Keep in mind when you use a balance-transfer card to make new purchases, it can get complicated if the no-interest introductory offer only applies to balance transfers and not new debt. In these cases, you will have different interest rates on the balance you transferred over and the balance you accrue with new purchases.
When you make a minimum payment — which is usually 1 to 3 percent or around $25 — your credit card issuer will put it toward your balance with the lowest interest rate. If you're still in the introductory period, it will go toward the balance you transferred onto the card with a 0 percent APR. Any payment above the minimum will go toward your balance with the highest interest, thanks to the Credit CARD Act of 2009.
To offer an example, let's say your new card has no introductory APR offer for purchases and requires a minimum payment of $25. If you put $500 on it one month and then go to pay that off, your first $25 would go toward the balance you transferred over from another card, not the balance you just accumulated making new purchases.
In order to pay off what you borrowed that month in full and avoid a potentially high purchase APR, you'd have to pay off the amount you spent on the card plus the minimum payment — in this case, $525. Any additional payment would then go toward the balance with 0 percent APR that you transferred over.
If you're someone paying hundreds to thousands per year in interest on revolving credit card debt, you may want to consider consolidating your debt onto a low-interest credit card. As long as you use the card appropriately, making payments on time and not adding to your balance with purchases you can't afford, the move can help you become debt-free faster.
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