Credit Cards

Tips, news, reviews, caveats, trends, updates and analysis related to consumer and business credit cards, and prepaid debit cards. From the interest rate specialists @ FedPrimeRate.com

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

No Fee Balance Transfer Update

No Balance Transfer Fee
No Balance Transfer Fee
In our last post at this blog, we confirmed that the Bank of America (BofA) Pet Rewards Visa® card was still offering 0% intro APR on transferred balances, with no balance transfer fee. Today's news isn't good: this card was discontinued yesterday. I felt a need to confirm this somber news because sometimes a bank will discontinue a credit product from affiliate sites like www.BalanceTransfer.cc, but the product can still be found on the bank's website. So I searched for this card using my favorite search engine and found that it was still listed on the BofA website. For clarification, I decided to have another online conversation with a BofA representative. The conversation ended a few minutes ago; here's how that conversation went:

Current Transcript of the Chat Session. Thank you for choosing Bank of America. An operator will be with you shortly. You are now chatting with Amanda.

Amanda: Hello, thank you for joining Bank of America online chat. I am here to assist you in selecting new accounts that fit your needs. How can I assist you today?

you
: Hello

you: I want to know if the Bank of America PetRewards® Visa® card is still available

Amanda: No I am sorry it is not.

Amanda: It was discontinued yesterday.

you: OK, so Bank of America hasn't had a chance to remove all pages related to this card yet, is that right?

you: I was able to find this card with a Google search

Amanda: That's not our site so they may still have it (?)

Amanda: However if you try to get to the application you will get an error.

you: Ok, well thanks for your time

Amanda: You’re very welcome.

Amanda: Are you looking for a balance transfer card?

you: yes

Amanda: How much are you looking to transfer?

you: I'm looking for 0% intro APR on introductory balance transfers, with no balance transfer fee

you: I'm looking to transfer about $4,000

Amanda: Well we don't have a card with no fee but we do have cards with 0% APR for 15 months on balance transfers and then we give you $25.00 back for doing the transfer. So once you get the credit back the fee would only be like $95.00

you: are you referring to the Bank of America Cash Rewards card?

Amanda: That is one of them

you: OK, so I'd like to know the other cards with similar terms and benefits

Amanda: Please click here for information regarding our Visa Signature with WorldPoints.

Amanda: Please click here for information regarding our WorldPoints Platinum Plus MasterCard.

Amanda: Are you still with me? Please respond so I can leave this chat window open to answer any application questions you may have.

you: I have all the information I need. Thanks and have a great day.

Amanda: You’re very welcome.

Right now, the best 0% credit card in the American market is the Discover More Card, which currently offers 0% intro APR on introductory balance transfers for 12 months, with a transfer fee of 3%. Unfortunately, there is no longer a cap on the transfer fee with Discover More, so if, for example, you want to transfer $3,500 or more, the transfer fee would be at least $105.

But you do have options, like the Bank of America Visa® Signature® WorldPoints Rewards credit card, which now offers 0% intro APR on introductory balance transfers for 15 months, with a balance transfer fee of 3%. This is one of the cards the BofA representative recommended during our online conversation (which I posted above.) With this card, there is the added benefit of a $25 statement credit that you can use to reduce the balance transfer fee. So if you were to transfer $4,000 to this card, the real transfer fee would be:

  • $4,000.00 X 0.03 (transaction fee) = $120.00
  • $120.00 - $25 (statement credit) = $95.00

Am I sure that a balance transfer would qualify for the statement credit? Yes, I am, because I just checked the terms & conditions for this card. Here's a clip:

"...To qualify for this offer, your new account must be used to make any purchase, balance transfer or cash advance transaction totaling $25 excluding any transaction fees, if applicable within 45 days of the account open date. Limit one (1) statement credit per new account...."

We also have confirmation of this from the BofA representative (see transcript above.)

Ok, so I'm guessing that your next question is, "Why would you recommend the Discover More card before recommending the BofA Visa Signature with WorldPoints Rewards card? Seems that the BofA card offers more value with the 15 month holiday from paying interest on transferred balances."

The answer: because with the BofA cards, the balance transfer fee is subject to finance charges. Here is a clip from the term & conditions associated with the BofA Visa Signature with WorldPoints Rewards card:

"...We include Transaction Fees when computing finance charges. Incurring Transaction Fees results in an APR exceeding 0% for the billing statement on which those fees appear. The Daily Periodic Rate (DPR) will remain 0% as disclosed..."

We also like the Discover More card because its cash back rewards package is the most generous in the American consumer credit card market.


Where Did The "No Fee Balance Transfer"
Pulaski Bank Credit Cards Go?


no fee balance transfer credit cards from Pulaski BankA little FYI to end this blog entry: The two "no fee balance transfer" cards from Pulaski bank are still available here. The reason we removed them from the "No Fee Balance Transfer" page was because these cards are very difficult to get. Approvals are few and far between. However, if you feel that your credit profile is stellar -- and I mean super perfect -- then by all means give one of these cards a try.

The reason these two Pulaski Bank cards are so hard to get?

  • 0% intro APR on introductory balance transfers for 6 months
  • No balance transfer fee
  • For the regular Pulaski Bank MasterCard® or VISA® Card, the APR on purchases and cash advances is 6.50%. For the Pulaski Bank Visa Gold Card, the APR on purchases and cash advances is 8.00% (you will have a hard time finding credit cards on offer from other American banks with APR's that low, especially for cash advances!)

