Ask an Expert: What Is the Best Balance Transfer Credit Card?

What's Hot


The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

How a Mexican Tariff Will Boost the Cost of 6 Common PurchasesFamily

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

How to Protect Yourself From the ‘Can You Hear Me?’ Phone ScamFamily

Report: Walmart to Begin Selling CarsCars

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

Is Your TV Tracking You? Here’s How to Tell — and Prevent ItAround The House

11 Staging Tips to Help You Get Top Dollar When Selling Your HomeAround The House

21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right NowSaving Money

20 Simple Hacks to Make Your Stuff Last LongerAround The House

4 Car Insurers That Might Raise Rates Even When the Accident Wasn’t Your FaultCars

How to Invest If Trump Kills the ‘Fiduciary Rule’Grow

12 Surprising Ways to Wreck Your Credit ScoreBorrow

9 Secret Ways to Use Toothpaste That Will Make You SmileAround The House

The 2 Types of Music That Most Improve Dog BehaviorFamily

A reader is trying to figure out how best to use a balance transfer. I can help.

A Money Talks News reader recently wrote me with the following question:

How can I find out how much the credit cards will actually transfer to their cards?  I recently opened a card with Union Bank, and they transferred $720 of a  $2,300+ Visa card.  I also have $5,400 on another Visa (mostly medical costs).  The $720 isn’t much help, I’m afraid.
 
I don’t want to open several cards for no real benefit, as it will only look strange on my records. I have enjoyed a decent credit score, and don’t want to mess it up by “card shopping.”
 
Thank you for any information you can give me.  I should also state that I’m retired and one of those “fixed income” people.
 
Thanks again, 

Jean

My response

Jean has several valid concerns. First, the amount of money that a credit card will accept as a balance transfer will be equal to the credit limit offered to you. This should be stated on the credit card statements. Some credit cards have no fixed credit limit, and cardholders must call the company to ask what their limit will be for a particular transaction.

Next, Jean expresses her concern that she doesn’t want to open several cards “for no real benefit.” Actually, saving money on interest payments is a real benefit. Credit card debts are unsecured debts that carry a high interest rate, and I would recommend taking every available step to reduce or eliminate credit card debt. If that means opening up multiple new cards for their balance transfer offers, so be it.

Finally, she mentions that she is retired and on a fixed income. That means that she will have a limit to the total amount of credit that she can be extended. To compensate for this limit, she can try to close any unused accounts. To do this, she should check her credit report to make sure that she is aware of every account that she opened in the past. In addition, she should make sure to include all of her sources of income on each credit application including any investments and government benefits.

So which cards should she consider? The Chase Slate is the only card with a promotional balance transfer offer and no balance transfer fee. Another great card is the Discover it card that offers both a promotional financing offer and some rewards.

Getting a grip on credit card debt is a very difficult challenge, but by utilizing 0 percent APR promotional balance transfers, cardholders like Jean can reduce their interest expenses.

Note: While we attempt to be completely objective when reporting on credit cards, this site may be compensated by issuers when a reader applies for a credit card through the links within credit card stories or on our credit card search page.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

💰🗣📰

Read Next: 2 Key Credit Card Trends That Will Affect You in 2017

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,789 more deals!