Credit cards are tightening their standards and no longer being generous with low promotional interest rates on balance transfers. In fact, many cards have balance transfer fees even with their promotional offers. This information is not always immediately apparent.
I’m assembling a list of current balance transfer fees by credit card. The other day, I listed balance transfer fees on CitiBank credit cards, and today I’m adding American Express to the list.
Balance transfer offers are not for the faint of heart. They can be used to earn interest on a credit balance transfered to a bank account, but credit card issuers build traps into this process.
- Don’t send a payment late. If you do, you will owe back interest and late payment fees.
- Pay your entire transferred balance off before the term of the introductory offer has ended, otherwise you will owe back interest.
- Don’t use the card for purchases; payments you make will go to your balance with the lowest interest rate first, increasing the amount of interest you’ll owe.
Updated January 12, 2011 and originally published March 12, 2008.