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Many people are still waiting for stimulus funds and are wondering if more additional rounds of funding are going to ever happen. At this stage, it really is too early to tell in my opinion, though I’m leaning on more stimulus checks not happening due to opposition in Congress.
If you are in need of some financial support or just want an added layer of financial security, then right now it makes a lot of sense to consider credit cards with a 0% intro period and with a 0% balance transfer offer. As long as you have a plan to eventually pay these cards off before the promotional time period ends, they can be a great financial tool.
TL;DR: If you are strapped for cash now, avoid travel rewards credit cards and their high interest rates. Look at 0% Intro / Balance Transfer credit cards
If you want to get right to it you can filter and sort 0% Intro APR credit cards (cards where all new purchases for a defined number of months will not incur any interest charges as long as you pay the minimum each month) and credit cards with balance transfer offers (the amount you transfer will have a 0% intro APR, but watch out for fees – more below on that).
How does a “Balance Transfer” work to a new credit card with a Balance Transfer offer?
There’s one super important concept to understand when thinking about a balance transfer offer. Just about every credit card that has a balance transfer offer will indeed let you pay 0% on the balance transfer offer, which is generally for 12-18 months, but they will charge you a fee of 3% or more to do it. That means you have to do some math on your own situation.
And yes, you can absolutely get a new credit card with a new balance transfer offer when your intro time period is up.
How does a 0% Intro APR credit card offer work?
Just as it sounds. Your new purchases during the time of the offer will not assess any interest charges for the duration of the offer. If the offer is 0% Intro APR for 12 months, that means that as long as you make the minimum monthly payments on time, you wont’ pay interest.
But of course once the intro timeframe is up, you will owe interest on the whole shebang. As well, if you are late with a payment, the entire balance will now accrue interest at their default interest rate which could be massive.
I always put my own payments on auto-pay. Of course with more than 30 credit cards, that’s essential for me so I don’t lose track.
The best card on the market now for a 0% Intro APR deal is the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Credit Card.
You’ll get a 0% Intro APR on all new purchases for the first 21 months. This is currently the longest 0% Intro APR period on the market.
The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Credit Card mentioned above also has a 0% APR balance transfer offer. You’ll get 21 months at the 0% rate on balance transfers, but you’ll pay an initial 5% balance transfer fee.
For this reason, the next card may be more appealing (you kind of have to decide if the additional 2% fee on the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Credit Card is worth it for 3 extra months at an 0% APR).
The Citi DoubleCash has a 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months; 3% balance transfer fee (this card earns 2% cash back on new purchases, but not the transferred balance). With 18 months and a 3% fee, as well as the ability to earn 2% cash back on purchases with no annual fee, it may be the best bang for your buck. You can also advance later on to the Citi Trifecta.
UponArriving has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. UponArriving and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.