Balance Transfers

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by JacquiG, Nov 17, 2000.

  1. JacquiG

    JacquiG Well-Known Member

    ***THIS IS A LONG ONE***

    I need some advice/other points of view: I have opened several new prime accounts since May (Discover 2.9, Wells Fargo 5.9, Chase 3.99, Universal 2.9 and Citibank 2.9 - yes, I know they're the same now!). Anyway, they all came with good promo APRs on transfers and two on purchases also.

    When I opened Wells, I transferred MBNA and some others. Chase got Direct Merchants; Discover went to Universal, MBNA got my credit line and FNANB under a new offer, and Citibank got Wells, my NEW MBNA balance, and some cash for me.

    Yesterday, Chase sent me a transfer offer for 3.99 until paid off. I only get one check, and it has to post by December 20th. My current transfer rate is only good until April.

    The only way I can take advantage of this is to move Chase to either Citibank or MBNA, then transfer my DisneyWorld expenses to Chase when I get back. I plan to use Direct Merchants because I get cashback and there's no balance. OR, I can just transfer it out, and then put it back using the check!

    So here are the questions:
    1. Will Citi (and my score) be affected if my balance is so high after I just opened it (about 95%)?

    2. The creditors have to know what I'm doing since my transfer/payment pattern is so out of the ordinary. How will that affect my account?

    3. Should I just let the offer pass, though I've never had a rate last until paid? Are these common enough that I should wait for another one?

    4. Any other things I haven't thought of...

    Thanks for all replies, even those who tell me I have too many cards! I guess it's a good thing that THIS is my most pressing concern right now :)
  2. the other

    the other Well-Known Member

    I say take advantage of the offer.

    The cards I have never charge fees for balance transfers, so I am often transfering balances around to get the best rate.

    In fact, I have one account I keep open just because I can use their convenience checks for no additional charge. The interest rate is high (17%), but I never carry much of a balance on it. I use one of their checks to pay off/down the card that has the great b.t. rate, then I do a balance transfer right back.

    If you have a card that has enough available credit, do a transfer to clear out the chase account, then transfer as much as you can to take advantage of the 3.99 rate. (I wish they would offer that to me - LOL).

    Having a high balance on a new card is no different than having a high balance on an old card. I currently have 5 accounts that have a high balance, then I also have 4 accounts that occasionally have a small balance. This allows me the flexibility to do transfers to get better rates while I am paying down my debt. I have been turned down recently for a couple of cards (Fusion, and Amex Delta skymiles), but I also just obtained a new home loan, and was just approved for a home improvement loan. From what I was told, it is the total balance to total credit line ratio that matters in your credit score. You may have a little less leverage with interest rates and limits with Citi if you are already near your limit, but overall, it doesn't make a big difference.
  3. the other

    the other Well-Known Member

    Also, I was turned down for the two credit cards because I have opened a number of accounts within the last nine months.

    Alot of new accounts will bring your score down alot (I don't know for sure, but in my experience this has brought my score down more than high balances ever have)
  4. BLE103

    BLE103 Guest

    I wouldn't say that you have too many cards but how close togeather did you open your new accounts?CHASE is your best B.T. offer that you listed.In order for you to get the most from these fantastic offer is to get your credit limit as high as you can get it.As long as you are being very responsible with the cards you have nothing to worry about.Also pay more then the min-due on your accounts.Do not apply for anymore accounts for now because you have got enough credit cards.Enjoy your low rates.
  5. JacquiG

    JacquiG Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the response...they were all opened in the last 6 months. Discover in May, Wells and Chase in July (same day), Universal in August, and Citibank on October 29th. Unfortunately/fortunately, my Chase limit is only $4K, and you have to wait 6 months for an increase, so that's all I can do. It's funny, though, because when the 3.99 expires in April, I was going to transfer the remainder and close the account - it goes to 18.99! Guess I'll have to keep it...

