The Truth About Balance Transfer Fees
By Balance Transfer Staff

It’s all too possible to wake up one morning and realize that your credit card balance is higher than you’d like it to be and that you’re paying astronomical interest fees each month. It may seem like you’re never going to be able to pay down your balance because such a large portion of each payment is being applied to interest. If you’re ready to get serious about paying down your debt, it’s time to start looking into transferring your balance to a “low-to-no” interest credit card.

It’s virtually impossible to step outside today without a 0% balance transfer offer flashing before your eyes. Turn on the television, surf the net, or simply watch a city bus go by. Everywhere you turn eye catching balance transfer offers are highlighted with the purpose of attracting people like yourself. The thought of 0% APR is enticing, as so much of your hard earned money has been tossed towards interest payments; however things aren’t always as good as they may appear at first.

A balance transfer fee is a charge by a credit card company that results when balances are transferred between two cards. More often than not, this fee can range between 1% and 5% of the total balance amount that is being transferred. Fees associated with balance transfer transactions are not typically highlighted and as a result, often missed by unassuming consumers, even the most frugal who have built up excellent credit histories.

When tossing around the idea of transferring a balance, it’s important to educate yourself on the terms of the transaction. Most people are completely unaware of balance transfer fees and view the transfer grace period as free time to pay down their credit card without incurring interest charges. Sadly, this is not always the case. Reading the stated terms and conditions of the transfer and all other fine print associated with the deal is imperative.

In addition to reading the particulars of the deal, credit card companies themselves can often serve as great resources for information on balance transfer fees. Though nothing is guaranteed, often times it is possible to negotiate balance transfer fees. It also doesn’t hurt to ask when new transfer offers or promotions may be available. Asking these questions can save you money in the end.

Balance transfers can appear to be attractive offers; however, if your aim is to save money by reducing your interest rate, make sure to look at the details of the transaction, as a balance transfer fee could cancel out any possible savings. Fees will increase the cost of transferring your balance, so make sure to educate yourself and shop around for the best available rates. If you’re serious about paying off your debt and you have a plan to do so within a given grace period, avoiding balance transfer fees will lead you to your desired outcome.

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