Balance Transfer Offer Fee Caps?

I am researching 0% APR’s on balance transfers with zero or very low BT fees and found one that I think may be worth adding to your site. It is the Advanta Platinum Business Card with Unlimited Rewards. It has 0% for FIFTEEN MONTHS and it is one of the few cards that still has a cap on its BT fees ($90). (fees are 3% with $5 min, $90 max)

I had two cards with a total balance of $6540. I transferred this whole balance to the Advanta card having it sent to my card with the largest balance. I then will request the credit balance back in a check from that card and then use that to pay off the other card. I paid the max of $90 for the BT fee which I think means I only paid .0137% in BT fees. I think it would have been higher if I had done both separately. One card has $5390, which at 3% would have maxed out at $90. If I had done the balance transfers separately I would have paid an additional $34.50 for the BT fees on the second card (balance $1150). By combining the balances and being willing to do a bit more work and be patient, I think I saved myself a bit of money.

I didn’t come up with this idea myself. A customer service rep at a credit card where I was doing balance transfers suggested it. When there is a cap on the fees it makes sense to do this?

For me, I can afford to wait till this all happens because the card with the small balance is already at 0% interest till Oct. 2009, but I want to make just one payment a month and not have to worry about keeping track of two different 0% interest offers. Also, this way I can watch every dollar extra that I add get taken off the top of my debt and getting out of debt is a huge priority to me.

I completely stopped using credit cards a year ago and have paid off about $3000 of debt while staying completely within my means.

Two things about this card:
1. I assume it is for people with excellent credit. My FICO score is 778. I was approved instantly.
2. At the site where I read about this card they said that while it says it is a business card, an individual can apply for it. That they use their name for the business and write sole proprietor and your social for the tax ID. It never asked me for a tax ID.

I don’t know if this is unethical or not, but for someone like me who deals in antiques and collectibles and uses my own name to buy and sell, I guess it is OK? It says the balance transfers have to have been business related expenses and I certainly can say that! I got the debt by doing a bit more buying and holding than selling and paying off the inventory costs (oh credit cards how you can seduce our sensibilities….sigh).

So maybe this one is a good card too for your readers, certainly for business folks who are looking to transfer a balance. I don’t think anyone else offers 15 months, though I guess if you can get 12 months with 0% AND no BT fees, that’s great. I just didn’t like that most offers are “up to 12 months” so you don’t really know what you are going to get.


Pepper Mintz