On the bright side, if your credit score does need a boost, these refinancing strategies can help. A major factor in calculating your score is your credit utilization ratio, the percentage of available credit you use. Clearing the debt from your old card quickly decreases your usage and increases your score.
Plus with a personal loan, you transform credit-card debt, which weighs heavily on your score, into a far less prohibitive form of debt.
"Installment debt is almost benign to your credit score," said Ulzheimer. "So even without getting out of one penny of debt, your credit scores can shoot through the roof, which is going to carry benefits other than just saving money on that one account."
Of course, every good deal has a downside, and in this case, it's you. After transferring your debt, it's easy to mistake the new credit availability as a pass to spend more.
"You could dig yourself deeper into debt, if you forget the reason you transferred the balance," said Rod Griffin, director of public education at Experian. "That's where I see people get into trouble."
But if you can trust yourself to apply this strategy, the first thing you want to do is check your credit score so you know what deals you qualify for. Then, you can compare credit cards using various websites, including CreditCards.com, NerdWallet and MagnifyMoney.