Should I Transfer My Credit Card Balances or Pay it Off?
As many of you know, I get questions from readers all the time. Recently, a lady named let’s call her K, reached out to me to ask a question about transferring the balance on one of her credit cards to another one.
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The original question was: “Should I transfer my credit card balance on my Zales card to a 0% interest credit card.”
To this, I responded with three of my own questions. (Her answers are in bold).
What is the fee to transfer the sales amount to the new card? 3%
Will you be able to pay off the balance before the 0% APR expires? Yes, I will.
Are you going to use the card after the transfer? I may use it for little things here and there.
After receiving these answers, I laid out what I would do in her situation.
Let’s Break This Down
The transfer fee from Zales to the new card is 3%. I think you said the balance was $3,000 on the Zales card, meaning you will have to pay $90.00 in fees to do the transfer.
The good news is you can pay it off before the 0% APR expires. If you don’t, they will back date the interest, and you will pay the $90 fee + interest charges on the entire balance.
The bad news is you said you plan on possibly using the Zales card after you eliminate the balance. This is not a good idea. Essentially all you are doing is shifting the balance from one card to another.
I would only transfer the balance if I don’t plan on using the Zales card. I would put a barrier in place. I would transfer the balance, then cut up the Zales card (so I can’t use it) until I pay off the transferred amount. I also would look into reasons why I have a balance on the Zales card in the first place. Then figure out a way to save up for purchases and only use the Zales card if you get special financing (0% for 18-24 months).
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Pro tip: If you can’t pay for the credit card purchases in full on the statement date, don’t use the card. Credit cards can be godsends, but only if you pay in full. We use a credit card exclusively for our purchases (we get reward points), but we have a detailed budget in place to ensure we pay it off in full each month. We also only buy things we put in our monthly budget.
Share Your Thoughts!
What do you think K should do? Do you agree with me or not? Either way, you should take the time to share this with your friends!
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