In the beginning accumulating credit cards, along with your debt, may have felt manageable. But more certainly isn’t less when it comes to credit cards. The more you have, the more debt and interest you rack up. Rolling your debt into one tidy balance transfer might be just the ticket to managing your debt better.
If you have accumulated debt on your credit card and you’re paying a high rate of interest, then a balance transfer card may be a cheaper alternative to help you pay down debt quickly.
That’s because most balance transfer cards offer a lower rate of interest than the average market rate, or no interest in some cases. The low interest period is usually limited to just a few months, after which time the rate jumps up to an ongoing rate, also known as a revert rate.
Balance transfer cards can be a great way to reduce the amount of interest you pay on your credit card debt, so long as you can repay the balance within the honeymoon period. But revert rates are often higher than the market average and therefore can be a more expensive option than a low interest credit card, for instance, from the start of the loan.
Take, for example, a balance transfer card with an initial rate of 3.99 percent for six months. This may seem enticing, but with a revert rate of 15.99 percent this may be a more expensive option than a card with an interest rate of 9.99 percent from the start. So it pays to crunch the numbers before you sign up, because selecting the right card can mean hundreds of dollars in your pocket rather than your bank’s.
But provided you have some discipline and are able to put a halt on your credit card spending during the balance transfer period, you can use these types of cards to your advantage. Any extra purchases you make using your balance transfer card will only put you in the red, which will make it all the more difficult to catch up to what you owe your lender.
And finally, as with any financial product, there can be a few conditions in the fine print to be aware of. So make sure you read the product disclosure statement and understand what you’re getting yourself in for, before you sign on the dotted line.
Australia has no shortage of credit card providers, each vying for your business. To narrow down your search use the RateCity credit card comparison tool to find a credit card balance tranfer that suits you.