32 Credit Card Mistakes That Any American Does

KEEPING A HIGH-INTEREST CARD

If you have $5,000 outstanding on a credit card, a zero percent balance transfer offer (assuming a 3 percent balance transfer fee and a 12-month zero percent introductory APR) would let you pay that off within a year for $5,150 — better than for someone paying a 28.45 percent penalty rate for $5,803 over 12 months. Even carrying a standard 15 percent APR, it would cost $5,415 to pay off that balance. “Timing is everything when it comes to balance transfers,” said Matt Schulz, CreditCards.com’s senior industry analyst. “It’s absolutely critical that you not wait to transfer your balance to your new card, but it’s even more important that you pay that whole balance off before the introductory period ends.”

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