If you knew you could use a credit card to finally get out of debt forever, would you be interested in learning more about it?
The very thing that has cost you thousands in interest could end up being the lifeline that pulls you out of debt.
Whether you overspent for a recent celebration, have struggled to make ends meet due to the bad economy, or just recently had an unexpected emergency, your credit card currently has a balance. And there’s one thing we all know about credit card debt: it will cost you a fortune in interest and maintaining high balances on those cards will affect what is a good credit score number for you in the long run!
Wouldn’t it be nice to get rid of it once and for all?
If you’ve decided to get your finances in order — to finally get out of debt! — you want to pay off your credit card balances as quickly as possible. There are three factors that impact this the most:
- Your current credit card interest rate
- Your current credit card balance
- How much money you have to throw at the balance every month
If you’re staring a big holiday credit card bill in the face, you can take the strategy of transferring the balance to a 0% APR balance transfer credit card. You won’t remove the debt, but you will eliminate the interest for a period of time dictated by the new credit card agreement. During the months of 0% interest, you can throw all of your payment money toward the balance in order to pay it down faster. You can also try using a balance transfer to give you time to build up an emergency fund.
Why We Like It:
- No balance transfer fee — for a limited time: It is incredibly rare to find a credit card that won’t charge you to transfer your balance to the card. This mixed with the 0% offer make this an amazing card for helping you get out of debt. Note that the no balance transfer fee only applies to transfers completed within 30 days of opening your account. When you open the account go ahead and transfer your other balances here. After the first 30 days, you will pay the standard balance transfer fee of 3% of the transferred balance or $5, whichever is more.
- 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months (up from 12 months!): As mentioned, you’re not paying a balance transfer fee and you’re also not paying any interest on your balance transfers and purchases for the first 15 months. You’re getting over a year free of interest to hammer away at your debt balances — don’t waste this chance! (This card used to only offer 12 months of 0% APR; Chase recently increased it to 15 months.)
- No annual fee: You will never pay an annual fee with this card. An annual fee would put a dent in appeal of this card, but you don’t have to worry about that.
- Access to Blueprint: Chase offers a fantastic program called Blueprint that will help you pay off your balances and reduce interest. This card comes with free access to the Blueprint program. (See our review of the Blueprint program.)
Why It Might Not Work for You:
- 0% on purchases only for best credit: No matter your credit rating you will get 0% APR on balance transfers. If you great credit, that will also be extended to purchases. If you only have average credit, it will just be on your balance transfer.
- Delaying your balance transfer: If you delay past 30 days to open the account, you’ll miss out on the free balance transfer and instead get dinged with a large fee.
- Late fees will kill your debt payoff plan: If you are late on making a payment your interest rate will automatically skyrocket to 29.99%. (Avoid this by setting up automatic payments.) You will also be assessed a late fee of $15 to $35 depending on your current balance. This also kills the purpose of any rewards you have been earning. Getting 1% back on an airline rewards card does not cover those big fees.
- Other fees: You’ll pay a $10 (or 3%, whichever is greater) fee for cash advances. You will pay a $35 fee for going over your credit limit. When you transfer your balance you are usually given that amount as a credit line. If you decided to also swipe your credit card to buy something, you might go over the credit limit and get hit with the fee. Avoid this fate by cutting up the card as soon as you get it and just work on paying off the balance.
You’re getting 0% interest for 15 months and you won’t pay a balance transfer fee in order to get set up. This card gives you a great opportunity to get rid of that credit card debt once and for all. If you can’t handle not putting additional purchases on the card you are opening yourself up to the risk of staying in debt. However, if you can handle the situation and simply pay down your balance it is a great choice for getting out of your current high interest rate credit cards.
Another Option to Consider
Need more than 15 months? The Citi Diamond Preferred® Card offers the longest 0% APR introductory offer in the business at 21 months. That’s almost two years to pay down your debts with a 0% APR. Imagine how much interest you’ll save during those 21 months if you’re able to destroy your credit card balances and pay them off for good.
The only caveat with this offer, however, is that you will need to pay a balance transfer fee equal to 3% of your balance. While that’s not ideal, the money you save on interest during those extra 6 months can make this card come out ahead of the Chase Slate® card. Which card is best for you depends on how much time you need to pay down your debt, and whether you mind paying a balance transfer fee up front or not.
If you want to browse other 0% APR or balance transfer credit cards, our comprehensive guide offers details on all of the best offers currently available.
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