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Low and 0% Interest Credit Cards (No and Low Balance Transfer Fee Credit Cards)

Published 11/4/07 (Modified 12/1/13)
By MoneyBlueBook

Low and 0% Interest Credit Cards (No and Low Balance Transfer Fee Credit Cards)

Zero percent and low intro APR balance transfer cards are a particular selection of credit cards that I've had a lot of exposure and experience with. I've used them for everything from temporary financial emergencies to balance transfer arbitrage purposes. During times when I needed a temporary source of cash, I've applied for 12 month 0% introductory APR credit card offers and requested balance transfer checks. For the duration of the promotional period I would have the needed money to tide me over. Of course I always paid the balance back in full after the introductory period ended.

Well, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm looking to get back to making some extra money by doing App-O-Rama balance transfers. The process works by submitting new card applications from a select list of balance transfer cards that offer introductory 0% APR. The transferred balance is then deposited into a high yield savings account to earn free interest for the duration of the balance transfer period. When it's over, you pull the money out, repay the credit card and pocket the interest profit. The amount of arbitrage income you can earn depends on how many credit cards you apply for, the total credit limit, the duration of the no interest promotional period, and whether there are any one time balance transfer fees. People looking to make money from balance transfers usually apply for a high number of 0% offers at one time (view complete list of balance transfer credit cards).

0% APR Offers With No Balance Transfer Fees Are The Best, But Are Getting Harder To Find

Perhaps credit card companies have finally caught on to the whole business of people taking advantage of no interest credit card offers to earn balance transfer profit, as the number of no balance transfer fee cards have dwindled.

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88 Responses to “0% and Low Interest Credit Cards | No Balance Transfer Fee Credit Cards | Money Blue Book” 

  1. EW says:

    IberiaBank and Pulaski Bank(which I think are issued by the same company) is a definite one..I am ex-banker so I read the terms and conditions carefully... Also, I am from Louisiana and Iberia Bank is in Louisiana and they are a valid bank (used to work there)........Actually, I think Iberia and Pulaski are the only ones offering 0% for 6 months with no balance transfer fee right now. Good Luck and let me know if you find out any different.

  2. Brent says:

    I have used Pulaski Bank before, but they recently turned down my application. My credit is excellent so I figure its because I once had a card with them and only used it during the 0% offer for a balance transfer, or possibly because I asked for a large credit line when I sent in the application. Have not checked lately, but Advanta Business card was offering 0% for 12 months - but you can't have had an open account with them for the last six months. Good luck!

  3. EW says:

    Is there a transfer fee with Advanta?

  4. Manju says:

    I was approved for a 0% 15 month in October 08. It was a BankofAmerica Credti Card. There was no cap on the 3% fee. I wanted to keep looking and yet keep this offer open in case there was nothing else I could find. I called back in two weeks to take advantage of the offer and found out that it was canceled. Since then BOA has not approved me for an additional card, even though I qualify for it.

    Last week I transferred $15,500 from Citicards into an existing BOA card. The promotion is 3% fees, no cap, until July 09 at .99% apr. Citicards agreed to lower the after promotion down to 12.24% from 22%. Citicards rep did some calculations to help me with the decision. Two BOA reps were unable to do simple math to compare the two offers.

    I was also harassed by a credit analyst at BankofAmerica who threatened to cancel two of my credit cards and all the credit limits on them as soon as I hung up the phone with him. My credit is excellent and I have credit reports to prove that. I complained about him but I know BOA will not do anything about it. They sent me a disclaimer. The cancellations didn't occur and I'm convinced that he was harassing me.

    Even if there is relief from the Feds, I assure you inspite of great offers out there, none of the banks will qualify anyone, good credit or not. (Health Savings Accounts have the same history - when the Feds first approved it, the banks refused to offer it to self-employed/unemployed citizens. Small Businesses couldn't deal with the paperwork nor the fees associated with it. It took several years for HSAs to be accepted and not everyone qualifies or can still afford it).

    Brian, Mary: I had my car on a Business Advanta......they changed their policies with me too and I was very frustrated with them. I will never use them again.

    July 2009, I need to transfer this 15,500 so I'll keep my Citicard free till then or roll it into a home equity. Decision pending unitil March 4th.

