Can A Credit Card Actually Help You Save?

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Most people don’t know there’s a really simple way to free up more money for savings — and it doesn’t require making huge lifestyle sacrifices. The trick is to stop throwing money away on interest payments.

Credit card companies are offering really favorable terms on balance transfers right now. Take the Discover it® Balance Transfer. It gives you an 18-month 0% intro APR period (then ongoing 13.99% – 24.99% Variable APR) — one of the longest out there.

If you have decent credit, now’s the best time to put it to work for savings. Bring your credit card interest costs down to zero when you transfer a balance to a new 0% intro APR offer. From there, each payment you make goes directly toward paying down your debt, and not monthly interest. To pay off a $10,000 balance, that would mean savings of $1,000+ in interest in just a year and a half. That’s a nice chunk of cash you can put toward savings instead.

The secret to saving more money is mostly just being smarter about how you spend your money. Cutting out interest payments is one of the easiest (and most painless!) ways to do this. To get you started saving, here’s a simple head-to-head comparison of two of the best balance transfer cards available today.

Discover it® Balance Transfer

The Discover it® Balance Transfer has the longest 0% intro APR of our top-ranked balance transfer cards (then ongoing 13.99% – 24.99% Variable APR). Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Plus, 1% unlimited cash back automatically on all other purchases.

But that’s not all. Discover also matches the cash back you earn during your first year as a cardholder. That means if you earn $150 in cashback, you’ll get another $150 on top of that — that’s $300 total cash back in one year. The more cash back you earn in your first year, the bigger your year-end cash back bonus.

Pros: You get an extra-long 0% intro APR that lasts 18 months for balance transfers and then the ongoing APR of 13.99% – 24.99% Variable APR.

Con: You must pay a balance transfer fee of 3% of your transfer amount.

Intro Balance Transfer APR
0% for 18 months
Balance Transfer Fee
3%
Regular APR
13.99% - 24.99% Variable
Highlights Card Highlights Provided by Discover:
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • 100% U.S. based customer service.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • No annual fee.

Chase Slate®

Want to avoid the fees associated with a balance transfer? Go with the Chase Slate®. With this card, you can cut out interest payments and transfer your balance for FREE (as long as you do it within the first 60 days of opening the card). The Chase Slate® also has an extended 0% intro APR of 15 months.

Pros: Pay no balance transfer fee (if made within 60 days of account opening), plus get 0% Intro APR for 15 months.

Con: You can’t transfer a balance from another Chase card. Additionally, this card doesn’t include access to a rewards program. If you already have a rewards credit card, we recommend making new purchases on that card — and using the Chase Slate® solely as a debt-elimination tool!

One thing to keep in mind is that most card issuers won’t allow you to transfer a balance from one of their cards to another (from Chase Freedom® to Chase Slate®, for example). That’s why it pays to know what the best offers are. You’ll maximize your balance transfer savings this way and figure out which card will actually work best for your personal situation.

The Discover it® Balance Transfer has the best deal with its extra-long 0% intro APR period on balance transfers (after that ongoing APR is 13.99% – 24.99% variable), and the Chase Slate® lets you transfer your balances for free during the first 60 days–a huge benefit for savings. You can also check out our full list of the Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards for 2017 to compare other great offers — and find the one that fits your needs best.

Please note: The Chase Slate® offer is currently unavailable through this site.

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