Consumer Payment Card News

Consolidation Fees

As the economy sputters, more and more cardholders are looking to lower monthly payments by consolidating credit card balances. But watch out for a nasty little credit card fee that can wipe out your savings. Six of the top ten U.S. issuers now charge a balance transfer fee. The fee for transferring a $3,000 balance can be as high as $120. Be especially carefully when reviewing new credit card offers. Some issuers offer interest rates as low as 0% for six months or more. However if you consolidate balances you may encounter a balance transfer fee or an interest rate that is different than the rate advertised for new purchases. Issuers not charging a balance transfer fee include: Capital One, Bank of America, Discover, and Fleet.
BALANCE TRANSFER FEES – TOP TEN ISSUERS
Citibank: Balance Transfer Fee: 3% of transfer; minimum $5.00 maximum $29.00
MBNA: Balance Transfer Fee: 3% of transfer; minimum $5.00 maximum $30.00
Bank One/First USA: Balance Transfer Fee: 3% of transfer; minimum $5.00 maximum $35.00
Discover: Balance Transfer Fee: None
Chase: Balance Transfer Fee: $50.00 (which can be reduced at Chase’s discretion).
Providian: Balance Transfer Fee: $0 – for introductory period – thereafter 3% of transfer; minimum $5.00 maximum $30.00
Bank of America: Balance Transfer: None
Capital One: Balance Transfer Fee: None
Household Bank: Balance Transfer Fee: 4% of transfer; minimum $5.00; no maximum
Fleet: Balance Transfer Fee: None
Source: CardWatch (http://www.cardwatch.com)

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