Monday, June 14, 2010

Balance Transfers And Getting A New Card

This past week I was in Boston doing a reading of a really cool new musical called Unknown Soldier,  by Daniel Goldstein and Michael Friedman at the awesome Huntington Theatre.  While there, a fellow cast member asked me if I knew of a good credit card for transfering her high-interest rate balance.  I didn't hesitate: "Actors Federal Credit Union Gold Card!"  Why this particular card?  Well, they have a ZERO balance transfer fee which is basically unheard of these days.  Any time you want to transfer a balance to a new card, or even an existing card, you will most definitely incur a fee of 3 to 4 percent.  That's a lot!  Plus, you may not even get a 0% interest rate on that transfer.

However, at Actors FCU, if you qualify for the Gold Card, you'll get a zero balance transfer fee and an introductory (6-month) APR of only 1.9%.  That's really good by current standards.

So, if you're one of those people (and there are many right now) who needs to transfer a balance to save money from high interest rates, check out the Actors FCU Gold Card.

One more note of interest: the rate after 6 months only goes up to 8.9%!!!  Good luck finding a better deal elsewhere.. just sayin.

And as always, charge with care :)

Click here to see the card offer.

A link worth visiting.

There are lots of reasons to avoid using your credit card, if you aren't responsible.  One of the main ones is if you don't intend to pay off the balance in full at the end of the month.. especially if you have a high interest rate.  There is an exception: when you are in a "promotional" period and you aren't getting charged interest for 6 to 18 months.  However, if you still have a balance at the end of the promotion, be ready to get hit with big interest charges.

This link goes into a little more detail about the credit card thing.

There are other great pieces of advice in the link as well.  For instance, why you should avoid refinancing your home if you're a homeowner.  Many people buy a home because they want an "investment" and don't want to throw their "hard-earned money" away on rent.  Well, yes, if you buy a home, it CAN be a good investment.  BUT if you refinance, it basically means you're borrowing against the newly gained equity in the home.  Which basically means you're going to owe more money on your investment.  Which basically means you've just reduced your investment by borrowing against it.

But if you choose to "throw your money away on rent," and invest in a Roth IRA, or your 401K, you'll be less inclined to borrow against it or cash it out.  In turn, you won't reduce your investment with careless refinancing.  Also, as we've seen in the recent years, homes can lose their value quickly and take a long time to recover.  Your IRAs and 401Ks and lose value quickly as well, but they don't take nearly as long to get their original value back.  What does this mean to you?  Well, if you're just renting, you won't have to worry about how much your apartment is worth, because the bank won't call in the loan.

If this is too much jibberish, just google the terms "mortgage crisis," "call in a loan on a mortgage," and "why homes get foreclosed when values fall."

It's lots of fun.

Enjoy the link and happy saving!