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Credit Card Blog - Balance Transfers

 Friday, 31 August 2007


Click Here to Apply for this Credit Card

Do you occasionally carry a balance on your credit cards? Would you like a card with a great rewards program? Do you have very good credit? If yes, then the MERRILL+ Visa Card by Bank of America is the card for you. The MERRILL+ Card offers the best of both worlds—a terrific rewards program in addition to unbeatably low APR’s. In this post, the basics of the MERRILL+ Card will be discussed, as well as the features that make it unique.

MERRILL+ Card: The Basics

  • 1.9% introductory APR on balance transfers
  • Intro APR lasts 12 months
  • Intro rate also applies to cash advance checks
  • 9.99% fixed regular APR
  • No annual fee
  • Point reward program
  • No limit to number of points you can earn

MERRILL+ Card Rewards Program

The MERILL+ Visa Card comes with a rewards program offered by Merrill Lynch. In this program, you earn one point for each dollar you spend on purchases. When you purchase a Merrill Cruise, you earn double points. Points expire after five years, and there is no limit to how many points you can earn. You can redeem your points for travel rewards (car rentals, hotel stays, flights, etc.), gift certificates, special experiences, merchandise, and more.

What Sets the MERRILL+ Card Apart

The MERRILL+ Card by Visa offers the unique combination of a rewards card with super-low APR’s. The introductory rate is a mere 1.9%, and the regular APR rate is 9.99% and fixed, which means you do not have to risk the fluctuations in rates that come with variable APR’s. The MERILL+ Visa offers a plethora of cardholder benefits in addition to the rewards program. These benefits include extended warranties on purchases, up to one million dollars in travel accident insurance, emergency and travel assistance services, and auto rental insurance. And, when you reach certain levels on your annual spending, you will earn access to even more benefits and services. You get all of this for absolutely no annual fee.

If you’re looking for a low-interest rate card with an unbeatable rewards program, look no further.

Click Here to Apply for this Credit Card

Additional Resources:

Friday, 31 August 2007 17:10:31 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #     
Balance Transfers | Low Interest  | 
 Wednesday, 01 August 2007

Don't Make Any Balance Transfer Mistakes!

It is not uncommon for someone to sign up for a credit card just so they can get the balance transfer perks. It is actually a good move, if you do it carefully. The problem comes when you do not pay attention to what you may be doing. The following are some mistakes that can be made when dealing with balance transfers. In order to master the process you need to avoid the following...

Watch Out! Things May Backfire

  • Know how long the rates last

When you sign up for a card, many times they will have 0% interest on all balance transfers. But this will only last for a limited time. Generally it will last between 6 months to 12 months. So you need to know right away how long it will last and then mark the ending date down. Because you do not want to get caught paying high interest on a balance transfer if you do not have to.

  • Make sure you get the 0%

It will be advertised, but that does not mean you have to get it. The company may try to lure you in by offering it, but if you credit score is low you may not get it. So do not assume that you have it and everything will be good. Follow up on the reason you did not get it, if it comes to that. It is a shady move, but there is nothing to stop them from doing it.

  • Pay everything on time

You should be doing this anyways. But with balance transfers it is even more important. Companies may take your 0% rate away from you if you miss a payment. So then you are out of luck. You need to make sure you are extra careful with any perks that they may offer you, and use them to your advantage. Do not get careless and forget because that is a good way to find yourself in some troubles.

Remember, You Are the One Who is Affected

Don’t let the company tell you what they think is best for your situation. This balance transfer rate is something that can help you, so make sure it does. You do not want to be stuck with even more fees and payments then you originally planned just because someone tries to get something by you. But you especially do not want something to turn bad because you did not take the time to pay attention. Focus on what is best for you, and everything will turn out fine.

Additional Resources:

Wednesday, 01 August 2007 19:57:24 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #     
Balance Transfers  | 
 Tuesday, 02 January 2007

It's January, the traditional time for people to make resolutions for the upcoming year. Most people resolve to lose weight, exercise more, or finally take that trip to Europe. I can't recall the last time I heard someone make a resolution about their credit. Actually, I don't think I've ever heard anyone do that. Here are a few suggested resolutions for you.

  • Pay down the balances on my high interest cards.
  • Get my interest rate reduced.
  • Transfer my balance to a better card if my current bank won't reduce my rate.
  • Figure out if my rewards card really rewards me, and if it doesn't, switch to one that does.
  • Use my credit cards responsibly.

I could go on and on, but the list needs to end somewhere. Take the ones that apply to you. I just hope you're more successful at keeping them than most people are about the weight loss resolution.

M. Gray

Tuesday, 02 January 2007 21:42:32 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #     
Balance Transfers | Credit | Rewards  | 
 Tuesday, 19 December 2006

If you're transferring balances constantly, the answer is yes. If you're constantly moving balances from one card to another, you probably aren't making a significant dent in your credit card debt, so the transfers are just helping to delay the inevitable.

Perhaps more importantly, the pattern of opening new accounts and transferring balances can negatively affect your ability to obtain new credit. Each new credit card requires another credit inquiry. Too many inquiries can lower your credit score. Also opening new lines of credit can lower your score as it increases the amount of debt you could potentially rack up. Creditors will see the pattern of transferring balances, and that may affect their decision to grant you a line of credit, even if it hasn't lowered your credit score.

