Pros and cons of a new credit card

By Susie Poppick, Money magazine


NEW YORK (Money magazine) -- Question: I have a $7,000 balance on a credit card with a 10% rate. I've been offered a new card that charges 0% on balance transfers for a year, then up to 16%. I'd pay a 3% transaction fee. Is this a good deal? -- Cyndi McAdams, Fort Mojave, Ariz.

Answer: In general, a balance transfer makes sense only if you can pay off the card within the promotional period.

In your case, even after paying the 3% fee, you'd save about $490 the first year.

But card offers usually play up the terms for someone with near-perfect credit, says Ben Woolsey of CreditCards.com, and you don't know the interest rate you'll ultimately qualify for and whether it will stay the same over time.

If you can't pay off your balance within the year, don't switch unless the card offers other great benefits, such as a generous rewards program.

Test how much you could save based on various factors with the balance transfer calculator at CreditCards.com.  To top of page

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