If you’re chasing after rewards on high-interest credit cards but not paying the balance off in full each month and letting your debt snowball, it’s time to face reality: Stop using a rewards credit card! By not paying off your balance every month, these rewards are no longer free because of the high interest rates attached to the cards.
Instead, you should be looking into balance transfer credit cards. These cards have very enticing promotional balance transfer offers (for example, 0% interest for 12 months) and can help you actually pay off your credit card debt because you won’t be paying high interest costs.
However, there’s a caveat to balance transfer cards. Once the promotional period ends, the interest rate will increase significantly and you’ll find yourself paying interest fees again. Therefore, it’s important to pay attention to the promotional period and the inherent interest rate when determining which balance transfer card works best for you.
Here are some of the best balance transfer offers in Canada:
MBNA Platinum Plus MasterCard
The MBNA Platinum Plus MasterCard is a no-fee credit card and the only card in Canada that offers a 0% annual interest rate on balance transfers (made in the first 90 days of your account being opened) for an entire year! This offer is definitely a winner and you’ll find yourself saving hundreds of dollars in interest charges.
The only downside to this credit card is that there is a transaction fee of 1% or $7.50 (whichever is greater) on every balance transfer you make. Therefore, if you decide to go with this card, try to minimize the amount of balance transfers if they’re under $750.
Scotiabank Value Visa
Another Ratehub.ca favourite is the Scotiabank Value Visa. This card offers a 0.99% annual interest rate on balance transfers for six months and has a $29 annual fee. While that may not seem as appealing as the MBNA card, what makes this card great is you don’t pay any balance transfer transaction fees (saving you 1% on each transfer). This could save you a lot of money! And the other attractive feature is that the Scotiabank Value Visa is a low-interest credit card. If you can’t pay off the balance you transferred, your annual interest rate is only 11.99%. Also, even after the promotional period ends, if you know you’ll habitually leave a balance (hopefully a small balance) on your credit card, this becomes a great low-interest credit card to have in your wallet.
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