How to Win at the Credit Card Balance Transfer Game

How to Win at the Credit Card Balance Transfer Game
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

The average American is carrying thousands in credit card debt. This is high interest debt that can take years to pay off... if you don't take action early. Yep, we Americans are up to our knees in debt. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. There are a few tricks that you can use to slash interest rates and actually get your principal balance paid down a lot faster. Just use this method to learn how to play the balance transfer game and win.

Find a Zero Interest Offer

First you will need to do some poking around. Find a large limit credit card that offers at least a one-year introductory zero interest period for balance transfers. Now you may have to apply at a few places depending upon your credit, and not everyone will get approved.

Transfer Over High Balances & Pay Them Down

Take your new credit card and transfer as many high interest balances from other cards you have over to this new card. You see, now you can start making direct payments to the principal balance without having to worry about interest. This allows you to pay it down faster, but there's a catch: you got to transfer it away before you get hit with interest charges at the end of the special period.

Rinse & Repeat

Make sure you transfer the remaining balance to a new card or cards before the zero interest special offer expires. Now you've just bought yourself a whole year (or so) again to pay down more of the primary balance without any interest. Then, just rinse and repeat... and be careful.

Parting Tips

Make sure you do not close out aged accounts even if they have a zero balance. The longer an account is aged, the more it actually helps your credit. The goal of playing the balance transfer game is to get your primary balances paid down by utilizing zero APR offers that let you pay down the principal over a period of several months while not incurring interest charges or other fees. With discipline, you can actually make this game work in your favor. But that also requires that you do not incur any more debt along the way, too.

Popular in the Community