Balance Transfer Credit Cards | How To Guide
Well, I figured everyone loves a good how to guide. And, balance transfer credit cards can be a bit overwhelming to some consumers so, I figured I would cover a few how to… balance transfer credit cards categories here. I hope you enjoy:
How To #1: How To Compare Balance Transfer Credit Cards
The first step to the proper use of any type of credit cards is comparing the offers available to you and choosing the one that best fits your unique financial position. There are several reasons for consumers choosing to use balance transfer credit cards, depending on your reason, some offer may be a bit more interesting to you than others. Here are a few steps that you should follow when comparing balance transfer credit cards.
Step #1:Compare Promotional Interest Rates: The first thing that you should compare when it comes to balance transfer credit card offers is the promotional interest rate. This is the primary source of the majority of savings that you will enjoy by transferring your balance. Generally, balance transfer credit cards will come with 0% promotional interest rates that will last anywhere from 6 to 18 months. Once you have found the best promotional interest rates offered, simply write the names of the offers down and move on to step #2!
Step #2: Compare Standard Interest Rates: Unfortunately, the promotional interest rate offered on balance transfer credit cards is of course a promotion. This means that this interest rate simply will not last forever. Once the promotional interest rate expires on your new card, you will be required to pay the standard interest rate on the card. Generally, balance transfer credit cards will have extremely competitive standard interest rates but, some can get a bit high! Make sure that the credit card you are transferring the balance to has a lower interest rate than the credit card you are transferring the balance from and you will be fine!
Step #3: Compare Fees: Just like any other card, balance transfer credit cards will come with their own set of fees. The most important fees to pay attention to will be first your balance transfer fee. The balance transfer fee is generally going to range between 3% and 5% and it is a fee that is charged for the process of transferring a balance. By choosing the right balance transfer offer, you can make sure that your transfer fee is absorbed into the savings provided by the promotional interest rate. The next fee that you will want to pay attention to is the annual fee. This is the fee that you will be charged simply for having the card open. Some balance transfer credit cards come with $0 annual fees while others will have astronomical annual fees. Make sure to compare all fees but, pay special attention to the 2 fees I have outlined here.
Step #4: Compare Rewards: Finally, most balance transfer credit card offers these days will come with rewards. This is the result of incredible amounts of competition in the credit card industry. Simply put, the credit card companies had to do something extra to grab the attention of consumers like you! Rewards programs allow you to earn points with each dollar spent. The points can be accumulated and redeemed for great perks like cash back, free airfare, gift cards and more! When comparing any type of credit card including balance transfer credit cards, you should make sure you choose one that offers a rewards program that you will use!
Here’s one of the best offers on the market today:
Once you have compared all of these factors within the offers that you are interested in, you should have a good idea of which balance transfer credit card will be the best offer for you! I hope you enjoyed, on to my next how to…
How To #2: How To Activate A Balance Transfer Credit Card
Once you have your new balance transfer credit card, you will need to know how to activate it. Activating a credit card is a very simple process, here goes…
Step #1: Locate The Activation Hotline Phone Number: The first step to activating your new balance transfer credit card is to find the toll free activation hotline phone number. In most cases, you can find this phone number on a sticker right on the face of your card. Other times, it will only be printed on the paperwork that came with the balance transfer credit card. None the less. Simply find this phone number.
Step #2: Activate Your Card: To activate your balance transfer credit card, simply call the phone number that you just found. In most cases, you will be directed to an automated system that will ask you questions like your account number, birth day and the last 4 digits of your social. Once you verify that you are you and you have received your credit card, your new balance transfer card will be activated!
How To #3: How To Process A Balance Transfer
Finally, if you chose to compare balance transfer credit cards, there was a reason for that, you have a balance to transfer. So, to do so, you will need to know how to transfer a balance using balance transfer credit cards. Here are the steps to make it happen:
Step #1: Get Prepared For The Balance Transfer(s): The first thing that you will need to do to prepare for transferring a balance or a few balances is to make a list of the accounts you would like to transfer the balances from. You should list bank names, account numbers, interest rates, balances and pay to addresses. All of this information will be asked for when a representative helps you to transfer your balance!
Step #2: Make The Transfers: Now you want to call the toll free customer service phone number listed on the back of your balance transfer credit card and navigate your way through the automated system to a live representative. Once you are with a live representative, simply ask them to transfer the balance or balances that you would like transferred in order from highest interest rate to lowest. All the information that you will be asked for by the representative should already be in your list!
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