What is a credit card balance transfer?

Essentially, a credit card balance transfer is exactly what it sounds like; you transfer the balance of your credit card to another credit card. This is usually done when you sign a contract with a credit card company with a special deal for a lower interest rate if you transfer the balance of your old cards to your new card. You will be provided with checks from your new credit card company that you will use to pay off your other balances. When the checks are cashed by your old credit card company, the amount is applied to your new credit card. Many credit cards are specifically marketed as balance transfer credit cards so be sure and use our credit card “Chaser” comparison tool on our home page to do a credit card comparison today!

Credit card balance transfers are one method of managing your debt accounts and your credit scores. Credit cards are the path to building your credit and make it possible for you to purchase things on credit like a vehicle, appliance or a home. While there are some individuals who preach the evils of credit cards and recommend that you pay cash for everything, most people realistically cannot purchase a vehicle or a home up front. What’s more, credit cards do not have to be bad things; in fact, if you are responsible with your credit card (or cards) then you should have very little difficulty maintaining your credit card accounts.

Problems arise, however, if you are not responsible and you miss payments on your credit cards. Credit card companies will generally allow two late payments before they raise your interest rates on your credit cards. In addition, with new laws coming into effect next year, many companies are raising rates regardless of your payment history and it is up to you to ensure that you make your payments on time so that you have a bargaining chip if your rates are raised.

However, if your credit card company refuses to lower your rates or you are simply unhappy with the treatment you are currently receiving from your credit card company or companies, then you have other options, especially if you have good credit. It may be time for you to jump ship, so to speak and find a credit card that meets your needs and your requirements. You do not have to be beholden to your credit card companies either, you can choose to transfer your credit card balances to a new credit card in order to reduce your rates and get the type of credit card that you want.

What to Consider When Making a Credit Card Balance Transfer

Typically, you are provided with three checks from the credit card company. If you need more checks, you will want to determine up front if they will allow you to transfer the balances of more than three accounts, especially if you have a lot of smaller accounts to consider. You will also find an option to transfer the balance via the telephone with many companies while you speak to an agent of that lender.

Another thing that you want to make sure of is the length of time the lower interest rate will be applied to your balances. Some cards offer a six-month time frame, others will allow for a longer period of time, even up to a year. In addition, some companies will only apply the lower rate to balance transfers and will apply a higher rate to new purchases, so make sure that you read all of the small print before you sign on the bottom line.

You may not want to cancel your old cards once you make a credit card balance transfer, especially if you have a long-standing account with the old company. Closing out a good standing account can actually affect your credit negatively, even if it is paid off. Instead, keep the account open so that it will continue to report as a positive event on your credit report.

In addition, you may want to keep an old paid off card for an emergency. However, you must remember that you do not want to start using that card for non-emergency items, especially if you want to maintain a good credit score. Your debt to owe or credit utilization ratio affects your credit, and having too much debt can make your score decrease. This means that any loans that you receive in the future will have higher interest rates.

Many people take advantage of low interest rate balance transfers so that they can pay off their credit card debt. If this is a possibility for you, then you should take advantage of this opportunity as well. If you have good credit, you can also transfer your balance to a new card when the low interest rate time frame is expired. This gives you additional time to pay off your debt. Many people with good credit standings will use this technique time after time to ensure that they always pay the lowest interest rate possible.

How to Find Those Low Interest Rate Credit Cards

So, you have made the decision to transfer your credit card balance to a new low interest rate credit card but you are wondering what is the best way to find that card. This can be easy or hard depending on the choices that you make right now.

First of all, let’s discuss the hard way to find the right credit card for your needs. This will require you to spend a great deal of time on your computer with a pen and paper in hand (or with a word processing program open for copying and pasting information). You will do a search for low interest rate credit cards and you will literally receive millions of results. You may, like most people, simply search the results on the first couple of pages on your search engine; however, you may be missing the best deals by taking this course of action.

When you do a search on Google or other search engines your results are a direct result of the marketing savvy of the credit card company in question. Essentially, you may not be seeing the best deals online because those companies may not have used the best marketing techniques for getting their sites ranked. So, what do you do? Are you willing to go through millions of results, marking down the pros and cons of each offer, or do you want something easier?

If you have decided you want the easiest way to find the best credit cards for your situation, then you are in the right place. We make it easy for you to get the credit card that you need and without spending hours online to do it.

All you have to do is answer a few simple questions on our credit card chaser form. These questions will help us to determine what type of credit card that you are looking for. After that all you have to do is wait a couple of minutes to get the results. We will provide you with a list of credit cards that meet your criteria including what interest rates you are looking for, what kind of rewards program you would like to have and even things like if you want the option of putting a picture on your card. If there are no credit card companies offering something with what you specifically ask for, we will let you know and show you options with as close proximity to your choices as possible.

Choosing the right credit card does not have to be a long and drawn out process. With our credit card chaser tool, we find the right credit cards for you regardless of how the company markets themselves online. This savvy tool knows the right way to find the right card, and we can and will apply that knowledge towards helping you find the right credit card. Use the Chaser now, and find the best credit card for your needs the easy way!

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Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or any other credit card company or issuer. The opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any credit card company or issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any credit card company or issuer. Credit Card Chaser may be compensated through various affiliate programs with advertisers. As always, Credit Card Chaser is an independent website commmitted to helping people research credit card offers and find the best credit card!