Beware of Unnecessary Fees with Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Wouldn't you love to have a balance transfer credit card with no fees? Wouldn't we all? Cards that offer you the option to transfer balances from old cards onto your new card are a wonderful opportunity to save money on interest charges because many of these offer introductory periods of 0% interest.




Consumers that transfer large balances on to the new 0% APR cards can save hundreds of dollars in interest each year. Unfortunately, often these great offers are marred by the fees that come with them. Beware of some of these fees and look for ways to avoid them.
 
Annual fees
 
If you're carrying a balance on your cards of $5,000, a $50 or $100 annual fee may not seem like much to you. However, if you're the type of consumer that carries your balance close to your credit limit each month, your annual fee may be just enough to put you over the limit, which may bring about an over-the-limit fee as well. So, you can see that annual fees are something that can hurt you in more than one way. Although many credit cards charge an annual fee, there are many reputable credit card companies that don't. Search for them before applying. If you have good credit, you'll have even more options available to you, especially with 0% Apr balance transfer credit cards.
 
Late Fees
 
Some credit card companies charge a late fee based on a certain percentage while others charge a flat amount late fee. Again, if you're the type of consumer that carries your balance close to your credit limit, your late fee may be enough to put you over the limit, which can cost you an over-the-limit fee as well. Between both fees, your monthly payment won't lower your balance at all that month. In addition, a late payment on a 0% balance transfer credit card may very well be enough to nullify your agreement and turn your 0% into a much higher interest rate. So, get your payments in on time. If you're not paying online, allow for mailing time.
 
Balance Transfer Fees
 
Balance transfer fees seem to be another necessary evil that's often a part of balance transfer fees—but not always. Before you apply for your new credit card, check if they have any fees when you transfer your balances and, if they do, how much they are and any stipulations they may have. Some companies charge a percentage of your transferred amount (1% to 5%) while others may charge a flat fee ($50 to $100) per transaction. If you have several credit cards with balances you're transferring, this amount can add up rather quickly.
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