Balance Transferring on a 0% APR Card
September 6, 2016 6:29 PM   Subscribe

I need to replace my laptop. In order to defer costs, I decided to apply for a 0% APR (over the first 15 cycles) card, and put the laptop's cost on that so I can pay a bit each month without accruing interest on the purchase. I'm worried about the longevity of the deal, and my card isn't set to arrive for a week. They also offer fee-free balance transfers - so I'm thinking of putting the charge on an existing card and then transferring the balance. Is there anything else I should keep in mind here, or is there a hidden fee somewhere that might screw me?

It would be going from one Chase card (an Amazon card I keep around for occasional bonus points) to another (the new card, a Chase slate card). I'm a little worried about a hidden fee somewhere that I'm not seeing. Alternately, to avoid balance transferring altogether, is there any way I might be able to get a rush on the plastic?
posted by codacorolla to Work & Money (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've done this. Depends on the card probably, but in my experience there was no fee. BUT the transfer took a few weeks to go through. So in the meantime, you could pay interest on your existing card.
posted by J. Wilson at 6:36 PM on September 6, 2016

They are generally pretty up front with the fees because they have to be. If it explicitly says no balance transfer fee, there isn't one. If it says 0% on purchases, then it's 0% on purchases. You want to make sure it ALSO says 0% on balance transfers. If it says all 3 of these things, you are good. Just make your payments on time or they will revoke the deal. You can set up an autopay for a specific amount to occur every month so you don't forget. Just make sure that amount is above the minimum payment amount.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 6:37 PM on September 6, 2016 [3 favorites]

Oh, but since I've never done a transfer between two cards issued by the same bank, you probably should call Chase and ask them if they'll allow this just to make sure.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 6:45 PM on September 6, 2016 [2 favorites]

Yes, like rabbitrabbit said, some banks don't allow transfers between their cards - Citi doesn't. But you could look at taking it as a cash advance* and paying off the other card from your bank account. (*Sometimes the conditions for a cash advance are different than for balance transfers, so double-check that.)

Have you looked into a store card with a no-interest purchase? We've bought our last three laptops from Best Buy (I know, I know) because they've offered 12-18 months with no interest for purchases over $500. I would never use that card for a regular purchase because the rate's somewhere around 24%, but we've never paid any interest. I usually divide up the full cost and try to pay it off a month or two early because they have a default clause (if it's not paid in full by the end of the offer, the interest accrues retroactively).
posted by Sweetie Darling at 6:51 PM on September 6, 2016

From their pricing and terms:

We will not process any balance transfer requests that are from any other account or loan that we (Chase Bank USA, N.A.) or any of our affiliates issued.
posted by TheCavorter at 7:24 PM on September 6, 2016 [2 favorites]

My amazon credit card (not a chase card, only works on Amazon) offers 3 or 6 month interest free on bigger purchases. It is that or 5% back.

So I guess my point is that if this doesn't work, maybe you can try that? Unless the point is to get the 5% back AND interest free (or longer interest free).
posted by magnetsphere at 7:31 PM on September 6, 2016

If your Chase Slate card hasn't been shipped yet, you can usually call to ask for the card to be expedited for free (1-2 day shipping). I suggest calling 1-800-432-3117 to request this.

As already pointed out above, Chase will NOT allow balance transfers between different cards issued by Chase. So, this will not work with the Chase-issued Amazon card.

If you have another credit card issued by a bank other than Chase, then yes, you can buy with that and transfer to the Chase Slate fee-free and interest-free, no hidden costs. I have done this, and will be paying off that balance next month before the 15 months are up. It is a really nice card for this purpose.

You can also transfer a balance from someone's else's credit card as long as it is not issued by Chase, so that could be an option if you can use a family member or friend's credit card.
posted by thewildgreen at 7:54 PM on September 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

I may not be understanding you, but if you applied for a card with a 0% APR for fifteen months and were approved, you're getting the card on those terms even if they decide to stop offering it to new enrollees.

The main thing to worry about with these deals is that if you don't pay them off IN FULL before the end of the 0% interest period, they will charge you interest on the entire balance from day one, not just on the remaining balance going forward from the expiration of the period. So you need to have great confidence that you can finish paying the balance off by month fourteen.
posted by praemunire at 8:19 PM on September 6, 2016 [2 favorites]

Oh, yeah, that's not clear. I had to clean up the FPP to fit the word limit. I meant the deal on the laptop I'm looking at.
posted by codacorolla at 8:54 PM on September 6, 2016

You probably can't do a balance transfer from one Chase card to another Chase card. However, Chase will probably let you do an interest free "balance transfer" to your checking account, from which you can pay your other chase card off.

praemunire makes a good point: you should check the terms, but it's likely very important that you pay both the monthly minimum every month, and pay the balance in full before the end of the promotion period. If you don't, you may then be billed for 15 months of interest on the remaining balance. You'd have to read the terms really carefully to be sure.
posted by reeddavid at 10:10 PM on September 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

chase is a jerk, and will not let you transfer between chase accounts. i know this from personal experience.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 1:10 PM on September 7, 2016

Thanks for the help, everyone. I had a Bank of America card they insisted on sending me as part of my other accounts with them, so I'm going to put the laptop on that, and then do the balance transfer as soon as the plastic gets here. I talked to a rep on the phone to confirm that, indeed, the 0% APR deal applies equally to BTs. She also agreed to rush the card, so it should be here within 2 to 3 days. I'm assuming that on BoA's end, there isn't a fee for having a balance transferred off of the card?
posted by codacorolla at 3:08 PM on September 7, 2016

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