Convenience checks often arrive in a stack of junk mail with credit card applications and other solicitations. They might even be attached to your billing statement. Convenience checks are available as balance transfer checks or cash advance checks. When you cash in a convenience check, your checking account is not directly affected, but your credit card balance goes up accordingly, and so can your rates.
The question remains as far as the value and benefits of convenience checks and whether they are really beneficial to cardholders. Consider these pros and cons of convenience checks to determine whether or not you should explore this common credit card offering.
*Pros of Convenience Checks*
* Reasonable balance transfer options may be available.
* These checks can help in a pinch with a money emergency.
*Cons of Convenience Checks*
* Convenience checks can push you further into debt.
* Interest charges can quickly get out of hand. They typically begin when you first use a convenience check.
* Grace periods may be considerably different than what your credit card offers.
* Cash advance rates typically are much higher than standard interest rates, sometimes as high as 20%.
* Transfer fees may apply.
Convenience checks may not be so convenient after all. Consider all the pros and cons to help with your decision. Always read the terms and conditions prior to getting involved with new ways to spend money.