What happens when the promotional offer ends?
If you’re carrying a debt that’s collecting high interest, a balance transfer credit card with a promotional offer can be a great way to repay your debt without interest. But like all good things, the promotional offer can’t last forever. Once your promotional period ends, the revert rate rate — or purchase rate — kicks on any remaining balance, ranging from 14% to 26%.
When will I have to pay the revert rate?
If your balance transfer credit card comes with a promotional offer, the 0% or low interest on balance transfers will only be available for a set period of time — usually between 6 to 21 months, depending on the card and offer.
Once this promotional offer ends, you’ll be required to pay the revert rate on any remaining balances. This is the standard purchase rate that’s usually much higher than the promotional offer interest rate.
Always make sure to check what the revert rate is and when it will kick in before applying for a balance transfer credit card. You can find this information within the terms and service statement relevant to your card. Once you’ve worked this out, consider how much debt you have, the length of the promotional offer and how much you’ll have to pay to consolidate the entire debt before the revert rate rolls in.
Can I extend the promotional interest rate?
You could. If you negotiate with the credit card company before you open a new account with a promotional period, you could try to get it extended — for example negotiate 0% from 12 to 21 months. It can’t hurt to ask.
However, if you’ve already made the transfer and your promotional time is almost up, it’s harder to negotiate a longer 0% promotional period. Credit card companies offer 0% promotional periods to hook you into you getting their card. They’re depending on you to make purchases and cary a balance so they can make money. They really don’t have any motivation to keep you at 0% when the revert rate is right around the corner.
So what can you do if you’re at the end of your promotional period and still have a balance? If you’ve been a loyal customer and make on-time payments, you could try to negotiate a lower revert rate by threatening to transfer your balance to another card. Credit card companies can’t make money if they lose customers.
Can I transfer the remaining balance onto another balance transfer credit card?
You can, as long as it’s not with the same card issuer. If you’ve come to the end of your 0% promotional period, you might be tempted to use another credit card with a 0% promotional period. Though there are no restrictions, transferring your debt on to yet another card could hurt your credit score. Every time you apply for a new card, a hard pull is done on your credit. You’ll also need to consider the transfer limit a new credit card and if the entire transfer, plus any fees, exceed the limit.
Compare balance transfer credit cards
Balance transfers can really help you consolidate your debt and get you back on your feet. Finding a 0% balance transfer card is a gift, as long as you pay off the debt before the period is over. To avoid paying the revert rate, do the math and make regular monthly payments. Before deciding on a balance transfer card with 0% APR, explore your options.
Frequently asked questions