Benefits of consolidating credit card debts
A balance transfer credit card lets you move your existing debt — other card balances, medical payments, student debt and even personal loans — onto a new card with a lower rate, sometimes as low as 0%.That lower rate runs for a fixed time, typically from six to 24 months, after which the interest reverts to a higher rate. If you don’t pay off your entire debt in the 0% intro period, you’ll end up back on the standard interest rate for your card.During that intro period, you can make some serious headway in paying down your debt with the bonus of simplifying your many bills to just one. Once that happens, your new credit card issuer can potentially make hundreds or even thousands of dollars off you in interest. Many users are reluctant to switch banks, and the cost of acquiring a new customer can run a provider hundreds of dollars.
A balance transfer is the result of moving all or part of your existing debt to another card provider or lender, typically to save money on the overall interest you’d pay on that debt.
With your standard high-APR card, the majority of your monthly payment first goes toward the interest you’ve accrued on your purchases — the rest is applied to the purchases themselves.
Balance transfer cards offer new customers the opportunity to transfer most types of debt to a new card with a low or no intro APR, buying some breathing room to more wisely budget their finances.
A 0% interest balance transfer card can offer six, 12 and sometimes 18 interest-free months.
Your full monthly payment is applied to paying down your total debt, saving you a lot of money in the long run and keeping more of your money in your pocket, and not the provider’s.
Many balance transfer credit cards charge a fee to move your existing debt to the card — typically 3% to 5% of the balance you’re transferring.