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Paying off credit card debt is a common New Year’s resolution, but you might want to get started on it right now.
Multiple credit cards currently feature a zero percent introductory annual percentage rate, or APR, for balance transfers and purchases, according to a recent Credit.com report. These cards are also free of transfer fees for at least the first 60 days, as well as free of annual fees.
They are the:
- Chase Slate card — APR is zero percent for 15 months, then variable
- Alliant Visa Platinum Rewards card — APR is as low as zero percent for 12 months, then variable
- BankAmericard — APR is zero percent for 15 months, then variable
Alliant is a credit union that was recently recognized as the nation’s best credit union.
You can find other cards similar to those above by using the credit card search tool in Money Talks News’ Solutions Center. For example, select “0% APR” or “Balance Transfer” from the menus on the left to view various cards with such features.
What it means for you
Credit cards that allow consumers to sidestep both interest charges and balance-transfer fees are a big deal for anyone who isn’t paying off credit card balances in full each month.
This is particularly true now that the Federal Reserve System is raising its benchmark federal funds rate. As we detailed after the latest Fed rate hike, such actions tend to lead credit card companies to increase the interest rates they charge cardholders. And the Fed is widely expected to hike its rate again later this week.
So, credit cards with zero percent introductory APRs and no balance-transfer fees can save consumers a significant amount of money on credit card debt they are carrying. This enables them to pay off debt faster.
Perhaps the only hitch is that you must understand the terms and conditions to ensure cards with zero percent APRs save you money.
For example, an introductory APR is a temporary interest rate. So, note exactly how many months it will last.
“If you pay off your balance within the intro period, you’ll save the most money. If you’re still carrying some of that balance when the intro period expires, though, you’ll start paying interest, so make sure your card’s intro period is long enough for you to pay your balance in full.”
Similarly, offers for balance transfers without fees often apply only to transfers made during a brief promotional period, such as the first 60 days after you open a credit card account. Find out exactly how long that period lasts, too.
For more ways to pay down debt faster, check out “8 Foolproof Steps to Get You Out of Debt Fast.”
Have you ever taken advantage of introductory balance-transfer offers? Tell us about your experience below or on Facebook.