For a balance transfer credit card to benefit you, you have to be willing to pay off the balance quickly. Those attractive balance transfer interest rates do not last forever – 6 months is typical. After that, they go back up to the normal rate which may be higher than on a card that doesn't offer an attractive rate on balance transfers. The good rate will generally also disappear if you're late making a payment, so it is important to pay on time every time.

While you're thinking about a balance transfer credit card, it couldn't hurt to call your current issuer and ask about getting your interest rate lowered. They'd rather have your business at a lower interest rate than have you move your balances elsewhere since they can't make any money off you if you have no balances with them.


Tuesday, 19 December 2006 20:12:53 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #     
Balance Transfers | Credit  | 
 Thursday, 16 November 2006

One of the fastest growing categories on Your Credit Network is the section dedicated to balance transfer credit cards, and it’s easy to see why. As credit cards replace cash as the unofficial currency of America, more people are shifting toward managing a number of credit cards in an attempt to raise their credit rating as well as finance the things they couldn’t otherwise afford for a seemingly reasonable fee. The average credit consumer in the United States maintains 6 active credit card accounts, and at some point they may just scream ENOUGH and try to find a way out of so many bills to pay. Credit cards with balance transfer programs offer a way out of this nightmare, but this begs the larger question…

Do balances transfers have a negative effect on your credit?

Deciding to take advantage of a balance transfer program from a particular credit card issuer is a lot like deciding to lease or buy a car from your local car dealer – it depends on how long you intend to carry the balance and how often you want to switch out your car for the latest & greatest model (or in this case a different balance transfer program with more rewards or more favorable interest rates.)

If you carry a bunch of smaller balances with different credit companies and could potentially pay off all balances within two years, pick a credit card that fits you best and stay put. Most balance transfer credit cards offer promotional rates of 1 year, so transferring your debts to a new card over a period of two years will end up as more or less of a wash from an interest expense prospective, so jumping around isn’t necessarily worth it.

If you carry more debt than can be paid down in two years (or you intend to accrue more debt in the form of credit card charges) then it would be in your best interest to jump around from one balance transfer deal to another every six months or so; this has the effect of essentially resetting your interest clock with your new debt issuer and can help keep you from paying a lot of money in the form of interest expense.

Balance Transfer Myths (and Facts!)

Myth One – Balance Transfers Negatively Impact My Credit
Credit is determined by a number of factors, one of which if your debt to income ratio. If you continue to make payments on your principal while realizing 0% / reduced interest rates, you are reducing the amount of debt you hold relative to your income (provided your income remains the same or does not decrease, of course.) There are some penalties for closing lines of credit, but these pale in comparison to the damage that late payments or increased balances from high APR accruals can do. The lesson here is to continuously pay down your principal amount and you’ll be fine; balance transfer credit cards can help you do that by reducing the interest paid on your principal, so more of your monthly credit card payment goes toward your balance rather than a credit card bank’s profit from interest rates.

Myth Two – There is a Limit to the Number of Balance Transfers I Can Do
This is absolutely false. Credit card companies are in a constant state of stealing business from one another, and you can use that to your advantage by letting them compete for your business. An issuing bank may have stipulations on how many accounts you can transfer over them at one time (the industry average is 7) there is no law or regulation that says you can only engage in X number of balance transfers in any given time period. (Remember that catch phrase “when banks compete, you win”? Balance transfer cards are a way for you to reduce your rates and in most cases the banks do all the work!)

Myth Three – My Current Issuer Won’t Let Me Transfer My Credit Card Debt
A lot of people seem to be under the impression that their current credit company will deny them the ability to transfer their debt to another company in order to deny that company business, but this is also false. Balance transfers look like a lump sum payment to your current credit provider, but more importantly they do not have the right to deny your payment just because another company is stealing a customer out from under them.

The Good News about Balance Transfers

  • If you stick with one balance transfer credit card and pay down your balance within the window of your offer (or shortly thereafter) you will have paid down more of your principal balance in a shorter period of time.
  • If you move from program to program once every couple of months you avoid accruing more interest expense. Additionally, you are keeping the information on your credit report fresh more frequently, which helps keep your report accurate to your current financial situation.
  • Balance transfer programs may offer additional rewards, rebates or points just for transferring your balances to one program.
  • Banks will know if you engage in balance transfers frequently and will usually send you offers in the mail to entice you to switch. This means you’ll get lower rates more frequently and you won’t have to do as much research when your current deal expires since the banks will be contacting you directly.

The Bad News about Balance Transfers

  • You shouldn’t use balance transfer credit cards as a way to avoid making payments on your principal balance. These programs work best when you can continue to pay down your initial balance while taking advantage of the 0% APR window that many programs offer – if you don’t you’re just increasing your debt at a more rapid pace when your limited time offer expires.
  • Keep an eye out for transaction fees on your credit card’s terms & conditions of use; these are the fees that a new company will charge you when you transfer existing balances to your new card. While the fees will often be nominal compared to your interest expense otherwise, there are a few offers out there that will charge quite a bit for the transferring of your balance. Here’s what to look for:

    A transaction fee should play a large (if not the largest) role in determining which balance transfer credit card offer you choose. Make sure the total transaction fee amount that you accrue is not more than you’re willing to pay!
  • Failure to make your payments on time may immediately revoke whatever deal you have worked out with the credit card issuer, so it is incredibly important to pay your bills on time.

For the latest credit card deals of this type please visit our balance transfer credit cards section – remember to examine each credit card’s terms thoroughly and completely before applying!


Thursday, 16 November 2006 18:05:40 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #     
Balance Transfers  | 
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