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

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Chase Makes The Best No Fee Balance Transfer Card Even Better

Slate credit card from Chase bank, featuring a 0% Intro rate, and no balance transfer feeThe Slate from Chase credit card has been tweaked. The card still offers a zero percent introductory rate on new purchases and transferred balances for 15 months, with no balance transfer fee. What's new is that you now have up to 60 days to transfer your balance(s) to the card, and pay no transfer fee. In other words, the fee-free transfer window has been extended.

You can the Slate from Chase credit card here.

Enjoy!

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Thursday, March 03, 2011

The Future for Credit-Card Rates and Fees

BankRate's Greg McBride commented on credit-card and other interest rates in the following WSJ video clip:




I agree with Mr. McBride. For those with excellent credit, credit-card offers have been improving and will very likely continue to get better as 2011 progresses. Zero percent intro APR credit cards -- our favorite type of credit-card offer -- Keep getting more and more generous.

It's a shame that Discover's No Balance Transfer Fee 0% card is no longer with us. It was a special offer which expired at the end of February. Which bank will offer the next great 0% card? Bank of America? American Express? No one can know for sure, but I think it's a safe bet that the American consumer will be able to apply for at least one juicy, new, no balance transfer fee 0% card before the end of the year.

NB: Discover decided to keep their 24 Month Balance Transfer card alive (0% intro APR on transferred balances for a full 2 years!), so anyone can apply for it right now. This card is easily the best 0% credit card in the American market.

And what about the future for credit-card fees? Here's a clip from a great WSJ article titled "Surprise: Banks Ease Card Fees":

"...Some analysts, however, say lenders also are calculating that bad publicity from imposing fees is itself a threat to revenues. Amid persistent unemployment and a still-sluggish economy, credit-card companies want to tamp down on controversy.

'The motivation behind [easing credit-card fees] is to improve the persistent perception that card issuers are simply price-gouging,' says Sanjay Sakhrani, an analyst at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods.

That is especially important now, as the new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection sets its enforcement priorities, say banking industry analysts. 'Banks would like to keep a low profile right now,' says Dennis Moroney, research director at advisory firm Tower Group..."

I'm totally on board with the reasoning and analysis in the above article. The folks at the nascent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) are very busy setting up shop, and setting up policies that are likely to influence how much profit banks can make from credit cards. So, right now, banks are highly motivated to play nice.

Here are some clips from the CFPB site:






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Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Credit Card Rakings for January 2011

Discover More No Balance Transfer Fee Credit CardHere are the credit card rankings for January 2011. These rankings are based on the cards we recommend here on www.BalanceTransfer.cc. As always, these rank are based on both the volume of applications, and approvals. Here's the list:

  1. The Discover® More No Balance Transfer Fee Card (click here)

  2. Discover More Card - 24 Month Promotional Balance Transfer Card (click here)

  3. The Classic Discover More Card (click here)

  4. Slate from Chase (click here)

  5. The Chase Freedom® MasterCard® with $100 Bonus Cash Back (click here)

  6. The Chase Freedom® Visa® with $100 Bonus Cash Back (click here)

Not surprisingly, Discover's No Balance Transfer Fee card, and its 24 Month Promotional Balance Transfer card, were extremely popular last month, as these two cards are easily the best 0% credit cards in the United States right now. Here what these two cards are currently offering:

Discover® More No Balance Transfer Fee Card
  • 0% Intro APR on transferred balances for 12 months.
  • 0% Intro APR on new purchases for 12 months.
  • No balance transfer fee
  • No Annual Fee

Discover More Card - 24 Month Promotional Balance Transfer Card
  • 0% Intro APR on transferred balances for 24 months.
  • 0% Intro APR on new purchases for 6 months.
  • Balance transfer fee: 5% of each transfer made, with a minimum transfer fee of $10.
  • No Annual Fee
Moreover, both of the above cards come with Discover's industry leading cashback rewards program.

If you want to take advantage of the best 0% credit cards in the market right now, you have until the end of February to do so. Discover plans to shelve both cards on February 28, 2011.

The Classic Discover More card is still popular, because it's still offering a lot of value:

Classic Discover More Card
  • 0% Intro APR on transferred balances for 12 months.
  • 0% Intro APR on new purchases for 18 months.
  • Balance transfer fee: 4% of each transfer made.
  • No Annual Fee
And, of course, excellent cashback rewards.

The Blue from American Express® and Blue Cash® from American Express cards both generated a lot of interest from visitors to this site in January. Unfortunately, however, Amex approved a small fraction of the applications generated here at www.BalanceTransfer.cc. We're hoping Amex approvals improve over time, and they should as the economy continues to heal and the jobs picture gets better. But, for now, it's best to try one of the 3 top Discover cards from our January rankings above. Though American Express offers the best customer service around, Discover's customer service record is also very good. Bottom line: If you're attracted to the Blue from American Express or Blue Cash from American Express cards because they offer 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months, you'd probably be better off going with one of the Discover cards discussed above, because your application has a better chance of getting that stamp of approval.

As always, your comments are very welcome.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Will 0% No Balance Transfer Fee Credit Cards Return?

Discover More Black CardAs you might have already guessed, American banks are not jumping for joy about the new the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, also known as the Credit Card Act. The new law, together with new rules imposed on banks by the Federal Reserve in August of 2010, place limits on fees and other charges and, in general, make having a credit card in your wallet a much better financial arrangement for you.

If you think that banks have responded to the new credit card rules by coming up with creative ways to generate revenue, then you're right on the money.

For example, banks are no longer permitted to charge inactivity fees. However, some banks have figured out a clever way around this rule: charge an annual fee that's waived if the cardholder spends a certain amount on his or her card each year.

So what about 0% credit cards that don't charge a balance transfer fee? These offers were extremely popular during the pre-financial-meltdown credit boom, but they disappeared as the shockwaves from the 2008 banking crisis rippled through the American economy. "No fee balance transfer" cards still exist, but current offers from reputable banks don't feature the added benefit of a zero percent introductory annual percentage rate (APR) on transferred balances.

When will zero percent intro APR no fee balance transfer cards return to the American market? Nobody can say for sure, but it's a pretty safe bet that they will return eventually. Banks need time to figure out how to make credit cards as profitable as possible without breaking any of the new credit card rules. That might take many months, or even years. Moreover, don't expect these specific offers to return until the American economy is expanding at a decent pace, and sustainably.

Credit cards are still extremely useful financial tools that offer great benefits like purchase protection and cashback rewards. What's true now has always been true about credit cards: pay attention to the terms and conditions before signing on the dotted line, and do your best to avoid finance charges. Competition in the credit card market is still very healthy, so if you don't like the deal your current bank is offering, you can always pass and signup for a card elsewhere.

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