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10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure the Chase Disney card offers a 0% balance transfer for one year with a 3% transaction fee capped at $75. That's the best deal left as far as I can tell. Much better than the Discover card which I find more of a nuisance due to the extremely low credit lines they offer. Chase still gives healthy 20K and up lines of credit. I just throw the transfer money in the bank to get the interest, so unless the card offers a good credit line, it's more hassle than it is worth for me if I can't do 20K or more. But the Discover card is still good if you are looking to transfer a small amount to avoid paying interest on a balance on another card.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008 11:41:00 PM  
Anonymous No Fee Balance Transfer Update said...

> the Chase Disney card offers
> a 0% balance transfer for one
> year with a 3% transaction fee
> capped at $75...

I checked out that card. The interest-free period is currently 6 months. Also, you have to be a registered member of a Disney site to apply.

> Discover card which I find more
> of a nuisance due to the
> extremely low credit lines
> they offer...

That's a shame. I've never had a Discover card so I can't comment on that.

Years ago, when I had two Capital One cards, I was disappointed for the same reason: credit limits were too low. The highest limit was $500. Can't do much of anything with that.

Thursday, December 11, 2008 2:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My experience with the Capital One card is exactly the same as yours. Stupidly low credit lines. Even Discover is better than Capital One. Another problem I've had with Discover is that -unlike with Chase, Bank of America, and Citi - Discover doesn't allow you to merge your pre existing credit lines into your new account until after the transfer option expires. Eventually with Capital one, I was able to get my credit line up to 20k. Then when I'd open a new card and get my silly $500 credit line, I'd merge my other Capital Once credit line into my new card and boost up the credit line. But you can't do that with Discover.

Between my wife and I, we've have had 4 Disney Cards with Chase and we've never had to do anything other than fill out the application on the Chase site. I'm currently in the process of applying for another. I'll let you know how it goes. Hope I get it. I have a 45K credit line on another Chase card and I've always been able to merge the credit lines easily with Chase. The $75 fee is nothing when you can draw out that kind of money.

Saturday, December 13, 2008 1:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I rechecked the Disney card pricing and terms on the Chase website and I think you may have misread the agreement. It offers a 12 month 0% balance transfer. Below is cut and pasted from the pricing and terms:

Balance Transfer APR: A 0% fixed APR for the first 12 billing cycles following the opening of your account. After that, or if your payment is late during the introductory period, 9.99% variable or 14.99% . . .

I think you may have confused another term in the agreement. If you use the card to purchase a Disney Vacation package at any time, you get the package at 0% for six months. Cut and paste from the site below:

You will automatically receive this 0% APR for 6 months for each qualifying Disney vacation package purchase when you use your Disney Rewards® Visa® Card,

This is a different perk than the 12 month balance transfer. Like I said, I applied for another Disney card. This will be my 5th. I'll let you know how it goes.

Saturday, December 13, 2008 1:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like I got the new Disney card without being a member of any Disney sites that I know of. They gave me a 9.5k line of credit. Not stellar, but I just merged my existing line of credit from another Chase credit card and boosted it to over 50K. On Monday I will use one of the balance transfer checks they provided to deposit the 50K+ into my bank account and then move it into a 9 month CD. The Chase card will charge me a 3% transaction fee capped at $75, for a balance transfer a little over 50K. The finance charges on the balance transfer will be 0% for 12 months and the $75 transaction fee will not accrue additional finance charges. This is certainly the best balance transfer deal remaining. The Pets reward used to be (my wife and I had 2 each of those).

Sunday, December 14, 2008 8:33:00 AM  
Anonymous No Fee Balance Transfer Update said...

> deposit the 50K+ into my bank
> account and then move it into
> a 9 month CD...

Question: are you worried that the credit crisis could get worse, and credit card companies like Chase could respond by changing the terms associated with 0% deals already in play, like the one you are using? 2-3 years ago, when stoozing was all the rage, we were living in a different credit environment. Banks were very confident back then, and had no reason to invoke the notorious "we can modify terms when we want, as long as we give you 45 days notice" clause that's often included in credit card agreements. Banks like Citi and American Express have started trimming credit limits and raising rates. What's next?

Makes me wonder if stoozing is safe during a credit crisis.

Monday, December 15, 2008 7:03:00 PM  
Anonymous I.C. Jackson said...

So that's what it's called; stoozing?

Sounds kinds of stoopid :-P

I only say that because there is a lot of risk involved for the chump change you gain as a result. A nine month CD will earn you what, 2.5% - 3% interest? You're playing these kinds of games for a measly $1500 that you won't even get for nine months?

Seems like a lot of trouble for only a small payout. If you have a 50k credit limit, why not use it to fund something that will bring in much more than 50k and then continue to pay you over and over again?

Am I missing something here?

Monday, December 15, 2008 8:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jackson - This obviously isn't worth your time if you know of some way to make more than 50k off of a 50k credit line. However, returns are generally proportionate to risk so it doesn't sound like funding whatever type of investment thing you have going with credit cards is a good idea. The 0% rate is only temporary. If you loose your money you are going to be paying it back at an outrageously high interest rate. Frankly, if I were making the kind of money you seem to know how to make, I wouldn't stop doing long enough to do anything except breath. Certainly wouldn't be taking the time to post comments on web sites!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008 1:18:00 PM  
Anonymous VC said...

> Sounds kinds of stoopid...

If you think stoozing is stupid then you must be very wealthy.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008 7:26:00 PM  
Anonymous No Fee Balance Transfer Update said...

> [The Chase Disney card] offers
> a 12 month 0% balance transfer...

I visited the FirstUSA site and confirmed that you are correct.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008 7:29:00 PM  

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