Consumers should be able to find a deal that will help them save as they pay off high balances or lower high interest rates.
Foster City, Calif. (PRWEB) September 10, 2012
The latest CardRatings.com Balance Transfer Survey showcases 23 credit cards that feature low or no-interest introductory periods for balance transfers, offering consumers numerous options for paying down their credit card debt more effectively.
The abundance of cards on the list suggests that credit card issuers are competing aggressively to offer consumers better deals on balance transfers – a stark change from just a few years ago.
“After the credit crisis in 2008, credit card issuers halted nearly all balance transfer offers,” said Ellen Cannon, editorial director at CardRatings.com. “This year, however, we’ve seen 0 percent offers from almost every issuer. Our survey shows that competition among credit card issuers is strong. Consumers should be able to find a deal that will help them save as they pay off high balances or lower high interest rates they may have been suffering with since the credit crunch.”
Slate from Chase, identified by CardRatings.com as the best card on its list, offers a 0 percent APR on balance transfers for 15 months and charges no fee for transfers made within 60 days of opening an account. It’s a significant perk when many cards are charging a three percent fee for balance transfers.
Other cards, such as the Barclaycard Ring, PenFed Promise Visa and Simmons First Visa Platinum, also offer fee-free balance transfers, but none of them currently offer a 0 percent APR.
Citi has five cards on the list, three of which offer 18 months of 0 percent APR on purchases and balance transfers completed within four months – a promotion potentially attractive to holiday shoppers who may need to carry a balance into the new year.
Discover has four cards on the list, with promotional periods ranging from 15-18 months on purchases and balance transfers made by December. Two of the three U.S. Bank cards on the list and Wells Fargo’s cards offer the shortest 0 percent balance transfer promotion offer – six months. Citi, Discover, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo do not waive the balance transfer fee; all charge a 3 percent fee per balance transfer.
Most issuers are giving new cardholders a short window of opportunity, generally three or four months, to make use of balance transfer offers. U.S. Bank gives a window of only 30 days, followed by Chase and Bank of America with a time frame of 60 days. The most generous deadline is offered by Capital One, giving new cardmembers until August 2013 for the Capital One Cash Rewards Visa and November 2013 for the Capital One Platinum Prestige.
“With fall and winter holidays fast approaching, consumers will be swiping their cards more often,” Cannon said. “Transferring a balance to a card with a low rate may provide an opportunity to pay off the balance while keeping the purchase interest rate low for a few months. Consumers should be sure to check what the APR will be after the 0 percent promotional rate ends, if they don’t expect to pay off the entire balance before that.”
To read the full article on balance transfer cards, see CardRatings.com’s 2012 Balance Transfer Survey. For a detailed listing of the card offers, see CardRating.com’s 2012 Balance Transfer Survey List.
CardRatings.com reviewed 23 cards from various issuers and compared credit card and promotion terms. The variables measured included: APR, length of promotion, transfer fee, deadline for balance transfers, regular balance transfer APR, regular balance transfer fee, purchase promotion APR, purchase promotion duration, and annual fee.
CardRatings.com is the leading comprehensive free source for comparing credit card offers and has been educating consumers on credit cards since 1998. The site regularly reports on consumer credit and debt issues and publishes editor and consumer reviews of balance transfer cards, student credit cards, gas credit cards and more. These resources allow consumers to compare and identify the credit cards best suited to their needs, get the best rates available and effectively lower their debt. The site was recently ranked the No. 1 credit card comparison site in Bing Editor's Picks. CardRatings.com is owned and operated by QuinStreet, Inc. (NASDAQ: QNST), one of the largest Internet marketing and media companies in the world. QuinStreet is committed to providing consumers and businesses with the information they need to research, find and select the products, services and brands that best meet their needs. The company is a leader in visitor-friendly marketing practices. For more information, please visit QuinStreet.com.