Tag Archives: Intro APR

Best Balance Transfer Offers January 2021

balance transfer credit cardsNo interest on balance transfers until 2022 with special introductory rates for new accounts

When you transfer your high-interest balance to a credit card offering an introductory 0% APR (Annual Percentage Rate) you could reduce your monthly credit card bills by a significant amount.

A fixed interest rate of zero financing for a year or more allows you to make affordable payment on only the balance you owe. Note that minimum monthly payments are still due until the intro period ends. Once the special 0% rate expires regular rates will apply to the remaining balances.

CHECKLIST

Most major banks charge upfront balance transfer fees that are added to the balance. Usually the fees are less than interest you’re currently paying, but check with a professional financial advisor before proceeding with a balance transfer. Fees such as balance transfer, annual, late payment, etc. could swallow up any savings on interest.

See if credit line with the new card covers the amounts you want to transfer. For instance if you have a $10,000 balance to transfer and only get a $2,500 credit line with the new card, that may not be enough to save a meaningful amount. You’ll also be complicating life by having more credit card payments to keep track of.

Never charge anything on the card since purchases often are mixed in with transfers. When that happens the entire balance may be due way before the expiration of the introductory period. If not paid in full you might even pay regular interest rates on the amounts transferred.

Normally you cannot transfer balances between cards from the same bank or issuer. Inquire whether funds from the new card can be sent to the original card. Otherwise an excess of “hard” inquiries could damage your credit score.

Allow a lag time between transfer request and its posting to the old card. A month might pass before balance is erased from the high-interest account. That delay might result in an unexpectedly large amount due for the first card.

THE CARDS

The credit cards below feature longer 0% APR periods so you can pay bills in a planned manner under the guidance of trusted financial mentor.


20 MONTH INTRO 0% APR

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

  • 20 month 0% intro APR
  • Balance transfer fee: 3%
  • No annual fee
  • Regular APR is 13.99% to 23.99% once intro period expires

Elan Financial Services issues 20-month 0% APR credit cards for several banks. Its cards usually have the following terms:

  • 0% APR financing for first 20 months after opening account
  • Balance transfer fee: 3%
  • No annual fee
  • Regular APR of 13.49% to 23.49% once intro period expires

A small sampling of places offering 20-month 0% APR cards, issued by Elan Financial, are:

BOK Financial Platinum Visa® Card
Chesapeake Bank of Maryland Platinum Visa® Card
Community Banks of Colorado Platinum Visa® Card
Exchange Bank Platinum Visa® Card
Fulton Bank Platinum Visa® Card
People’s United Bank Mastercard® Platinum Card
Suncrest Bank Platinum Visa® Card
The Bank of Missouri Platinum Visa® Card

18 MONTH INTRO 0% APR

Citi Double Cash Mastercard®

  • 18 month zero-interest intro APR
  • Balance transfer fee: 3%
  • No annual fee
  • Regular APR is 13.99% to 23.99% after intro period expires

Citi Diamond Preferred Mastercard®

  • 18 month zero-interest intro APR
  • Balance transfer fee: 3%
  • No annual fee
  • Regular APR is 14.74% to 24.74% once intro period expires

Citi Simplicity

  • No interest intro APR for 18 first months
  • Transfers must be completed during initial 120 days
  • Balance transfer fee: 3%
  • No annual fee
  • Regular APR is 14.74% to 24.74% once intro period expires

Wells Fargo Platinum Visa®

  • 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers
  • Introductory rate applies only on transfers made within first 120 days
  • Balance transfer fee: 3%
  • No annual fee
  • Regular APR is 16.49% to 24.49% once intro period expires

HSBC Gold Mastercard®

  • 0% APR for 18 months on transfers
  • Introductory period on transfers lasts only 60 days
  • Balance transfer fee: 4%
  • No annual fee
  • Regular APR is 13.99% to 23.99% after intro offer expires

Citizens Bank Clear Value Mastercard®

  • No interest APR for first 18 months on balance transfers
  • No cut-off date during balance transfer introductory period
  • Balance transfer fee: 3%
  • No annual fee
  • Regular APR is 13.99% to 21.99% after intro offer expires

15 MONTH INTRO 0% APR

Citi Rewards+ Mastercard®

  • 15 month introductory 0% APR on balance transfers
  • They must be completed within first 120 days
  • Balance transfer fee: 3%
  • No annual fee
  • Regular APR is 13.49% to 23.49% after intro offer expires

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa®

  • 15 month introductory 0% APR on transfers
  • Balance transfer request must be made within first 120 days
  • Balance transfer fee: 3%
  • No annual fee
  • Regular APR is 14.49% to 24.99% after intro offer expires

SunTrust Cash Rewards World Mastercard®

  • 15 month introductory no interest APR
  • No cut-off date for special introductory rate
  • Balance transfer fee: 3%
  • No annual fee
  • Regular APR is 11.24% to 21.24% after intro offer expires

