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Balance transfer cards 2020: A godsend when you need more time (but don’t fail the test)

Hi lil lovies. The holidays were wild, eh? I’m writing this in a medicated haze with flu-like symptoms. But I wanted to write. And I’ve been meaning to talk about is how I’m using balance transfer cards to:

  • Meet my current financial goals (which I need to update)
  • Smooth out large, unexpected expenses (like when my AC quit in July and I had to get a new HVAC system)
  • Give myself a jump-start to purchase big items when I want them (I bought myself a rowing machine because I really really wanted one and I’ve been using it regularly)

This is because I didn’t have enough in a savings account, which will change this year. So hopefully I won’t have to rely on them in the future.

But for now, they’ve helped me consolidate a lot of balances spread over several cards with big interest rates. I paid a one-time balance transfer fee, and have a 0% APR rate through April 2020. So I haven’t paid a dime of interest since. And honestly? It’s been the one thing that’s given me time to get caught up.

balance transfer cards

Balance transfer cards aren’t a perfect solution. But they’ve bought me time and helped me avoid a ton of interest while I got my plans together

The test, of course, is paying them back before the 0% promotional rate expires. If you don’t, you’re right back to where you started. 🌀

The good thing is these rates are a year or more (usually more). A lot can happen in a year.

While I’m glad balance transfer cards have been available to me as a financial tool (which is absolutely how I think of them), moving forward I want to depend on savings rather than having to buy myself time.

Balance transfer cards 2020 – should you, could you, would you?

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Get a Year + 3 Months of 0% Interest (Including $0 Balance Transfers!) With This Amex Card

0% APR intro offers are common, especially for purchases. And you can usually transfer a balance from another card – but you’ll pay fees in the form of a percentage of the amount you transfer. The more you transfer = higher fee.

So when I saw a deal for 15 months of 0% interest on purchases including NO fees on balance transfers, that caught my attention. Then I realized it was with an actually useful Amex card – with a decent welcome bonus. It’s the Amex EveryDay card – learn more here.

Offers like these aren’t as exciting as getting tens of thousands of bonus points. But they can give you a lot of breathing room – especially if you need to plan for a big purchase, or catch up to avoid paying hundreds in interest fees. In this case, for well over a year.

amex everyday balance transfer

I know I’m gonna need a new HVAC system – to the tune of $6,000 – in the next couple of years

I’ve taken advantage of similar offers in the past. And this one would be a great way to consolidate some balances. Especially if you’re over 5/24.

Amex EveryDay balance transfer offer

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Why I Got a 0% APR Card to Help Pay Down Debt

Also see: 

Welp, I finally did it. Got a new credit card to help pay down my student loans.

It’s an idea I floated before. But I didn’t bite because there have always been other cards I wanted instead. Plus, I like to save or invest money instead of throwing it toward student loans.

0 apr credit cards

I hate their name. I hate how their logo has an apple in it. I hate everything about it pretty much

I’m constantly torn about taking a solid year to get rid of it, then I think… man, I could invest that. Or pay down my mortgage. Or just have it.

Ultimately, I think a hybrid approach is best: break everything down into buckets and work on each one a little at a time. Save a little, invest a little, use the rest for bills.

But I’ve decided to give myself a head start on the student loan bucket. Here’s why.

Lower principal means less interest

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