NORWALK, Conn., March 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In March, transaction fees charged on 0% balance transfer credit card offers increased by an average of 5%, rising back above the 3% mark. The average length of balance transfer offers did increase slightly from 12 months to 12.17 months, but this modest uptick obscures the downward direction of the longest balance transfer offers that began in February.
After reaching the lowest level recorded since the inception of the SBT 0% Balance Transfer Index in February, balance transfer fees increased as a result of the termination of a limited time, no fee balance transfer promotion from Discover. At present, Slate from Chase is the only no fee offer available; most cards are presently charging 3-5% fees.
When the limited time Chase Slate offer expires, fees should continue the upward ascent evident this month.
After Citibank dropped 0% balance transfer lengths on three products from 21 to 18 months in February, balance transfer lengths have remained stable at slightly more than 1 year. However, with the exception of Citibank, Discover, and Chase, balance transfer offer lengths are somewhat lean, with laggards like U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo offering credit crisis like lengths of a mere six months.
In the opinion of Jeffrey Weber, Editor & Chief Card Analyst at Smart Balance Transfers, "While there are still some exceptional balance transfer offers available, the market is clearly not as strong as it was at the start of Q1. Banks appear poised to cut back on the rich incentives they've been offering and are already showing signs that approval criteria are getting stricter."
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 the March survey, please see http://www.smartbalancetransfers.com/blog/2012/03/march-2012-sbt-balance-transfer-credit-card-index-823/
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, [email protected]