Key Bank Latitude Credit Card

  • 15 month introductory 0% APR for purchases and balance transfers
  • Balance transfers must be completed within first 60 days of account opening
  • Balance transfer fee: 3%
  • No annual fee
  • Regular APR is 9.99% to 19.99% after intro offer expires

PNC Core Visa

  • 15 month introductory no interest APR
  • Balance transfer fee: 3%
  • No annual fee
  • Regular APR is 9.99% to 19.99% after intro offer expires

Fifth Third Bank Truly Simple Mastercard®

  • 15 month introductory no interest APR
  • Balance transfer fee: 4%
  • No annual fee
  • Regular APR is 11.99% to 22.99% after intro offer expires

TD Cash Visa Card

  • 15 month introductory no interest APR
  • Balance transfer fee: 3%
  • No annual fee
  • Regular APR is 12.99% to 22.99% after intro offer expires

 

NO BALANCE TRANSFER FEE & INTRO 0% APR

Union Bank Platinum Visa Credit Card

  • 15 month introductory no interest APR
  • Balance transfer fee: $0 for transfers made within 60 days; 3% after that (terms)
  • No annual fee
  • Regular APR is 8.49% to 19.99% after intro offer expires

Navy Federal Credit Union®Credit Card (members only)

  • 12 month introductory 0% APR
  • Balance transfer fee: 0%
  • No annual fee
  • Regular APR is 5.99% to 18.00% after intro offer expires

Purdue Federal Visa Signature (members only)

  • 12 month introductory 0% APR
  • Balance transfer fee: 0%
  • No annual fee
  • Regular APR is 11.50% to 17.50% after intro offer expires
  • General membership via one-time $50 fee to join Purdue University Alumni Association as a Friend of the University

La Capitol FCU Prime Plus or Rewards Visa Card

  • 12 month introductory 0% APR on transfers within 90 days of account opening
  • Balance transfer fee: 0%
  • No annual fee
  • General membership via one-time $20 fee to join the Louisian Association for Personal Financial Achievement

First Tech FCU Platinum Mastercard (members only)

  • 12 month introductory 0% APR
  • Balance transfer fee: 0%
  • No annual fee
  • Regular APR is 6.99% to 18.00% after intro offer expires
  • General membership via one-time fee to join Computer History Museum or the Financial Fitness Association

Discover It Cash Back Credit Card

discover-it-credit-card

Great Discover It 5% rebate categories starting January 1, 2021

From January 1 to March 31 Discover cardholders earn 5% cash back rewards:

  • Grocery stores
    • stand alone point-of-sale terminals inside building
    • Walmart grocery pick-up and delivery
    • Target grocery isn’t eligible
    • Convenience stores (7-11, Dollar Tree, etc.) and gas stations aren’t eligible
  • Walgreens stores or Walgreens.com
  • CVS stores or CVS.com

Rare opportunity:  5% cash back on gift cards
and Walmart.com grocery pick up orders.

There is a $1,500 max spend for the 5% rebate program. Amounts over that get only 1% rewards, which limits the extra cash back to no more than $120 per quarter. But that can add up to a bonus of $480 for the first year.


New Account Incentives

  1. Get 0% financing on all your purchases for 14 months from the date of account opening to help spread out the bill for a large purchase, plus the rewards.
  2. For new account holders Discover matches cash back rebates at the end of your first year, that’s up to 10% cash back (limits apply).

Note: if the account is closed before 12 billing cycles complete, there will be no match.


How to redeem your rewards

  1. Statement credit no minimum amount to qualify
  2. Direct deposit to your bank account
  3. Use on purchases at Amazon.com
  4. Buy featured gift cards with $5 added to certain ones, e.g. a Dell $50 gift card can obtained with only $45 cash rewards
  5. Donate to participating charities

Discover it Credit Card Benefits

Get cash over your purchases, up to $120 per purchase every 24 hours, without ATM fees, at select retail locations, such as Food Lion, Harris Teeter, Walmart

  • 24/7 U.S. based customer service
  • Should you lose your card, you can freeze your account in seconds with an on/off switch with the Discover App on your smartphone or the discovercard website
  • $0 fraud liability guarantee on unknown purchases
  • Free monthly FICO scores to monitor your credit rating
  • Text alerts on account activity
  • Free Social Security number and new account alerts in case of unauthorized access
  • Automatic payments available so you never miss a payment
  • Paperless statement option
  • Year-end expense report and summary

The fine print (subject to change)

  • Annual fee: $0
  • No interest if balance paid in full with 25 days
  • Regular purchase APR 11.99% to 22.99%
  • Fee for balance transfer: 5% ($5 min)
  • Fee for cash advance: 5% ($10 min)
  • Fee for foreign transaction: 0%
  • Fee for late payment: $0 first time; $40 after that
  • Fee for returned payment: up to $40
  • Fee for going over credit limit: $0