If you’re overwhelmed with high-interest credit card debt, or if you want to simplify your finances, you may want to consider a balance transfer. A balance transfer occurs when you move the amount you owe from one or more credit card accounts to another credit card, preferably one with a lower interest rate.
Transferring balances to a lower-interest-rate credit card could mean saving hundreds of dollars in interest costs over time. Additionally, you may be able to lower your overall monthly payments. That could free up cash for more important things, like saving for a major purchase, a new home or retirement.
Read the fine print
Before you do a balance transfer, be sure to ask these questions:
- Is there a catch? Many credit cards offer a temporary interest rate as low as 0% APR1 applied to transferred balances. Find out if there are triggers, such as a late payment or new purchases, that will cancel out the promotional rate and send your interest rate soaring.
- Is there a balance transfer fee? Many banks charge a fee of 3% to 5% of the transferred balance. That could mean as much as $250 in fees on a $5,000 balance transfer.
- What’s the regular interest rate? Check out the rate that goes into effect after the promotional period is over. According to creditcards.com, the average interest rate on credit cards is 17.30% APR.2
Get the most from your balance transfer
If you do decide on a balance transfer, these tips can help you get the most bang for your buck.
- Categorize debt. Tally all your balances and decide how much you can transfer to the new card. If your available credit limit isn’t high enough to transfer all of your debt, transfer the debt with the higher balances and interest rates first.
- Keep old accounts open. Once you receive confirmation that the balance transfer to the new card is complete, hold off on closing old accounts until you pay down the balance. Closing old accounts right away could affect your credit score. That’s because your credit utilization — the amount of credit you are using compared with the amount of credit you have available — would increase.
- Make payments on time. On-time payments can help improve your credit rating and avoid any late payment fees.
- Leverage the 0% rate. If you can, pay down all or most of your balance during the 0% introductory period to enjoy the greatest savings.
- Control future spending. Set a budget for credit card spending and stick to it to avoid building up another big balance.
Why transfer to Advancial Federal Credit Union?
Now that you know the potential benefits of a balance transfer, consider transferring to an Advancial Visa®
Rewards Plus card, offering these great advantages:
- No balance transfer fee. With Advancial, you pay no balance transfer fee — zip, nothing, nada! So you start saving money right off the bat.
- 0% promotional rate.*** Pay no interest on transferred balances for the first 12 months. (Take a look at the chart below for potential savings.)
- Competitive ongoing rates. Once the 12-month promotional period is over, enjoy a rate as low as 8.90% APR on remaining and future balances, depending on your credit rating.3
How much could you save?
According to NerdWallet, the average credit card debt for Americans who carry a balance is $6,849.4
Here’s an estimate of what you could save in interest by paying off that balance over a 12-month 0% interest rate introductory period compared with the average credit card rate.5
||Total Interest Paid over 12 months
Total Savings: $624
Need more time to pay off the debt? Pay off the balance with 12 months at the 0% introductory rate and subsequent payments at 8.90% APR:6
||Total Interest Paid over 12 months
Total savings: $1,151
Sound good? Take the next steps
If you already have a Visa Rewards Plus credit card from Advancial, you can transfer your balance through cuAnywhere Online Banking. Simply log in, click on your credit card, select Account Actions and click the Balance Transfer icon. You can also fill out a balance transfer form at your local branch or by calling 800.322.2709.
If you don’t have a Visa Rewards Plus card, apply online today
about the Visa Rewards Plus card, including our generous and flexible rewards program
Cardholder Agreement and Disclosure
Rates & Fees
1 APR = annual percentage rate.
2Source: creditcards.com, average credit card rates week of Jan. 15, 2020.
30% promotional rate on transferred balances subject to credit approval. At the end of the promotional period, annual percentage rate (APR) will be 8.90%-14.90% based on creditworthiness, effective January 2020 and subject to change
5Source: creditcard.com, balance payoff and transfer calculators.
6Comparing 17.30% average U.S. credit card rate to Advancial 0% promotional rate for 12 months, with rate reverting to Advancial’s lowest rate of 8.90% at end of promotional period.
Approximate average savings based on a $6,849 balance paid in 12 installments with Visa Rewards Plus, including a 0% introductory APR for the first 12 months, resulting in a total interest cost of $0. Compared to the same $6,849 balance paid in 12 installments at the national average APR of 17.30%, resulting in a total interest cost of $624.
Approximate average savings based on a $6,849 balance paid in 24 installments with Visa Rewards Plus, including a 0% introductory APR for the first 12 months and 8.90% APR thereafter, resulting in a total interest cost of $151 over 24 months. Compared to the same $6,849 balance paid in 24 payment installments at the national average APR of 17.30%, resulting in a total interest cost of $1,302. Subtracting $151 from $1,302 yields a difference and total savings of $1,151.
Balances, interest rates and total interest paid are estimates for illustration only. Actual monthly payments will vary as balance is reduced and the rate shifts from the promotional rate to the regular rate. Your particular situation will depend on your account balance, creditworthiness and interest rate.