Balance transfer card terms explained | finder.com
Balance transfer card terms explained

Balance transfer card terms explained

If you’re doing research on balance transfer cards, you might have come across some confusing terms. In this quick guide, we’ll explain some common (and important) terms you should know.

The basics

Balance
Your balance is the amount of debt you owe.

Balance transfer

Typically, you initiate a balance transfer to move debt from one credit card to another card. You might do this because:

  • The other card has a better interest rate, or
  • You want to consolidate debt from multiple cards.

Though balance transfers are usually conducted with credit card debt, you can often transfer many different types of debt, including student loans, mortgages, and auto loans.

Credit score

A credit score is a numerical summary of an individual’s reliability of paying debt. The most widely used score is distributed by FICO, a credit rating agency, and is composed of various factors like payment history and how long someone has been using credit.

No-fee balance transfer card

With a no-fee balance transfer card, you’re not charged fees when you move debt to it. Sometimes, this perk only lasts temporarily (say, 60 days). Other card providers may offer no balance transfer fees indefinitely.

Keep in mind that though a no-fee balance transfer card doesn’t charge balance transfer fees, it may still charge annual fees, foreign transaction fees, cash advance fees, and more.

Compare balance transfer credit cards

Rates last updated February 22nd, 2018
Name Product Product Description Intro APR for Balance Transfer APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate ) Annual fee
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
Enjoy 40000
bonus miles after you spend on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit toward an eligible travel purchase.
0% Intro APR for 12 months (with whichever is greater: $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
17.24%, 21.24% or 24.24% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($89 thereafter)
Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®
A low, variable APR on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances.
10.24% variable
$0
Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®
Get a $200 cash rewards bonus after you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days after account opening.
0% Intro APR for 15 months (with whichever is greater: $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
15.99%, 20.99% or 23.99% variable
$0

Have we missed anything in the comparison table? Tell us

Compare up to 4 providers

Fees

Balance transfer card termsAnnual fee
An annual fee is a yearly fee you pay to your credit card company for the ability to use your card.

Balance transfer fees

Most providers charge balance transfer fees when you initiate balance transfers. Typically, these fees are 3% to 5% of the amount you transfer.

Cash advance fee

A cash advance fee is a fee assessed when you use your card to take out some form of cash. This generally means withdrawing cash at an ATM or a bank, but your card provider may also categorize other activities (like purchasing gambling chips) as cash advances.

A cash advance fee is typically 5% of the amount you withdraw.

Foreign transaction fee

A foreign transaction fee is a fee assessed when you use your credit card for a purchase outside of the United States. A card’s foreign transaction fee is usually between 1% to 3% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars.

Late fee

You may be charged a late fee when you fail to submit a payment to your credit card company by the due date.

Interest

APR
APR stands for annual percentage rate — the interest rate that’s charged to debt.

Interest rate
When a credit card company (or other lender) loans you money, it wants to make a profit. So, it charges you an interest rate — the price you pay for the privilege of borrowing money.


Introductory APR

An introductory APR, also called an intro APR, is a temporary interest rate a credit card provider offers to a new customer. After the intro APR ends, it will revert to an ongoing APR (defined below).

Ongoing APR

The ongoing APR, also known in some regions as the revert rate, is the interest rate you’ll pay after your introductory APR period ends. Typically, the ongoing APR is much higher than the intro APR.

Penalty rate

The penalty rate, also known as the default rate, is a very high interest rate you’re charged when you violate the terms of your cardholder agreement. The penalty rate is usually assessed if you’re late on a monthly payment.

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US Credit Card Offers

Important Information*
Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™
Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™

APR

16.24
variable

Annual fee

0 For the first year
More info
First Access Visa Card
First Access Visa Card

APR

29.99
variable

Annual fee

75 For the first year
More info
Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® Credit Card
Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® Credit Card

APR

23.9
variable

Annual fee

75 For the first year
More info
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

APR

17.24
TO
24.24

Annual fee

0 For the first year
More info
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