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  1. #1
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    Jun 2005
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    Default 0% interest for life on balance transfers??

    We pay off our credit cards every month and have no debt, other than our mortgage. It just makes me too uncomfortable. We use our credit cards often, but it is for convenience, not credit.

    In one of the umpteen credit card offers we received this week, they were offering 0% interest for life on balance transfers. We are considering paying our property taxes with one of our current CC and possibly purchasing a few others things we were considering buying this year anyway. In essence, this would be giving ourselves a free loan. We could pay the minimum and slowly pay off the balance over however many months/years it takes, while having that money in our accounts earning interest for us. Since they are things we were planning on paying anyway, I guess this makes sense.

    We are disciplined enough that I am absolutely certain we would not use this card for anything else or to buy things we couldn't otherwise afford.

    Has anyone done this? Am I missing some reason why this is a bad idea? I tend to be rather conservative and cowardly when it comes to finances, so I feel very unsure about this, and yet as best I can tell, it makes sense.
    'Thou shalt not' might reach the head, but it takes 'Once upon a time' to reach the heart.-Philip Pullman

  2. #2
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    Upper Midwest
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    Usually the "0% for life" offers have a stipulation that you have to make at least 1 or 2 purchases per month with the card. The money you pay goes toward paying off the balance transfer first, so interest accrues on the purchases you make. It can still be a good deal, just as long as you are aware of that interest is accruing and to keep the required purchases low.
    ~*~Jen~*~

    Enjoying life by the Big Blue Water!

  3. #3
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    Jun 2005
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    Default

    There may also be a balance transfer fee--it might still be worth it if the interest you accrue is greater than the fee, but check the numbers.

  4. #4
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    Jun 2005
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    SoCal
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    We've done that in the past. Like pp said, there is sometimes a purchase requirement or a transfer fee, but not always. Be very, very careful with your due dates though. DH points out that it is smart financially (free extended loan), but I'm a big chicken and it just doesn't feel right to me. I don't like having any CC debt hanging over my head, and I like my minimum cash flow to be affected by as few things as possible. Because it makes me uncomfortable (logical or not), we don't do it anymore.

  5. #5
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    Jun 2005
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    Default

    My DH and I had some cc debt when we graduated college and we played the "transfer to a new 0% cc" game until they were paid off which took us several years, but we never paid a dime of interest. We were very careful to make sure the cards didn't have annual fees, that there were no minimum purchases, and that there weren't any balance transfer fees. I say do it if you're going to make the purchases anyway...why not use someone else's money and earn interest on yours?
    Married ~ 9/14/02
    Lauren ~ 9/27/05 ~ 7lb 13oz
    Mason ~ 9/8/09 ~ 8lb 10oz

  6. #6
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    Florida
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    Default

    I have done it before and only used the card for the transfer. As pp said, look out for a balance transfer fee, usually 2-3%, but still pretty cheap money if you need it. I have never heard of the required minimum purchases.
    Married 5/19/02
    Our Prince 1/14/09

  7. #7
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    Jun 2005
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    Houston, TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by numberlady View Post
    I have done it before and only used the card for the transfer. As pp said, look out for a balance transfer fee, usually 2-3%, but still pretty cheap money if you need it. I have never heard of the required minimum purchases.
    The required min purchases are on cards with a 0% interest for life on balance transfers. I've never seen one that didn't have a min purchase, because how else would they get any benefit? It's fairly easy to just make the minimum payments through Billpay to a cc, but it takes effort to use it, but sparingly. If you are disciplined to only buy a pack of gum twice a month, then it would be worth it, as the 13% or so interest you are drawing on that over a few years would be negligible (as you can't pay new purchases off before you pay off the bal xfer). But as soon as you forget to make your two purchases in a month, then the 0% goes away. The one I'm thinking of is a Discover that does this.
    "Dance like it hurts. Love like you need the money. Work when people are watching." -Dogbert

  8. #8
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    Florida
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanya View Post
    The required min purchases are on cards with a 0% interest for life on balance transfers. I've never seen one that didn't have a min purchase, because how else would they get any benefit?
    The one I had was several years ago and it was 0% until it was paid off and didn't require additional purchases. I'm sure at the time they did it to get business hoping that I would use it for other things and be able to charge me outrageous interest on that. Maybe they don't do it like that anymore.
    Married 5/19/02
    Our Prince 1/14/09

  9. #9
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    We called to find out more. There is no transfer fee and no annual fee but the 0% is only good through December. After that, it continues but as PP have said, we would need to make 2 purchases/mo. ANy payment you sned goes toward the balance transfer, not the purchases, so they still accrue interest. So we are passing.
    'Thou shalt not' might reach the head, but it takes 'Once upon a time' to reach the heart.-Philip Pullman

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