NORWALK, Conn., March 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- With the expiration of a limited-time no fee balance transfer offer from Discover, average balance transfer fees increased slightly in March. Despite this change, March has proven to be a good month for consumers seeking a long-term 0% APR balance transfer deal, as a number of credit cards have increased the duration of their 0% APR balance transfer deals, says SmartBalanceTransfers.com in its new balance transfer credit card report for March 2011.
Average balance transfer fees increased in March from 3.36% to 3.47%, while the average length of 0% APR balance transfer credit cards surveyed in March also increased slightly to 11.64 months. Key determinants of these changes were the termination of Discover's no fee balance transfer offer and the extension of introductory rates on two versions of Citibank's Dividend Card.
Although Discover's no fee balance transfer offer ended February 28, the company opted to continue their 24-month 0 balance transfer card – an extremely popular offer that is six months longer than any other currently on the market. Citibank is offering three different zero percent balance transfer cards lasting 18 months. Though six months shorter than Discover's offers, these cards offer an advantage to some consumers, as Discover is currently charging a 5% balance transfer fee on its 24 month offer, while Citi is charging a 3% balance transfer fee.
With the Discover Card, a $5,000 balance transfer incurs $250 in transfer fees. The same transfer costs only $150 with the Citibank cards. Consequently, consumers who can repay the majority of their outstanding debt in 18 months or less can save more by choosing the shorter 18-month balance transfer and paying a smaller transfer fee.
Overall, March is another good month for consumers seeking balance transfers, though not as good as February or January due to the absence of the holy grail of all credit cards – a 0% APR no fee balance transfer credit card. However, even though paying a balance transfer fee is once again a necessity, the extra months provided by these 18- and 24-month deals more than make up for the upfront balance transfer cost.
For additional information, or to apply for a money-saving balance transfer, please visit www.SmartBalanceTransfers.com.
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At SmartBalanceTransfers.com, consumers can learn about balance transfers and compare offers from a variety of leading credit card providers.