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Before the Credit CARD Act of 2009, it seemed there was no shortage of balance transfer offers coming through our mailboxes. Then, it was not unusual to get a new balance transfer offer flaunting 0% interest every single day of the week--sometimes more than one per day. Now, it's much more difficult to find these special offers, which makes comparing balance transfer offers that much more crucial.
When your options are restricted, it's important that the decisions you make are carefully considered. That means you must look further into your balance transfer offers than you might have before. Not only must you consider the amount of time you can enjoy your new, 0% balance transfer rate, but you must now carefully compare the fees on the accounts as well. After all, a card with extremely high balance transfer fees that are added to the balance could effectively raise the interest rate you're charged and reduce the benefit of the balance transfer. But if you choose a card with low fees--you could still maximize that benefit.
So make sure you carefully evaluate the offers you're given and read all the fine print.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|