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Prior to 2009, you could hardly open your mailbox without getting an offer for a no fee, 0% balance transfer from one credit card issuer or another. And then it happened. The economy crashed and the credit markets tightened up. And pretty much every attractive credit card offer dried up.
Over the past year or so, more attractive offers have been coming back on the market, but it’s still relatively rare to see 0% balance transfer offers without a 3-5% transfer fee. Whether you’re looking to make a quick buck or reduce your interest payments, these fees have been a very unwelcome addition.
The good news is that, while fee-free offers are rare, they are not unheard of. For example, the Chase Slate card can help consumers save with a:
- $0 introductory balance transfer fee
- 0% introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
- $0 annual fee
Note, however, that the $0 introductory balance transfer fee only applies to transfers made within 60 days of account-opening. Beyond 60 days, the balance transfer fee is $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
While the 0% arbitrage game has gone down the tubes ever since bank interest rates tanked, these cards are still a great way to reduce your interest obligations if you’re digging yourself out of debt. Just be sure to stop buying things on credit or you’ll wind up even deeper in debt than when you started.
You also need to be sure that you’ll be able to pay off the balance before the promo period ends or you’ll wind up back where you started. Remember, as the past few years have shown us, these sorts of offers come and go, so there are no guarantees that you’ll be able to find another 0% offer to switch to a year from now.