There’s no denying that most debt is bad, and that credit card issuers don’t have an incentive to help you get out of it. After all, they make a lot of their money from the fees and interest rates they charge borrowers.
But once in a while, a card will offer an attractive sign up bonus that can actually help. This is the case with the Barclaycard Ring Mastercard.
It has 0% apr for 15 months, and 0% on balance transfers made within the first 45 days of account opening. But it shines with no balance transfer fees.
Most cards offering a 0% introductory rate charge around 3% for balance transfers. It may not sound like much, especially when compared with a high interest rate currently imposed on the debt, but the best way out of debt is to have it cost you as little as possible.
There are a few cautions to make this work, though (assuming, of course, that you’re approved for the card in the first place).
- Do not charge anything new to this card. The goal is to reduce your debt, not add to it.
- Don’t transfer more than you will pay off in about 14 months. That way, you won’t have a balance when the introductory offer ends and the regular interest rate kicks in (currently over 13%).
- Do not, under any circumstances, forget to pay at least the minimum each month before the due date.
As an example, transferring $1400 from a card charging (a modest) 12% and paying $100 per month will pay it off 2 months faster and save you over $100 in interest. Savings are even more dramatic on debts with higher interest rates.
As an aside, I’m not getting anything for recommending this card. I just know that when I started digging my way out of debt, offers like these helped me gain traction on the slippery slope of high interest rates.