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.
|Overnight Avg Rate||Latest||Change||Last Week|
|30 yr fixed||3.77%||3.74%|
|15 yr fixed||2.97%||2.95%|
|30 yr refi||3.78%||3.75%|
|15 yr refi||2.97%||2.96%|
Today's featured rates:
Nike is opening up shop on Amazon.com and the company plans "big shifts" over the coming year. More
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's term expires in February, and it's unclear whether President Trump will reappoint her for another term or choose someone else. More
Roshni Rides wants to help refugee communities become self-sufficient through its rickshaw ride-sharing service. More
In 1998, Ntsiki Biyela won a scholarship to study wine making. Now she's about to launch her own brand. More
Two-thirds of Americans are concerned about the Equifax breach -- but far fewer have taken steps to protect themselves. More