NORWALK, Conn., April 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Although credit card issuers have pulled back on historically long 24 and 21 month 0% APR balance transfer promotions, the average length of 0% offers analyzed for the SmartBalanceTransfers.com monthly balance transfer index hit a two year high in April. At 12.68 months, average offers are 4.6% longer than they were in March and 5.7% longer than the 2011 average.
Balance transfer fees were unchanged from the previous month and, at 3.09%, continue to hover close to the multi year low of 2.95% recorded in February. Compared to April of 2011, balance transfer fees are down 10.9%.
According to Jeffrey Weber, founder of SmartBalanceTransfers.com, "The uptick in balance transfer durations in April is a result of improving market depth as opposed to the increases in ultra-competitive promotions that fueled duration growth during the trailing 18 months."
As has been the case since late 2010, Citibank continues to offer the longest 0% balance transfer promotions which presently last 18 months. While lengthy, these offers are six months shorter than the 24 month promotions Citibank offered in 2011 and three months shorter than what they advertised at the start of 2012.
"While a return to outlandishly long two year balance transfer promotions is highly unlikely, there continues to be room for offer improvement in the fee department. The Chase Slate card, for example, charges no balance transfer fees and offers a 0% rate for 15 months. Thus, while banks are unlikely to increase 0% promotional lengths, any new competition on fees would be a huge net positive for consumers."
About the SBT 0% Balance Transfer Offer Index
Updated monthly, the SBT 0% Balance Transfer Offer index reflects the average fee and promotional period for a basket of 22 credit card offers. These offers represent all banks included in the J.D. Power annual credit card satisfaction survey, including Citibank, Chase, Discover, Capital One, Bank of America, Barclay's, Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank.
For additional commentary on April's survey, please see http://www.smartbalancetransfers.com/blog/2012/04/april-2012-sbt-0-balance-transfer-index-850/
Founded in 2007, SmartBalanceTransfers.com (http://www.smartbalancetransfers.com/) is a leading destination for consumers seeking targeted information on balance transfer credit cards. SmartBalanceTransfers.com provides visitors with in depth analysis of credit card offers as well as expert advice and tools to help consumers make wise choices when transferring credit card balances.
CONTACT: Jeffrey Weber, +1-203-651-9739
SOURCE Smart Balance Transfers