    Believe me, the cards with the transfers are not used for anything else, and I pay more than the minimum. Also, I learned here about not mixing transfers and purchases. Wish I'd known about that before!
  6. JacquiG

    JacquiG Well-Known Member

    OK, guess I'll go ahead and do it. You've already done what I was thinking about, moving Chase to MBNA and then back again. That's funny, though...they won't extend the offer to current balances, but I can give them back the same balance I transferred!

    Fortunately, my Citi limit is high enough to take it, but I'm still hesitant to almost max it out when the account hasn't even been open a month.

    Thanks for the help!
  7. the other

    the other Well-Known Member

    similar card portfolio

    Your credit card portfolio is very similar to mine.

    I have:

    Citibank - 16,700 limit
    Quicken(also Citibank) - 5,000 limit
    Discover - 13,000
    Chase - 15,000
    MBNA - 15,000
    Wells Fargo - 7,500
    Bank of America - 6,900
    ESL (Credit Union) - 10,000
    Amex Blue - 2,000
    SFNB - 1,000

    Student loans - total about 40,000
    Plus new mortgage and home improvement loan.
  8. JacquiG

    JacquiG Well-Known Member

    RE: similar card portfolio

    Pretty close!

    Here's mine...
    Citibank - 12,500
    Universal(also Citibank) - 5,000
    Discover - 5,000
    Chase - 4,000
    MBNA - 7,000
    Wells Fargo - 8,500
    FNANB - 8,000
    Direct Merchants - 3,100
    AFECU (credit union) 2,000
    Office Depot - 1,500 only used for 0%/12 month computer offer!
    Sears - 450
    AMEX Green

    Car payment- total remaining $15,000
    3.5 yr mortgage

    Congrats on the new mortgage! Why an improvement loan so soon?
  9. Momof3

    Momof3 Well-Known Member

    other me a ?

    I assmue from your tradelines your credit must be very good:) I see you got a new mortgage, were they concerned about too many tradelines open?? We will be getting our first mortgage next summer and although I guess our credit is fair, I was afraid they might say we have too many tradelines??

  10. BLE103

    BLE103 Guest

    RE: similar card portfolio

    Here is mine.

    CHASE 14,000.00

    DISCOVER 9,000.00

    MBNA 8,500.00

    By june of 2001 i am going to apply for a CITIBANK card,and AT&T universal card.These have 9 months on their balance transfer offers.Having a total of 5 tradelines with very high limits is way enough as far with unsecured credit.I am so responsible with my cards,and at the same time my creditor's are offering me very low balance transfer offers.Also it is great when you don't have a ask for a credit line increase.They give it to me automatically.
  11. the other

    the other Well-Known Member

    RE: other me a ?

    Hey mom.

    I left the accounts open so that I could keep my balance/limit ratio from being too high. They actually weren't concerned with the number of accounts. My ratios were the most important (including my debt to income ratio too).

    My score wasn't very good (about 640) because of all the inquiries and the fact that many of my accounts were opened within the last 6-9 months. Up till then, I was just using 1 card(citibank), but had personal loans. I found that by doing the balance transfer shuffling, I could get lower interest rates than the personal loans, and of course as I paid down the debt, my minimum payments (used to calculate the debt to income ratio) would decrease (unlike an installment loan with a fixed payment).

    The crazy thing is that my score is that low even though I have absolutely no derogs. of any kind. Just lots inquiries and a number of new accounts.

    You should focus more on the ratios. When you apply for your mortgage, see if they tell you that you have too many accounts, and close some then. Otherwise, I wouldn't worry about it.
  12. the other

    the other Well-Known Member

    RE: similar card portfolio

    We are putting in a new kitchen, replacing carpet, and putting a hardwood floor in the dining room.

    Man are kitchens expensive! I can't wait till its done.
  13. Momof3

    Momof3 Well-Known Member


    yes when I got my prequalification the only thing they were concerned about was My hubby's one collection, they said pay that and really never mentioned all my accounts, but I have heard people say this amount and that amount to have, but thank you I will keep my ratios down, I just tranfered two cards and they now have zero balances, I will keep them open to help ratios. thanks again

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