Looking To Avoid A Credit Card Balance Transfer Fee? Try A Credit Union

Key takeaways

  • Utilizing a stability switch bank card from a credit score union can cut back your debt quicker than non-union playing cards as a result of these playing cards usually cost a decrease APR, saving you cash on complete curiosity paid.
  • Stability switch playing cards provided by credit score unions additionally generally supply the most effective offers and phrases, usually together with no stability switch charges.
  • The advantages of those playing cards, together with their decrease rates of interest and no stability switch charges, make credit score unions robust contenders within the stability switch marketplace for folks in a variety of monetary conditions.

If you wish to consolidate bank card money owed right into a easy single cost and pay much less curiosity total, it’s sensible to think about getting a stability switch bank card. Many individuals search out stability switch bank cards primarily for the chance to learn from the low and even 0 % introductory annual proportion charges (APRs) provided by the playing cards, usually for a interval of round 12 to 21 months. This permits them to switch high-interest debt from different playing cards to the brand new card, lowering total curiosity bills and dashing up debt reimbursement. Plus, stability switch bank cards cannot solely prevent cash, but in addition supply different perks, akin to factors or money again rewards.

A number of the mostly really useful stability switch bank cards are these provided by credit score unions. We go over why credit score unions generally is a clever selection for stability transfers and the most effective credit score union playing cards with no stability switch charges.

Why credit score unions generally is a sensible choice for stability transfers

Desirous to reap the benefits of a stability switch bank card’s many advantages? Whereas you can begin by making use of with conventional banks or family title bank card issuers, it’s additionally a good suggestion to think about making use of with an area or on-line credit score union.

“Credit score unions are nonprofit establishments which might be member-owned and centered on the person versus the construction of a financial institution, which has an institutional focus. Consequently, credit score unions tackle fewer dangers whereas serving people and small companies relatively than primarily massive traders, like a financial institution. This may give members a way of safety and belief.”

— Cyndie MartiniCEO and founding father of Member Entry Processing, an aggregator of Visa card providers for credit score unions

Ray Lindley, chief working officer for Elevations Credit score Union in Boulder, Colorado, agrees. “Credit score unions are usually not positioned to revenue from the money owed their members carry,” he says. “They’re devoted to serving to their members enhance their monetary well-being.”

Credit score unions might be a wonderful possibility for stability transfers as a result of their bank cards usually have low or no charges, in line with Ashley Duke, advertising supervisor for Georgia’s Personal Credit score Union. “Some credit score unions might cost a stability switch charge, however others supply promotions that waive the charge,” she says. “Moreover, the rates of interest are usually decrease than these charged by banks.”

Say you have got a bank card stability of $8,000 at 24 % APR with a minimal cost of $238 due every month. On this situation, it could take you 39 months to repay the stability, and you’ll fork over $1,436 in curiosity and costs.

“However in the event you switch that stability to a credit score union bank card that gives 0 % APR for 12 months with no annual charge and no stability switch charge, it is going to solely take you 29 months to repay your debt, plus $606 in curiosity. That equals round 42 % in financial savings on curiosity by transferring a stability,” Duke continues.

James Allen, an authorized public accountant and licensed monetary planner, compares credit score unions to an area farmers’ market in relation to stability transfers.

“They usually supply higher offers than large chains. They’re member-owned, so they’re extra more likely to supply decrease rates of interest. It’s like shopping for apples for $2 per pound as a substitute of $3,” he says.

The truth is, for This fall in 2023, the nationwide common rate of interest for the standard bank card from a credit score union was 12.72 % versus 15 % at banks, per the Nationwide Credit score Union Administration.

“Plus, credit score unions usually have extra lenient credit score necessities, so even when your credit score rating isn’t excellent, you may nonetheless qualify for his or her card,” Allen says.

How to buy the most effective credit score union card with no stability switch charges

When procuring round for the most effective stability switch bank card provided by credit score unions, perceive the professionals and cons and observe these greatest practices.

