Chase chops charges for some balance transfer credit cards
Balance transfer credit cards can provide a real breather for those who are beginning to become uncomfortable with their levels of personal debt. Indeed, used properly, they can be a useful tool for someone wishing to eliminate their credit card debt completely.
Balance transfer credit cards–two drawbacks
However, there are two main drawbacks with these cards:
- You generally need a pretty good credit score to get approved for one. Many people don’t apply until their credit is already damaged, and that’s too late.
- Most balance transfer credit cards charge a one-off balance transfer fee (usually between 3% and 5%) on the sums you transfer.
Now Chase is addressing that second issue by eliminating such fees on newly issued Slate from Chase cards. The offer only applies to amounts transferred during the first 30 days your account is open.
Intro zero APR credit cards
Not only is Chase giving a zero percent APR for up to 15 months on balance transfers on its Slate products, but it is also offering an introductory zero percent APR for the same period on purchases. The length of those deals may depend on your credit score. Still, that might be a very good deal for those who need to spread their holiday spending over a number of months, but who hate (and who doesn’t?) today’s high credit card interest rates.
Credit card debt and high credit card rates
Of course, the problem with introductory offers is that they’re, er, introductory. In other words, they come to an end.
If credit card companies had a dollar for every consumer who transferred a balance or made a purchase while promising himself or herself that it would be paid off before the introductory period ended and then failed to do so, they’d be� well, probably bankrupt. Because they tend to rely on making many, many dollars from people being tempted to overspend by zero APRs. And, at a time when credit card rates are so high, that’s precisely what they often do.
Credit card applications that are smart
By all means make a credit card application for a Slate from Chase product. But, if you do, use the plastic in a smart way.
Use Chase’s clever Blueprint� online service to track your spending and plan your payments. And make sure that you have zeroed your balance by the time the introductory period ends.
Sorry, Chase, for giving advice that could save readers from contributing to your already foaming revenue streams. But don’t worry. There are likely to be plenty of other consumers who will go with the flow.
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