a longer and positive credit history. In deciding to close the account, you would have to weigh the possibility of accumulating more debt vs impacting your credit in the near-term. No matter what you choose, if you continue to pay down debt and pay on time, your credit could improve over time.
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