If you want to lower the interest rate on your credit card balance, you’ll have to look more seriously for a good deal. Card issuers have become more cautious as the pandemic has caused the economy to crater and some have cut back on low-rate balance transfers. American Express, for example, does not offer a balance transfer at this time.
Issuers that still offer balance transfers have tightened their approval standards. You may need a FICO credit score of at least 725 to get a card with an introductory 0% interest rate, up from a minimum score of around 670 before the pandemic begins, explains. Ted Rossman, from CreditCards.com. Your income and debt level also affect your eligibility. And issuers are reducing card limits. “Even if you qualify for a 0% balance transfer card, you may not be able to transfer all of your debt,” says Rossman.
The maps are worth the detour. The Chase Slate Visa (chase.com) offers a 0% rate on balance transfers for 15 months (then 14.99% to 23.74%). You pay no fees on transfers made within 60 days of opening the account. Visit a Chase branch to apply; recently most clients could not apply online.
The First Technology Federal Credit Union Platinum Mastercard (firsttechfed.com) has a 0% shorter introductory window of 12 months, but the rate after one year is relatively low at 6.99% to 18%, and the card does not charge any balance transfer fees. You can join the credit union by becoming a member of an eligible association and opening a savings account; First Tech pays the association fee and makes an initial deposit into the savings account on your behalf.
If a 0% longer period is your priority, consult the US Bank Visa Platinum card (usbank.com). The rate is 0% for the first 20 months and ranges from 13.99% to 23.99% thereafter. The balance transfer fee is the greater of $ 5 or 3% of the amount transferred. The Citi Simplicity Mastercard (citi.com) charges the same transfer fees and offers a 0% rate for the first 18 months (then 14.74% to 24.74%). In addition, it does not impose any fees or penalty interest rates for late payments.