What happens when the promotional offer ends?
A balance transfer credit card with a promotional offer can be a great way to repay your debt without interest. Once your promotional period ends, however, the revert rate — usually the purchase or cash advance rate — kicks on any remaining balance, ranging from around 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 intro 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 or cash advance rate, and it’s usually much higher than the promotional offer interest rate.
Before applying for a balance transfer credit card, check the terms and service statement for what the revert rate range is and when it will kick in. Consider how much debt you have, the length of the promotional offer and how much you’ll have to put down each month to pay off 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 a 0% intro APR from 12 to 21 months. It never hurts 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 getting their card. They really don’t have any motivation to keep you at a 0% intro APR 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 who consistently makes on-time payments, you could try to negotiate a lower revert rate by expressing interest in transferring your balance to another provider. Credit card companies can’t make money if they lose customers.
Can I transfer the remaining balance onto another card?
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, which lowers it by a few points. You’ll also need to consider if the entire transfer plus any fees will exceed the limit of a new card.
Our pick for a low balance transfer revert rate
HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card
Compare balance transfer revert rates
Balance transfers can help you consolidate your debt and get you back on your way to being debt free. Finding a 0% balance transfer card can be 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 a 0% intro APR, explore your options.
Frequently asked questions