Balance transfer credit cards are great for paying off your accumulated credit card debt and can also be used to pay for large expenses you can’t afford to pay for up front, like a wedding.
You probably want a dream wedding. However, they can be very expensive and you might not have the funds to pay for everything when your bill arrives. This is when a balance transfer credit card may come in handy.
Balance transfer credit cards card offer a very low interest rate for an introductory period. In fact, many are considered 0% APR credit cards. First, you transfer an existing balance to your balance transfer credit card and you’ll be charged 0% interest for the introductory period. You can expect to be charged a transfer fee (typically 1% to 3%). Note that the interest rate will increase after the introductory period.
We recommend you initially charge all wedding expenses to a rewards card. This will give you the opportunity to earn a lot of points that can be used to either help pay for additional wedding expenses or a honeymoon. If you’re going to go over budget on your wedding, you should then transfer any remaining credit balance from your rewards card to a balance transfer credit card. It’s important to make sure you create a payment plan. This will ensure you don’t have a balance when your promotional period is over.
Let’s look at an example. The average cost of a wedding is $30,717, according to Wedding Bells. We recommend charging your wedding expenses to a rewards credit card such as the Scotia Momentum Infinite Visa. You’ll have a high cash back earning rate, which can be reinvested in some of the wedding expenses. When it comes to paying off these expenses, savings and gifts from family and guests will cover some of these costs. However, let’s say that you’re left with a balance of $6,000. If you were to leave this on a rewards card charging 19.99% interest and you make monthly payments of $200, it’ll take 42 months to pay off your balance and you’d also have to pay an additional $2,386 in interest. This amount can be saved by using a balance transfer credit card and creating a responsible payment plan.
In order to reduce your interest costs, we recommend using a balance transfer credit card to pay off this debt. Let’s look at two balance transfer credit cards and how each of them could save you money.
Continuing with the example above, if you were to transfer the $6,000 to the MBNA Platinum Plus MasterCard you’d be charged a transfer fee of $60. However, this is worth it when you see how much interest you’ll save. You’ll need to make payments of $505 per month for 12 months. In doing so, you’ll pay no interest on the $6,000 and you’ll be debt free in 12 months.
If you choose the SimplyCash Card from American Express, you’ll also have to pay a $60 balance transfer fee. Once again you can use this card to dramatically reduce your interest costs. In order to pay off the balance by the end of the introductory period, you’ll need to make payments of $1,010 a month for six months. Since the introductory period is shorter, you’ll need to make larger payments. After the introductory period is over, you can use this card to earn cash back.