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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: PJ on September 26, 2012, 09:11:50 PM

Title: Credit Cards with 0% on balance transfers - Canadian
Post by: PJ on September 26, 2012, 09:11:50 PM
Having already punched myself in the face repeatedly for having this debt in the first place, I would appreciate any suggestions for a good credit card in Canada offering 0% on balance transfers.   Temporarily eliminating the interest on a significant chunk of my debt would go a long way to helping me get it paid off faster.  I'm currently being charged 11.99% interest.  A small annual fee is ok, as I would more than recoup that in the first month of not paying interest. 
Title: Re: Credit Cards with 0% on balance transfers - Canadian
Post by: danzabar on September 27, 2012, 08:21:29 AM
I believe MBNA offers this promotion, or at worst 1.99%, have a look on, those guys always know the best credit-card going. Make sure to not put any other charges or balance on the card other than your initial transfer. Also make sure the transfer fee (based on the amount your transfer) isn't larger than the interest saved.
Title: Re: Credit Cards with 0% on balance transfers - Canadian
Post by: kdms on September 27, 2012, 08:36:39 AM
That's how we've been managing our stupid pre-MMM life debt as well....from what I've seen, most banks will send you promotional offers/balance transfer cheques at very low interest rates once you've got a card open.  CIBC, Royal, Scotia, and Canadian Tire Mastercard all do it for sure....but as danzabar pointed out watch the transfer fee.

If that doesn't work out, a line of credit with a lower interest rate than 11.99% might be a temporary solution.
Title: Re: Credit Cards with 0% on balance transfers - Canadian
Post by: PJ on September 27, 2012, 05:37:47 PM
Thanks for the replies, both of you.  Glad to know I'm not the only one with, as kdms put it, "stupid pre-MMM life debt."  Or rather, not that I would wish the debt on anyone, but I don't feel quite as stupid knowing that others have gotten into the same situation.  Unfortunately also have a LOC that's maxed out, and Royal (my bank) was fairly unhelpful.  I had thought places like MBNA (which I couldn't remember the name of - thanks danzabar) might be my only option, but you spurred me to look at the big banks as well.  Scotiabank has one that might be good - The Scotiabank Value VISA has .99 % on balance transfers for 9 months, and balance transfer fee currently being waved.  If my dad's doctor's appt tomorrow doesn't go too long, I will try to give them a call. 

Next (related) question - if I get the card, should I then be putting all my resources toward my LOC, which would then have a higher interest rate?  And then when the credit card interest rate is about to go back up I will have made some room on the LOC and can fill it back up to pay down/off the credit card?
Title: Re: Credit Cards with 0% on balance transfers - Canadian
Post by: PJ on September 28, 2012, 01:54:56 PM
Wanted to update this to report on what I've done so far.  I did talk with Scotiabank but over the phone, they weren't able to give me an idea of what credit limit they would be able to give me without me actually submitting an application (and having them run an inquiry on my credit report).  Sounded like I might be better off going into a branch to have the conversation because on the phone I could only talk to "sales" but in person I could speak with a banking representative.  Wasn't going to be able to get there today, so in the meantime, I decided to have another conversation with my own bank.  I last spoke to them in April, asking for an increase to my LOC to absorb the balance on my credit card.  They only offered me a debt consolidation loan with high monthly payments, and would have cancelled my credit card (which I need because I have to make purchases for work and submit for reimbursements).  So all I did at the time was switch to a lower interest rate card, and simmer with resentment because I felt the problem was a failure to understand the nature of my remuneration, which includes both salary and housing allowance.  Then over the summer, I got a letter offering to increase the limit on my VISA - which is through the same bank.  Confusion - if you're offering me more credit, why wouldn't you offer it to me where I want it???

Today I had a much better time of it.  They were able to conditionally approve an increase to my LOC to absorb my credit card balance, bringing the interest rate on the total amount to about 7%.  I just need to take proof of income and investments into the branch on Monday for the transfer to take place.  I offered that they could reduce the limit on my credit card substantially, which they will do.  So now I will only have $12500 available to me on my credit card - I think that'll do! 
Am trying to decide whether it's still worthwhile going into a Scotiabank branch to explore the possibilities for that .99% on balance transfers for 9 months with no balance transfer fee.  And when I go into the Royal branch on Monday, I must remember to ask about transferring back to a credit card with no annual fee, and with other perks such as points ...