One credit card payoff strategy is to use a balance transfer credit card to transfer your credit card balances from cards with high interest rates to a low or a 0% introductory annual percentage rate (APR) during the promotional period. You can find cards with introductory APR periods that can last for 12 billing cycles or even longer, buying you valuable time to pay off your eligible transferred balance without the addition of high rate finance charges. If you are considering a credit card with a balance transfer offer a here are a couple of Bank of America cards you may be interested in.
Review of Bank of America balance transfer cards
Bank of America has several credit cards that offer a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers, we will look at a couple of them here. Neither of the cards mentioned in this article charges an annual fee.
The BankAmericard® credit card offers 0% Introductory APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then 15.24% to 25.24% Variable APR. You will need to transfer over a balance within the first 60 days of opening your BankAmericard® credit card to take advantage of the 0% introductory APR offer for balance transfers. There is a $0 Introductory balance transfer fee for the first 60 days your account is open. After that, the fee for future balance transfers is 3% (minimum $10).
The BankAmericard® credit card provides a long break from interest on your eligible transferred balances. A quick note here, once approved for the card, you may want to check with a BankAmericard® credit card representative as to the total amount you can transfer over to your new BankAmericard® credit card, it’s important to know the limit you have on your card.
Looking at another of the Bank of America cards, with the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card you can earn cash back on every purchase. This card offers a 0% introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the introductory APR period ends a variable APR applies for purchases and balance transfers currently 16.24% – 26.24%. This card has a 3% fee (minimum $10) which applies to each balance transfer. The downside: the 0% introductory APR period only lasts for 12 billing cycles on this card.
The upside for this card: with the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card you can earn cash back on your purchases. Cardmembers can earn 3% cash back on the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs. You’ll earn 3% and 2% cash back on the first $2,500 in combined selected category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then 1%. Also earn 1% for every other purchase made.
The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card currently has an offer for new cardmembers for a $150 online cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
Which is the better deal?
Which is the better deal depends on what you are looking for, a rewards card or a card with a longer introductory APR offer. The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card offers a cash back rewards program, while the BankAmericard® credit card does not have a rewards program but does offer a longer introductory APR offer.
Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card works out to be a good deal if you plan on using your card heavily for purchases. As with any rewards card you do not want to carry a balance (for transactions outside of or after the introductory APR period ends) otherwise, the interest charged could negate any rewards you earn.
Another difference to note is that the BankAmericard® credit card is currently offering a $0 introductory balance transfer fee during the first 60 days of account opening. After that, the fee for future balance transfers is either 3% of the amount of each balance transferred or $10, whichever is greater. With the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card if you make a balance transfer there is balance transfer fee of either 3% of the amount of each balance transferred or $10, whichever is greater.
Bank of America balance transfer card requirements
To be considered for these Bank of America credit cards you will need an established credit history and a credit score in the good to excellent range. Keep in mind that the card issuers use a variety of different types of credit scores and other criteria to make credit decisions and to determine creditworthiness. Typically, if approved, a lower credit score in addition to other criteria that affects creditworthiness, could result in a lower credit limit and higher interest rates offered to you.
Quick Tip: New account approval depends on your credit score and other factors that affect your creditworthiness. See your free credit score on Credit Sesame.
Who are these programs best for?
Both offers have decent introductory APR balance transfer programs. If you’re already a Bank of America customer, these programs look even better. First, you’d be able to review your new credit cards on your existing online account, along with your Bank of America balance transfer status, your bank account information, your mortgage, and any other loans you may have with Bank of America.
A card with a low or a 0% introductory APR balance transfer offer, if used responsibly, can be one option as a tool to help you pay down or pay off credit card debt. Ideally, with a low introductory APR offer you can pay down your debt faster while saving money on finance charges by reducing or eliminating the interest you pay on your eligible credit card debt, this would lower your monthly payments. Take the time to calculate if you can pay off the balance before the introductory APR period ends and factor in any balance transfer fee to make sure it’s worth your while to transfer any balances.
Make your payments so they are received on-time and try not to use the credit card for any additional purchases so you can steadily reduce your credit card balance. One of the best ways to help pay off that debt is not to create more debt, seek credit counseling if needed. Check the terms before you apply, for example, you may want to know what would happen should you make a late payment. For instance, if you make a late payment some card issuers may end any introductory APR offer you have and some may even apply a penalty APR.
If you’re serious about paying off your credit card debt and you manage your account responsibly a low or 0% introductory APR balance transfer offer could be a tool you can use to help you reduce your debt or better yet become debt-free.
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