A Money Coach in Canada

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Photo  credit: TheTruthAbout

I bet you receive irresistible visa balance transfer offers from time to time.

They go something like this:

BIG PRINT:   BALANCE TRANSFERS 2.9%

Medium Print:  for the first 6 months, then….

Fine Print:  I’ll get to that, but first,

 

These can be a good deal, but you do need to read the fine print. Be savvy.  You could stand to win, or to lose.

Watch for the following in the fine print:

  1. Balance transfer fee.  Sometimes you will pay a percentage right up front on whatever you transfer.  Factor that in – is it still a good deal?
  2.  Dramatic rate increase if you’re late on a payment.  One of my friends transferred a large balance, was a bit disorganized and missed a payment, and suddenly the low balance deal was canceled and the new rate was over 20%.
  3. Payments applied to low-interest portion first.  This is fair, but watch that it doesn’t bite you.  Here’s how it can.  Let’s say you transfer $5000 to the new card.   Then you go out for dinner/drinks and put the $100 tab on your visa.  That $100 is at the high interest rate, since it’s a new charge, and you can’t pay it off til the entire low-interest $5000 portion is paid off first. Do that a few times (go out to dinner, buy books, purchase plane tickets) and you could end up with $2 or $3K or whatever at the high interest, and again, it’s impossible to pay off until the original $5K is all paid off.

Again, transferring balances can work in your favour;  just keep your wits about you and read the fine print.

Readers:  Any fine-print that I missed?   Or any stories to share on the topic?

About the Author


Imagine if Canadians were known for being all over their money. Engaged. Proactive. Getting out of debt. Savvy. Saving. Generous. Nancy wants to help. Nancy started her own journey with money over 15 years ago, and formed her company “Your Money by Design” in 2004 to help others along the same path. It’s not the usual financial advising/investment stuff. It’s about taking control of day-to-day finances –managing monthly cashflow effectively, spending appropriately, getting out of debt, saving. If you're ready to take control over your finances, pop by her business site, YourMoneybyDesign.com

2 Comments

  1. Great post. I found your link on twitter.

    I was actually just about to do exactly what you have written about and actually took the time to read all the finer details and discovered exactly what you discovered.

    In the end I stayed where I was as the interest rate was very reasonable.

    Peace, love and chocolate

    Carole
    Rejuvenation Lounge

    [Reply]

    Nov 08, 2008
  2. Thanks for popping by, Carole, and really pleased about the timing 🙂

    [Reply]

    Nov 11, 2008

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