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Credit Card Balance Transfers Can Help You Stop Putting Money Down The Drain

As you probably know, interest rates are at all time low right now and if you aren't getting the best deal from your credit card company then they owe it to you to either lower your rate, or you owe it to yourself to find a better deal. You see, credit card companies need your business in order to succeed and if you refuse to pay a penny more than you have to then you'll be doing yourself and others a big favour indeed. By doing this, you'll avoid paying more than you should and the companies will stop treating its clients inappropriately.

Now that this is clear, we will talk about the essentials of balance transfers, how they work and how you can ensure that you get the absolute best possible deal.

1. First and foremost, understand what a balance transfer is. A balance transfer is when you transfer the balance from one card to another in order to get a better interest rate than the one that you are currently getting.

2. Second, to find the absolute best deals, look to transfer balances on cards where the initial interest rate is 0% and the amount after that is lower than the one you have now. For instance, if you're a cardholder that has an interest rate of 27.4% on a £1000 balance and you only pay £150 a month for 6 months, you will not pay off the balance in 6 months. Instead you will pay £247 worth of interest and your balance after 6 months will be £346. In contrast, if you had a 0% card and make the same monthly payment then your balance will be reduced to £100 at the end of the 6 month period, a tremendous saving!

3. Third, don't throw those offers that you receive in the mail away. If you have great credit then you'll likely have credit card companies vying for your attention. Just use this power to your advantage and find the very best 0% deal for you.

4. If no good deals seem apparent, then you have to find your own deals. You can do this by conducting a thorough search on the internet to see if you can find a 0% card offer.

5. Once you've done this, request information and then review it carefully. Pay close attention to the rate after the initial introductory period is over. For instance, if you have two choices of cards with 0% interest rates for 6 months and one charges an interest rate of 15.00% after the initial period and one that charges 11.00% after the initial period then by all means choose the second one because it is by far the better deal overall.

6. Read and then re-read the credit cardholder agreement a couple of times. Make sure that you understand all of the jargon and if you don't, find someone that does before you sign it. Review it closely to make sure that you are getting the best deal possible. For instance, when evaluating deals, you should ask yourself these questions:

a. How long does the introductory rate last?

b. What will be the rate after the teaser expires?

c. What are the cards annual fees? Can they be waived?

d. Are there any transfer fees that you should be aware of?

e. Are there any perks that are offered? (Ex. frequent flier miles, free gifts, etc).

7. Once you've decided on an offer, fill out your application fully and get it in the mail as soon as you can.

8. Once you get the offer, make sure that it is a 0% teaser rate and if it isn't, then contact the company right away. If they aren't open to doing so then tell them that you're cancelling the card and look for another company that delivers what they promise. Your primary goal is avoid the old "bait and switch" while simultaneously saving money on interest.

9. While waiting for your new card, make sure that you continue to pay on your old card to avoid glitches in your credit report and once you receive notification that the transfer has been made, make sure you contact the old company and make sure that they received the payoff amount.

10. After the teaser rate is up, don't be afraid to jump from one credit card to another after the teaser expires. You see, there is absolutely nothing wrong with surfing cards and taking advantage of 0% offers whenever you possibly can. Just keep finding and researching great deals.

That's it my friend. Credit card transfers don't have to be so confusing and daunting. If you follow the above mentioned steps then you can and will win the balance transfer rate and stop throwing your hard earned money down the drain.

Claire Bowes is a successful freelance writer and owner of http://www.the-credit-card-centre.co.uk where you will find further advice and money-saving tips on the best credit cards, 0% balance transfers and cash back credit cards.

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