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||4.40%||4.41%|
|15 yr fixed||3.79%||3.80%|
|30 yr refi||4.39%||4.40%|
|15 yr refi||3.78%||3.78%|
Today's featured rates:
Musk says he's working himself to the bone and relies on Ambien to sleep. More
The median pay for chief executives of the 100 most valuable companies on the London Stock Exchange increased 11% last year to £3.9 million ($5 million). Workers got a 2% hike. More
Google CEO Sundar Pichai has sought to reassure employees who are worried the company might compromise its values to get into China. More
In 1998, Ntsiki Biyela won a scholarship to study wine making. Now she's about to launch her own brand. More
It's a job seeker's market, and some candidates aren't even showing up for scheduled interviews. Or their first day of work. More