NORWALK, Conn., Feb. 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- February is likely to be the last standout month of 2011 for consumers seeking balance transfers, says SmartBalanceTransfers.com in its new balance transfer credit card rate and fee report for February.
For the first time in more than six months the average length of 0% balance transfer offers, as well as the average balance of transfer fees, was unchanged from the previous month. However, Smart Balance Transfers foresees that average balance transfer durations will likely decline and average fees will likely rise in March when the only 24-month and no fee balance transfer offers disappear and there will be less incentive for other companies to offer excessively long promotions.
Discover's two limited time promotions are the primary reason the overall credit card balance transfer market remains so strong. Without these special promotions the average length of balance transfer offers would be almost as low as it was in September of 2010 – 10.8 months – and the average fee would be 3.47%. When these offers expire March 1, consumers who fail to take advantage of these deals will have diminished options.
The no fee Discover promotion offers a 0% interest rate for 12 months on balance transfers and purchases. This is likely the best deal for consumers, as the no fee balance transfer increases savings by $30 to $50 for every $1,000 transferred. On a $5,000 balance transfer, this translates to an additional $150-$250 in savings on top of what can be saved with a 0% interest rate.
The second offer from Discover is the longest 0% APR balance transfer offer in February, and lasts 24 months. Although this card carries a 5% balance transfer fee, consumers who will need two years or more to pay off credit card debt are likely better off choosing this offer as they can likely save more in interest than they will spend on the upfront balance transfer fee.
Consumers who stand to benefit from either the no fee or 24 month balance transfers should do so before March 1. At that time, there will be no free balance transfer offers available and the longest balance transfer will decline to 18 months. For additional information, visit www.SmartBalanceTransfers.com.
About Smart Balance Transfers:
At SmartBalanceTransfers.com, consumers can learn about balance transfers and compare offers from a variety of leading credit card providers.