Debt can be an insurmountable thing that quickly piles up. Albert Einstein himself once even said, “Compound interest may be the most powerful force in the universe.” Fortunately, most credit cards have a balance transfer option, allowing for a credit balance to be transferred from one credit card to another for better interest rates. In this review, five cards will be covered and their balance transfer specifics detailed. These cards are the Chase Slate card from Chase Bank, the BankAmericard from Bank of America, the American Express Amex EveryDay card, the Citi Bank Simplicity card, and the Capital One Platinum Prestige credit card.
The Chase Slate card is offered through Chase bank, but is not limited to only Chase Bank members. Following the first 60 days in opening a Chase Slate card, there is no balance transfer fee. Make sure to take advantage of this introductory period as the balance transfer fee increases to 3% after the first 60 days. The nice thing is once you transfer your balances there is 0% intro APR for 15 months. This is for both purchases and balance transfers. After the promotional 15 months you’re interest rate with increase to either 12.99%, 17.99%, or 22.99%, all of which would be dependent on your credit score. Chase Slate also offers a monthly Fico score review included with each bill, which helps to alleviate any potential surprises that might affect a cardholder’s credit. The Chase Slate card also has a $0 annual fee. For cash advances, there is a 22.99% fee or a minimum of $5 – whichever is greater. There is no rewards program for the Chase Slate card.
The BankAmericard credit card is offered through the Bank of America. There is no annual fee for being a cardholder. Following the initial 60 days in opening the account, there is 0% intro APR on both balance transfers and purchases, which then increases from 10.99% to 20.99% variable APR, dependent on your credit history. The 20.99% maximum APR is on the lower side of things, but BankAmericard takes a potential cardholder’s credit history into greater consideration than other credit cards might. All BankAmericard cards now come standard with chip technology, which offers both an enhanced level of security (namely against harmful methods like near-field communication), and offers great customization for receiving alerts to either your e-mail or text message. The BankAmericard does not offer a rewards program, and also does not include a required annual fee to keep the account open.
The AmEx EveryDay card is offered through American Express.There is no 60 day limit on balance transfers – balance transfers can be made and will receive 0% APR for up to 15 months, but interest will be accumulated after that. Therefore, it would be in your best interest to immediately run the balance transfer after opening an account. Following the 15 month introductory period, the variable APR will range from 12.99% to 21.99% on both purchases and balance transfers. There is no required annual fee for keeping an AmEx EveryDay account open. The AmEx EveryDay card also offers a rewards program, and an included incentive – if $1,000 or more in purchases are made within the first 3 months of beginning card membership, a cardholder will receive 10,000 membership rewards points, which can be redeemed for travel or used to lower the required payment. This offer is not available to current members of American Express (regardless if you hold an AmEx
EveryDay card or not), and is subject to approval based on your credit rating. American Express also offers great return protection, covering up to $300 per item when an item is returned to American Express and NOT the merchant. Unfortunately, this card is a great offer, but requires high credit – many users with scores around the 650 range have said that they were rejected. There is no balance fee for a credit transfer.
The Citi Simplicity card is offered through Citi Bank. There is no annual fee required to keep the account
open. Following the first 21 months in opening the account, there is a 0% introductory APR period for both balance transfers and purchases made with the Citi Simplicity card. Citi Simplciity also offers a great deal of forgiveness, forgiving several late fees as long as they are made within a reasonable amount of time after the initial due date – this is subject to approval from the creditor. There is also no penalty rate, meaning a missed or late payment will not cause a penalty APR to dramatically spike for a few months. Unfortunately, there is a balance transfer fee of either 3% of the amount transferred or a minimum of $5, whichever is greater. There is no rewards program for the Citi Simplicity card.
Capital One Platinum Prestige
The Capital One Platinum Prestige Card has no required annual fee to keep the account open. The Platinum Prestige card offers a 0% introductory APR on balance transfer and purchases for 12 billing cycles, after which the variable APR raises up to 10.9% and to a maximum of 20.9%, dependent on a users’ credit score. Capital One also includes a monthly credit tracker, alerting a cardholder of any changes in their credit score. Capital One also allows a user to change the date that their payment is due – if my payment is due on the 7th but I want it to be due on the 28th, I can do that, after which it will take effect the following month. The Platinum Prestige also includes an extended warranty on eligible purchase, which are subject to both approval from the creditor or a minimum purchase fee. The Platinum Prestige also includes a $100,000 automatic travel accident insurance – if travel tickets/expenses are paid for with the Platinum Prestige card, $100,000 will be reimbursed in the event of death or dismemberment. The Platinum Prestige card also offers many other marginal benefits, including auto rental insurance and great fraud coverage. The Platinum Prestige card does not offer a rewards program.
Depending on your credit score, all of the options listed above may not be available. For that reason, it is most worth it to shop around between credit cards to find which deal might work best. In addition, current cardholders with a creditor company may not be allowed to run a balance transfer and receive an introductory period with no interest. Credit cards are usually always highly customized to each individual, so it is worth to call around and ask.
However, assuming all circumstances are perfect, then either the Capital One Platinum Prestige Card or the American Express EveryDay card are the smartest choices. These cards offer the greatest benefits on top of the marginal incentives they include (rewards programs, insurance coverage, return policies), as well as competitive rates for variable APR. Again, credit cards are always suited to each individual and may not include all the details listed above.