    In short, 0% 12/15 is like an illusion.

  5. Tom says:

    Advanta also was very frustrating for us. We opened a new Kiva business card with 0% for 15 months and transferred a balance with the application. We received our first statement a month later saying payment was already overdue. The late fee was refunded after our protest but the 0% rate was changed to 12.99% despite a promise by a customer service representative that it would not be changed.

  6. george says:

    Hello, I am learning from your forum and am about to do my first balance transfer to pay down debt. I have $26K on a Citi Platnium Card, and am agressivley looking to pay it off over the next 10 months. I was just approved for a balance trasfer to Discover, but only for $8K (not enougth to cover my Citi balance). I have a balance transfer offer for my Citi Card, however I have no other debt to transfer to take advantage of Citi's offer. Now that I have opened the Discover, can I transfer $8K at 0% to Discover, then transfer that same balance from Discover back to Citi or are there rules about this? If I could transfer $8K to Disscover at 0% then transfer that same $8K back to Citi at 0%, then transfer another $8K from Citi back to Discover, I would have $16K at 0%. $8K on Citi and $8K on Discover. Does anyone know if it is possible to do this? Thank you for your advice.

  7. Manju says:

    Hi George,
    I can answer that very easily. Citibank has been very good to me. I have accumulated 27.5K of credit limit with them over 7 years. I will always keep them as a backup. I have transferred back and forth from credit cards and there are no rules as long as you don't transfer from one Citicard to another Citicard. By transferring frequently you will only accumulate fees.
    Bank of America is offering 0% for 15 months @3%. Try them. Call the "new application" number on Saturday night after 10 pm. You will most likely be connected to their Arizona office and they are considerate. They may even offer you a cap of $75 if you ask them and insist on it. Don't speak to anyone in Philippines, if you do get connected there ask them for a US number.
    I hope this works, good luck.

  8. Manju says:

    Another point: I requested Citibank to lower my APR from 22% and they brought it down to 12% (because my 0% promotion was expiring and I had no card available to transfer). They lowered it and I received my confirmation yesterday. But, I was able to transfer one week before expiration into an existing BankofAmerica. Citibank is lowering fees if you ask them, down to 9% depending upon your debt situation.

  9. erika says:

    George,
    If you have the limit available, it should not matter when you opened accounts you want to pay off. You should be able to pay off anything up to your limit with any credit card company. Once the account is open and you request a balance transfer you should be able to do it.. Some balance traansfers are only good at 0% the first transfer, other through out the term of the 12 months. Just be clear at all times when you are completing these transfers and each time you do it I'm sure you are paying a fee. It's worth it at 0%, though....

  10. jo-anne glennon says:

    hi, i was just wondering if anyone had a suggestion on a small business 0% balance transfer card for 12 months ( i owe about 10k- my 0% just ended this month) thanks

  11. Brent says:

    For a balance as low as $10K you might come out with Discover. It seems very difficult to find a card without a transfer fee anymore. Have not heard what Advanta is doing now but they were about the only one left a couple months ago, particularly with a 12-month term. There were some posts about problems with them, but I haven't experienced a problem with changed terms with any offeror. I always make sure my payments are early and automatic (if possible). Calling is always a good idea to see what they will offer, its usually results in better terms than you can find online, especially if you already have a card with the company.

  12. Frank says:

    I have 0% for 12 months from CapitalOne--3% transaction fee though.

    I also have 6months @ 1.99% with no transaction fee.

    What the math? Which is better?

  13. Ellen says:

    I had a 1.9% rate with CapitalOne on a cash advance I took out in November 2008. When I took it, I asked more than one rep if the rate was good until I paid it back and they all said it was fixed. I believe my statement had a symbol or letter indicating it was a fixed rate. (Ha!) Last week, they raised the rate on this advance to 25%.

    I've been with CapitalOne for more than 10 years and have an excellent payment history. And this is not the first time they have changed my rate for no reason. I moved the money then and I'll move the money now. If you go with them, don't trust them.

    As to your question, the answer depends on the rate they will charge after 6 months and how much you will have paid off by then. With CapitalOne, from what I've been reading online and in the papers, figure it will be between 17% and 25%. If you opt for the 12 months 0%, there's no reason to believe this rate will last the year.

