Low Balance Transfer Credit Cards can help Eliminate High-Interest Credit Card Debt
Transferring your balance to a credit card with a lower interest rate seems like a good strategy to save on high-interest rates. However, the question is “what are the best low balance transfer cards you can consider?” Banks and credit card issuers have long been using 0% balance credit cards as a marketing incentive to help customers get out of debt. A zero balance credit card is like having a bank lending you money for free. If you have a low balance credit card, you can transfer your debt from high-interest credit cards and pay interest rates of 0%-2.99% for at least 6 to 12 months. An important thing to note here is that average Canadian households have credit card debt in excess of $8,000. What’s worse is that most households are paying interest rates as high as 24% which comes down to at least an additional $2,000 per year. Only if these people switched to a zero balance transfer credit card, they could get rid of their credit card debt faster, and more importantly, save money in the long run. Recent trends suggest that more and more Canadians are now attracted to low balance transfer credit cards to eliminate credit card debt.
Top 4 Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards in Canada
Switch balances over from higher-interest-rate credit cards to the No-Fee Scotiabank Value Visa Card. By consolidating your higher rate balances, you’ll save on interest and make paying bills easier.
- Introductory 3.99% interest rate on Balance Transfers for the first six months†.
- 16.99% after the introductory rate
- Pay down balances faster
- Simplify your monthly payments
The American Express Preferred Credit Card is truly a low-interest card that also has a 1.99% interest rate on balance transfers for 6 months. You will only be allowed to utilize 50% of your total credit limit as a balance transfer, which is ideal for maintaining a good credit score. The good news is that if you fail to pay off your entire balance in just 6 months, then the average interest rate that sets in later is only 8.99% on purchases, cash advanced, and transfers. There is significantly less pressure and stress for sure.
- The additional good news is that the regular 3% balance transfer charge is completely lifted off for the preliminary 1.99% offer so there will not be any sudden surprises with this card.
- This low-interest package is pretty hard to overlook since you get all the benefits with zero annual charge.
- 1.95% Balance Transfer & Earn 2% Money-Back Rewards on purchases in two 2% Money-Back Categories of your choice, and 0.50% Money-Back Rewards on all other purchases.
The Scotiabank Value Visa Card is a balance transfer credit card that offers you a 0.99% interest rate on balance transfers for the initial 6 months. However, there is an annual charge of $29. The benefit of this card is that after the 6-months introductory period, the standard rate of interest would be 12.99% on your new purchases and transferred balances. It is recommended that you try paying off your balance throughout the promotional time period. If you fail to do so, the next best thing to do would be to transfer your balance to a different low balance transfer offer, one month before the promotional rate becomes invalid. That way, you will be guaranteed to go past even a low-interest rate of 12.99%.
Compare Balance Transfer Credit Cards Canada
A Balance Transfer Credit Card isn’t for everyone so it’s important to assess your financial situation and your requirements carefully. Here are some things you should consider before you before you apply:
- Financial Considerations – A balance transfer isn’t free of cost and you don’t get a low-interest credit card for all your purchases. You will have to pay balance transfer fees and regular interest rates on new purchases with the new card. You should also consider the standard interest rates applicable when the promotional period ends.
- Balance Transfer Fees – These fees are typically 1% to 5% of the debt amount you transfer over to the new credit card. This varies from company to company so if you have a debt of $10,000 and the transfer fees are 5%, you will need to pay $500 for the transfer. Sometimes the combination of transfer fees and the interest rates can make this option unsuitable for some people.
- Regular Purchases – If you use the balance transfer credit cards for new purchases, you will have to pay the standard interest rates. When you make your monthly payments, the money will pay off your low-interest debt rather than your high-interest debt so you will accumulate interest on your new purchases until your balance is completely paid off. That can prove to be expensive.
When you apply for a balance transfer credit card, look at the low-interest rates as well as the standard interest rates. Also, compare the promotional period and the annual fees of different cards. You should also compare the rewards programs to gain added benefit. These factors will help you choose the best card for your requirements.Compare Zero Balance Transfer Credit Cards
How Should You Select a Low Balance Transfer Credit Card?
When you use a balance transfer credit card, you are basically paying off high-interest credit card debt with the new credit card. When shopping for the best low balance transfer credit cards, you should always look at three main features:
- The interest rate you will pay
- The time period for which you can enjoy the introductory rate
- The balance transfer fee
Remember the last thing you want to do is pay 3% transfer fee to enjoy 0% introductory rate. Similarly, you should stay away from balance transfer credit cards that have really short promotional periods. After all, you need sufficient time to repay your debt before the regular interest rate comes into effect. Other factors that you must consider include:
- The amount of credit card debt you want to transfer
- Your monthly minimum payment
- The card you will transfer your debt from. Remember, not all card issuers allow you to transfer debt from one credit card to another. You might find a great offer, but it is no use if your issuer doesn’t allow you to transfer debt.
It is also recommended that you look at your credit history and score. In addition, you should also evaluate your income and debt ratio.
Balance Transfer Credit Cards with No Annual Fee
If you are struggling to pay high credit card fees and interests, you can lower your costs and reduce your repayment time and increase your saving with 0% balance transfer and $0 annual fee credit card. Our guide will help you compare options to take full control of your expenses.
Reward Programs Balance Transfer Credit Cards
You can take advantage of both the balance transfer and rewards card; a low or 0% interest rate to repay your debts. Once the debt is fully paid, you can start earning points on purchases made with your new card. You can use our guide to explore different options and factors before applying for your balance transfer credit card.
Balance Transfer with the Same Bank
It is not possible to do a balance transfer within the same banking institution. It is also not allowed to do a balance transfer to banks within the same group. Our list of banks which have locked balance transfer between each other will come in handy. Handy Tip: You can use the cash advance feature and pay-off the high-interest credit card from the same institution
Conclusion – Takeaway Thought
Before you start using a low balance transfer credit card, you should evaluate whether or not you’ll be able to pay off the debt before promotion or special rates expire. Most low balance cards have an introductory 0% rate for 6-12 months. Also, it’s important to have a backup plan if you are unable to repay the debt when the offer expires. Presently there are only two 0% balance transfer credit cards in Canada and 0% offer in the near future looks difficult to come by. However, there’s no need to worry about. You can start with MBNA card and use the 0% rate offer for 12 months. Right before your promotional period expires, you can move the balance to an Amex card. The bottom line is that owning a low balance transfer credit card could help you save money on your card debt. What’s better is that it can help you repay the high-interest credit card debt faster. Make sure you pay close attention to the balance transfer fee and other conditions before applying for a low balance transfer card. You can compare all low balance transfer credit cards available in Canada and find the card that is worth applying for. In Canada, a 0% balance transfer credit card is rather difficult to find. As is evident, there are just two zero percent offers available in the entire country at the moment. Nevertheless, a zero percent balance transfer rate for a year is much better as compared to any conventional loan options. Even though you cannot transmit your balance from one TD/MBNA card to the next, however, you can choose to go with balance surfing from an MBNA to an Amex card, back to your MBNA card, to a Scotia card, and back to your MBNA card, and so on. You can also get more than one Platinum Plus credit cards, for the purpose of cycling them in the 0% deal.