Switch to zero percent balance transfer credit cards

By glblguy

About 2 months ago I got feed up with my Bank of America credit card’s incredibly high interest rate (29.9%) and started looking for credit card options with a lower interest that I could transfer my remaining balance to. I was paying Bank of America more than $100 per month in interest alone and was tired of it.

While the number of options are declining, there are still a number of great credit cards out there offering zero percent balance transfers.

Discover More Card

The card I ended up going with was the Discover More card, and specifically the Discover More Sealife Collection Card. The Discover More card offers the following benefits:

  • Zero percent balance transfers
  • 5% to 20% Cashback Bonus® at Top Online Retailers
  • Up to 1% Unlimited Cashback Bonus® on All Other Purchases Automatically
  • Increase, Even Double, Your Rewards When You Redeem for Gift Cards from Our 100 Cashback Bonus® Partners
  • No Annual Fee
  • Online Account Access
  • Online Bill Payment

While this is a card I would highly recommend, there are also other cards offering zero percent balance transfers as well.

The application process

When I applied for my Discover More Card, the application process allowed me to specify which credit card(s) I would transferring the balance(s) for and Discover took care of the rest.  All I had to do was call Bank of America and close out my account one the payment from Discover was received.

Discover initiated the balance transfer within a week, and a few days later my Bank of America balance was completely transferred over. A quick call to Bank of America customer service and my account was closed. I of course relished the moment when I told the BofA rep to close the account due to their outrageous rates. They of course tried to keep me, and offered to reduce the rate. I told them in a nice way to “too little, too late”. It felt great.

Accelerating my debt snowball

Since switching, I haven’t paid a single dollar in interest or credit card fees. Instead, I’m applying that extra $100+ in interest and paying on the balance rather than making more money for BofA. By spending  just a few minutes applying for a new card and another few minutes closing out my old account, I’ve increased my debt snowball payment by $100 – $150 each month. The best part? It didn’t impact my budget at all! There was a 3% balance transfer fee that I had to pay, but that is a small price compared to the 29.9% monthly I was paying before.

Zero percent balance transfer offers declining

If you’ve been considering moving your high-interest (frankly, that would be anything over 0%) credit card balance over to a 0% offer, now is the time. The number of 0% balance transfer options available area decreasing as the credit market begins to tighten up. I can see these offers slowly declining over the next year.

Transferring your balance is not only a great way to save money, but also a great way to accelerate that debt snowball and be out of debt even sooner.

Money Saving MondayRemember, I am not at all a fan of credit cards and really despise them, but if you currently hold a credit balance, you are no worse off moving the balance from one card to another, especially when it will save you money. Just don’t make the mistake of transferring your balance and using any remaining credit line you have. Be responsible.

Also check out: Best 0% Balance Transfer Credit Card Offers and How to do a 0% Balance Transfer for more information.

This article is part of an ongoing series called Money Saving Monday. Each Monday, I share tips and techniques you can use to start saving money.

When using your new credit cards online, be sure to trust only merchants that use a credit card payment processing solution that is reputable and secure. This article explains secure processing in detail.


19 Responses (including trackbacks) to “Switch to zero percent balance transfer credit cards”

  1. DDFD at DivorcedDadFrugalDad.com Says:

    Solid advice!

    I know that glorious feeling of sticking it to them (BoA)! These companies just take advantage of us when they have us and then suddenly they fall all over themselves when we have them!

  2. MITBeta @ Don't Feed the Alligators Says:

    “About 2 months I got feed up with my Bank of America…”

    Freudian slip? :D

  3. glblguy Says:

    Ha! Opps!

  4. Benton Says:

    You dinged your FICO score unnecessarily twice,when your account was closed and the new account opened.

    What was wrong with leaving it open and saving its credit history and allow for more utilization?

    For someone who despises credit it must have been very useful to you.

  5. glblguy Says:

    @Benton – I don’t really worry about my credit score as I seldom ever need it. I didn’t want a card with an outstanding balance being available to me. I just don’t trust myself enough yet after having been so stupid with credit for so many years.

  6. My Journey Says:

    @Benton,

    Sometimes…just sometimes…it doesn’t matter! I had a similar problem with BofA, got into a fight with them and just shut the account.

    Did it ding my Credit score, probably, but I felt GREAT! Then I felt even better as their stock slid to sub-$4!

  7. Frank Says:

    Excellent advice in this blog. Transfer the balance and then close out and cut up the old cards. A year later, you will be able to afford that large-screen TV you’ve been eyeing~!

    Frank

  8. Anthony Says:

    Nice advice – I agree with it. I did this with Discover last June.

    But now I am fighting with Discover. I received an offer in the mail for the More card as well, with 0% on balance transfers for 1 year. I went online and applied. In the process, Discover asked me if I wanted the More card for cash back, or one of its other products, so I selected the Miles card instead. What they didn’t tell me was that the balance transfer offer was different – only 6 months. When I received my credit cards, I reviewed the information and realized this. I called Discover, and they explained this. They issued me the More Card and my balance transfer offer was reset to 12 months…..or so I thought.

    The finance charges started appearing in January. I called Discover, and they first said my 0% switched from balance transfter to new purchases after I made a few charges to the card. But my rate for purchases is the same (11.99%). Now they claim they never agreed to reinstate the 12 month interest free. However, they admit they have on my record all of the detail, except they say they declined my request for 12 months interest free. It’s unclear whether they declined my request before or after they reissued me the More card since they refuse to tell me this fact. Instead, Discover has refused to help me until I fax them the original offer that they sent me in the mail 6 months ago. I will let you guess whether I still have it or not. Needless to say, as James and Peter put it, it’s a character-builder moment.

    A word of caution to you all.

  9. Rufus Whitney Says:

    Just admit it! Just pleasing! Your posting manner is charming and also the way you dealt the topic with grace is valued. I’m intrigued, I assume you might be an expert on this topic. I am subscribing to your upcoming updates from now on.

  10. Damon Krikwen Says:

    Each article I have read is very well written and to the point. I would also like to state, not only are the articles well written, but the design of your site is excellent. It was easy to navigate from post to post and find what I was looking for with ease. Keep up the excellent work you are doing, and I will return many times in the near future.

  11. Rosetta Says:

    I cancelled a card last year and they still kept sending me statements with nil balance on and then this year they asked if I wanted to take them up on their 0% balance transfer – so does not look like they are tightening up!

  12. Don Says:

    I’m disappointed and amazed that someone pretending to know the ins and outs of credit cards has fallen for and is recommending 0% transfers. You make no mention of the major problem with working with a 0% transfer credit card: transfer fees. You missed the most important disclosure on the Discover card that you endorse. To quote Discover, you will be assessed “5% of the amount of each transfer made under this offer; otherwise, either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.” Sorry to give you the bad news that you are already 5% in the hole for the transfer! What you should be recommending to your readers is to always check the transfer fees. If you had done so, you would have realized that you are paying the highest fee being charged by these cards. Incidentally, the fees range from 3%-5%. You and your readers should always be reminded to read the fine print.

  13. all top tens of the world Says:

    thanx for this wonderful article….

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