Credit Card Guide
 
Follow Us  twitter facebook You Tube Google+
 
Credit Cards > Credit Card News > Balance Transfer > Editor’s Pick: Best 0 APR Balance Transfer Credit Cards 2010



 
 

Editor’s Pick: Best 0 APR Balance Transfer Credit Cards 2010

 
By Eva Norlyk Smith, Ph.D.
July 12, 2010

tools
tools
email print comment
tools
SHARE

After having almost dried up in the aftermath of the 2008 credit crisis, 0% APR balance transfer offers have bounced back. People looking to take out a balance transfer, however, will do well to realize that the new generation of 0 APR offers, while seemingly as appealing as before, are not the free lunch that was served up to American consumers a few years back.

Firstly, while the time span of balance transfer offers has increased to previous lengths, balance transfer fees appear to be here to stay. Expect to pay a balance transfer fee of at least 3 percent per transaction. In addition, while seemingly soft and fuzzy, many of today’s balance transfer offers come with some pretty significant teeth: one late payment, for example, in some cases may be enough to trigger a penalty rate as high as 29.99 percent. Ouch.

Here is a guide to some of the more attractive current 0% APR offers.

Capital One Platinum Prestige Credit Card
For those drawn to more traditional 0% APR balance transfer offers, Capital One’s Platinum Prestige offers new credit card applicants a full 12 months of interest-free card use; with a 3% balance transfer fee. After the intro period runs out, consumers will pay a low 11.9% APR variable on any part of the balance not yet paid off. The card comes free of annual fees, and is available to people with excellent credit.

Cardholders taking out a 0% APR balance transfer with this Capital One credit card, however, should be careful to make their payments on time: a late payment might trigger a penalty APR as high as 29.99%.

Citi Platinum Select MasterCard
For those with less than perfect credit, Citi’s Platinum Select MasterCard offers a 0% balance transfer deal tailored to the applicant’s credit history. The zero-interest introductory period extends for a full 18 months. After the promotional period expires, cardholders will pay APRs ranging from an attractive 11.99% to 19.99%, again depending on credit history. In addition to applying to balance transfers, this 0% APR offer also applies to new purchases. The balance transfer fee weighs in at 3%. Again, cardholders making a 0% APR balance transfer with this card will want to get their checks in the mail on time in order to avoid that hair-graying 29.99% default rate.

The Citi card carries no annual fee, and offers secure, free online account management. Avoid making any further purchases while carrying a 0% APR balance on the card, however, as these will accrue interest at the regular purchase APR for the card, without a grace period.

PenFed VISA Platinum Cash Rewards Card
While not the card with the lowest balance transfer rate, the PenFed Visa Platinum Rewards card has two advantages: a long-term low promotional balance transfer rate for 24 months, as well as user-friendliness. Credit union credit cards are known to, generally speaking, offer better overall terms, and the PenFed Visa Rewards card is no exception.

In a market where cardholders can expect to pay 3-5% balance transfer fees without a cap, PenFed’s Visa offers a uniquely low 2.5% fee, capped at $100. Furthermore, the introductory APR, currently at 4.99%, lasts a full two years, one of the longest in the industry. For consumers looking for a long-term balance transfer deal, the 24-month promotional period makes for a better deal than several shorter, 0% APR intro offers, which would require repeated balance transfer fees. Furthermore, once the intro period expires, PenFed’s Visa Rewards sports a 13.99% regular APR. The card offers significant credit lines as well, depending on credit history and income.

The PenFed Visa card also offers attractive rewards, including a full 5% cash back on gas purchases, 2% back on supermarket purchases, and 1% on all other purchases, free from restrictions. Of course, you don’t want to use the card for purchases as long as you carry a 4.99% promotional balance on the card, as you’d be paying 13.99% interest on those purchases, without a grace period.

To be eligible for PenFed’s Visa Rewards card, applicants must be military or uniformed service members, U.S. government or American Red Cross employees, a family member/housemate of a current PenFed Member. If that doesn’t fit you, consider becoming a civilian member of the National Military Family Association.


Share 
 
     

 
 

VIEW RELATED STORIES

The 6 biggest balance transfer mistakes - You've got just the ticket to blitz your high-interest holiday credit card balance: a 0 percent balance transfer deal. But how do you make sure you don't mess up and dig yourself deeper in debt?

Planning a Back-to-School Balance Transfer - This reader wants a $2,000 laptop for school but has only $500 in the bank. Can a balance transfer help her get the computer without paying interest?

How Balance Transfers Impact FICO Scores - Taking out a balance transfer may lower your FICO score in the short-term. But it can also help boost your score over time. Here are the three ways in which taking out a balance transfer will impact your credit score.

ALL CREDIT CARD NEWS & ADVICE ARCHIVES >>

 
     

 
  If you are commenting using a Facebook account, your profile information may be displayed with your comment depending on your privacy settings. By leaving the ‘Post to Facebook’ box selected, your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below.
 
     


 
Secure SSL Technology
Secure SSL
Technology
 
Twitter Facebook You Tube Google+
About Us Privacy Policy Editorial Team Terms of Use
Contact Us California Privacy Rights Media Relations Site Map

Close X