New Burst Of 0% APR Credit Cards Boast Higher Balance Transfer Fees

Banks are stuffing mailboxes once again with 0% introductory APR credit card offers, but this time around they’ve got higher fees for doing the initial balance transfer, rising from 3% in ’09 to 4% in ’10.

And the longer the introductory period, the higher the rate, up to 5% for a 14-month period.

“So before you take the zero percent bait,” writes Consumer Reports Money blog, “do the math to see what it’s going to cost you in fees if you’re transferring a balance.”

New 0-percent credit card offers are in the mail, but with higher fees [Consumer Reports Money Blog]


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  1. SugarMag says:

    I get balance transfer requests from Citi all the time….for the standing interest rate already on the (empty) card of 28.99%.

    Thanks Shitibank!

  2. LisaLisa says:

    Higher balance transfer fees… because they can’t reprice anymore. Have to find the revenue somewhere else!

  3. sanjaysrik says:

    Yes, and the three that I got offers for, also extended the 0% offer for 18 months, normally it’s 6 months. That kind of takes the sting off when you can go and save that much (let’s just say 22% interest on another card) in finance charges over 18 months to pay off a debt for 0%. I haven’t taken any of them, but I sat down and did the math and it’s actually worth the money at 18 months.

  4. stopshopping says:

    Still a phenomenal deal. 6 or more months, unsecured loan at 0% with a 3% transfer fee. Find that anywhere else on the planet as a consumer or small business…good luck! The banksters are taking their last grab at fees and debt run-ups before the coming crash. There will be a slight surge in spending to prop up all the numbers for the next 2-4 months, then you had better be putting gold bars in your stockings for Christmas!

    • PineRoot says:

      what happens if you’re wrong?
      What about if all gold suddenly turns to stocks because a solar flare that causes gold to melt and turn to Circuit City stock hits the earth?

    • SG-Cleve says:

      3% fee for a six month loan is actually a 6% annual rate.

      My home equity line of credit is under 3%.

      • gabrewer says:

        You’ve hit on something I have to always consider. In the past there have been times when I’ve transferred my equity line balance to a credit card at zero percent for 6 to 12 months because the math did make sense, even after transaction fees and taking tax consequences into consideration. I gotten several offers in the mail in past week, all with transfer fees of 4%-5%. With the tax advantages of my equity line, it’s pretty much a no brainer to just leave the balance where it’s at.

  5. sanjaysrik says:

    In this instance consumer reports is lumping all cards despite their offers into one bucket. That’s just bad reporting. They should mention that some of these are offering 18 month 0% interest cards. Even at a 4% balance transfer fee, that’s really pretty good.

    • Anonymously says:

      I’m interested in that offer. Got a link?

      • sanjaysrik says:

        Nope, it’s for us special customers. It’s a citi card

        Balance Trasnfer for 18 months 0% but 4% transfer fee
        Purchases for 18 months 0%

        I gotta’ tell you, doing the math, it made sense, haven’t pulled the trigger yet, but I’m REALLY considering it.

  6. Liam Kinkaid says:

    I don’t see a problem with this as long as the terms are spelled out explicitly. One gripe I have is that many times with balance transfers it’s difficult to find the terms (like number of 0% months remaining) on the websites. I plan the payments in Quicken so that when my balance is zero I’ll still have 1-2 0% months left, but I’m really anal about things and I like being able to verify things periodically.

    • sanjaysrik says:

      They do that on purpose. I’ve used these before and certain programs, I think Mint and Quicken as well, let you put down a date when you want this paid off by and I usually put down the month or two before it’s due.

  7. Anonymously says:

    Does anyone know how to compute the minimum payment on one of these transfers?

  8. Jimmy37 says:

    There’s nothing new here, so why the big deal? Balance transfer fees have been going up. Bottom line, read the fine print at the bottom in the back of the offer.

  9. parrotheadmjb says:

    You can get 15 months 0% apr on balance transfers, with a $0 (zero percent) transfer fee with a USBank NAACP card, or 12months $0 with a linux fund USBank card. Just do some research, you find better offers. Barclays also offers some 12 or 9 month 0% apr on balance transfers with a 3% transfer fee, with the maximum fee being $50

  10. parrotheadmjb says:

    Also, you can always do the transfer manually if the BT fee is over 3% just charge the amount like $2000 or whatever you want the the new credit card under its 0% apr for X number of months using paypal and you’ll end up paying at most 2.9% + $0.30 and pay off your other credit card using the amount you sent to yourself using paypal. Hell its a larger amount of money, the 2.9% + $0.30 cents falls to lower rates like 2.5% + $.30 or so.

  11. jessjj347 says:

    What does it mean to transfer a balance?

    • parrotheadmjb says:

      say you owe $1000 on a Citi Credit Card with a variable apr of 18.4% Lets say you then get approved for a $5000 credit line for a chase credit card with a 12 month intro apr for 12 months at 0% then it goes to 10.99% … you would obviously favor chase’s apr offers in this situation, you want to save money so you transfer your $1000 balance from you Citi Card to your new Chase card (Chase cuts a check to citi for $1000 bucks and pays your balance, but you now owe that balance to chase) However more often than not you’ll be charged 3%, 4% or 5% for on that transfered balance, but even after this fee you’re still getting a much better deal by transfering that balance.

  12. 451.6 says:

    I got five credit card offers in the mail yesterday. It reminds me of the summer before I went to college. I haven’t gotten any stupider, so I’m still not stupid enough to fall for this.