Q: I get those checks in the mail all the time and normally throw them away. But I would actually like to use one right now but don’t have any on hand. Is there a way I can request balance transfer checks from my Chase, Bank of America, or Citi credit cards? How can I get the best offer?
A: You’re probably used to getting these in the mail all the time. In fact, I just got some Chase balance transfer checks in my mailbox today! Although most of us typically throw them away the instant we get them, there are times where we could use them.
What you don’t know about them…
At one time or another, you may decide to actually use one or more of these checks. After all, they are a convenient way to get money and certainly a heck of a lot cheaper than payday loans! However the problem is that they may not be giving you the best deal. Here’s why…
Banks typically treat new customers better than existing customers. If you already have a credit card with one bank, they probably aren’t going to bend over backwards for you… because they know they already have you locked in as their customer.
The same philosophy holds true with balance transfer checks. Typically, the duration of their offer is way less than what you would get if you signed up for a brand new credit card. You’re almost always better off by simply applying for a new card that has a good signup offer.
The best ways to borrow money interest free?
- 0% intro on purchases – Some card offers give you 0% interest on purchases for a certain period of time after you open the account (such as 6 or 12 months). This is a much better way to go than balance transfer checks because those often charge fees (up to 5% of the amount) in addition to whatever interest rate they charge you.
- 0% balance transfer offers – The best offers are typically much longer than what a balance transfer check will give you. For example, the Bank of America balance transfer checks I got last week only gave 0% until next June (which is only 8 months). Meanwhile, there are a plethora of credit cards on the market that have balance promos for least 12 months, sometimes even longer!
For the top offers, visit our sponsored listing of the best balance transfer credit card offers