  14. Jason says:

    I'm currently in the application phase with Iberia Bank. I've been looking rather aggressively for a no fee for 12 mos and I havn't ran across any OTHER than Discover. I can confirm with a previous post that they are SLOW. I called the week of application and was told it could take 30 days. I was looking at a big APR on my upcoming statemt from my current credit card so if you apply please apply with plenty of time before you need your card payed off. However, I was sent a letter 2 weeks from the date of application telling me that I was denied due to my short amount of time at my current job. I have been with my current employer for almost 6 years! I called and they said on my online app it said I was at my CE for 0 mos and 0 years. There is no way I put that down so they had me fax in a written statement with my HR reps name and number to confirm my work history. I called today and they were blowing me off telling me I'd get something in the mail and that it was currently under review. I had another rep. give me much more information so it depends on who you get.

    BTW - They also had me fax a copy of my most recent paystub from work to verify income. I guess in this day in age they cannot be too careful. It makes me think it's a good bank but if they don't hurry I may have to apply elsewhere.

  15. DENISSE says:

    I want to share that in Nov 08 I applied for a zero balance transfer/no fee account with Capital One that it was approved. In the application they requested my information of the account that I wanted to transfer and I did it as part of the application process. When I received the mail statement with the disclosures, it was a total different account. They changed the offer to a zero purchase act.and of course, the transfer from my other act. was already done. I called immediately and was over 2 hrs in the phone talking to different rude representatives. Finally I proved based on my computer record that I did apply for a zero transfer/zero fee offer. They promised to correct it. When I got my next statement I realized that It was the original problem unresolved and I called again. Neither to say that it was never corrected. They where very rude and basically was their word against mine and I had to take it.
    With respect of Iberia card, everything was sent, faxed and followed. After a month I received a denial letter for a delinquent account. I called the credit report that they used according to the letter and the company(credit report) stated that this credit card (Iberia) never requested any information and that that information provided from them was not accurate in my report.
    Anyway, I just want to be sure that people are careful. I am still dealing with Capital One, but for sure will not recommended or use it again once this is resolved.

  16. Richard says:

    we got an offer for 0% no balance fee for Toyota Visa Rewards, but only for the one applicant who bought a new Toyota. We took that one and got one year. I cant get in for myself tho

  17. louis says:

    I have an approximate balance with Citibank Mastercard of about 4500 credit limit of about 10000 maximum - they recently almost doubled my interest rate (for no reason that I know of) and refuse to lower it - Discover is sending me some information on a 0% balance transfer option - my credit limit on that card will be 6000- which I will be carefully be reading to understand - will citibank cancel/close my card if I do the balance transfer?

    Also can you transfer from one mastercard to another mastercard?

    In addition is there a formula to understand the fees and how to figure out if you are saving money or not?

    The interest rate on the citibank card is ridiculous at this point.

  18. Steve Brown says:

    > Also can you transfer from one mastercard to another mastercard?

    Yes you can, as long as the credit card banks involved are different.

  19. Brent says:

    Credit offerors rarely close an account, they want to make interest off of you at some future date, if not now. Executing a balance transfer just changes the balance on your account - nothing more. Doesn't matter what type of credit card (Mastercard, Visa, Discover, etc), but if its the same company or bank you will be prohibited from transferring between accounts. They're looking for new business.

    My daughter received a 0% offer today from HSBC. Its good for 12 months and has a $99 transfer fee cap. No idea how much credit limit they will give, though. She has two savings accounts with them and has had substantial sums on deposit to pay tuition, so that may be why she received an offer. They only asked for "household" income on the application, interestingly enough.

  20. Raymond says:

    Brent,

    Actually some credit card companies and major issuers have been recently offering card customers money to pay off their low interest debts and close out their accounts - American Express in particular (it's been all over the news).

    Many of the big card issuers are struggling with spiraling rates of credit card debt defaults and have been willing to pay money up front to certain account holders to get these bad credit card debt transactions off their books. Conventional wisdom is that credit card issuers like those customers who maintain large balances as it allows the issuer to reap income through interest payments, but when customers start defaulting on their monthly card payments en masse, issuers start to get nervous and panic.

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