Select a credit score union that’s comparatively straightforward to affix

Credit score unions are required by legislation to have a “area of membership,” and eligibility standards should be met to entry their providers and merchandise — together with the bank cards they provide. However the excellent news is that becoming a member of is normally straightforward, with some credit score unions requiring dues of simply $5 deposited right into a financial savings account. That mentioned, you’ll find that a number of the most beneficiant credit score union bank cards require army membership or a particular credit score rating to affix.

Search for playing cards with no extra charges

Many bank cards have extra or hidden charges, and stability switch playing cards are not any completely different. When you’re not cautious, you would end up going through charges like:

  • Annual charges
  • International transaction charges
  • Money advance charges

Take note of the wonderful print

These 0 % introductory APR provides can differ extensively from issuer to issuer and card to card. In case your credit score union provides such a promotion, be aware of things that embody:

  • Introductory interval size. Most playing cards usually supply an introductory interval between 12 and 21 months, however you may also see provides for as little as six months, relying in your credit score rating.
  • Deadlines throughout the introductory interval. Some playing cards stipulate that you must make your transfers inside a sure time from account opening, normally inside 60 or 120 days, to be able to qualify for the intro APR.
  • Kind of transactions coated by the supply. Playing cards supply 0 % introductory APRs on stability transfers, on purchases or on each. Plus, if a card’s supply does embody each stability transfers and purchases, you may see completely different introductory interval lengths for every.

Notice the continuing APR to your card

You need to plan to repay your stability earlier than the top of your card’s introductory interval, however that’s not all the time possible. What occurs in the event you nonetheless have a stability when your intro interval ends? That stability will start accruing curiosity, which is why it’s vital to know simply how a lot. Be sure you take a look at the cardboard’s supply and word the APR that takes over. If the credit score unions you’re contemplating don’t supply 0 % introductory intervals, then it’s much more essential to buy round for low charges.

Try playing cards that provide rewards or extra advantages

If you need your card to nonetheless really feel useful and helpful to you after your 0 % introductory interval ends, then preserve an eye fixed out for playing cards that provide some type of rewards construction. By getting a stability switch card that additionally earns factors or money again, you may proceed to get one thing out of it when you’ve completed paying off your debt.

Finest credit score union playing cards for stability transfers

Prepared to begin your search? The next credit score union bank cards could also be a sensible choice for you:

Different credit score union playing cards with 0% introductory APR provides

There are numerous bank cards from native credit score unions that received’t be as extensively out there because the playing cards we beforehand talked about, however they nonetheless include robust introductory APR provides. Listed here are only a few:

  • Neighborhood America Visa® Signature Credit score Card*0 % APR on each buy and stability transfers for 18 months, with a variable APR of 17.49 % or 19.49 % after the interval ends.
  • Elevations Visa® Rewards Credit score Card* — 0 % to three.99 % APR for 12 months relying on creditworthiness for each purchases and stability transfers, with a variable APR beginning at 17.24 % after the interval ends. Plus, earn 1X factors on all purchases.
  • Members Alternative Credit score Union Alternative Money Visa®* — 0 % introductory APR on purchases for six months and 0 % introductory APR on stability transfers for 12 months, with a variable APR of 13.50 % to 18.00 % primarily based in your creditworthiness.

The underside line

Becoming a member of a credit score union and making use of for a stability switch bank card might be an effective way to consolidate high-interest debt from different bank cards and pay much less complete curiosity total. However it’s greatest to buy round amongst credit score unions to find out if the prices and necessities concerned with becoming a member of outweigh the advantages of membership and the perks of no-balance-transfer-fee playing cards they provide.

“Each credit score union ought to have a number of playing cards to select from,” says Lindley. “An important factor is guaranteeing it’s the best card to suit your wants.”

*Issuer-required disclosure assertion

Details about the Navy Federal Extra Rewards American Categorical® Card, Titanium Rewards Visa® Signature Card from Andrews Federal Credit score Union, DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit score Card, Members Alternative Credit score Union Alternative Money Visa®, Neighborhood America Visa® Signature Credit score Card and Elevations Visa® Rewards Credit score Card has been collected independently by Bankrate. Card particulars haven’t been reviewed or accepted by the issuer.

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