Balance Transfer Day: A Marketing Gimmick?


By now, you’ve probably heard about Bank Transfer Day, which was an initiative that called for consumers to move their money from large commercial banks to non-profit credit unions.

Call it the 99% using their numbers to do one over on the 1%, if you catch my drift.

The event took place on November 5, 2011, and at this point it’s unclear how much of an impact it has actually made.

However, what we do now is that it has created a “spin-off” called “Balance Transfer Day,” according to a piece in the Huffington Post.

What is Balance Transfer Day?

In short, Balance Transfer Day, set for December 11, 2011, is a movement (pun intended) of credit card debt from high-APR credit cards to low or 0% APR balance transfer credit cards.

In other words, it’s a call to arms to execute credit card balance transfers to avoid paying costly finance charges.

What makes it, ahem, special, is that we’re all supposed to do it on the same day.

And then repeat it on one specific day of the month each month thereafter until banks take notice and lower credit card APRs and stop with their misleading introductory offers.

The big question mark, of course, is how it will actually impact the banks.

You see, big commercial banks constantly pitch balance transfer offers to customers (it’s good business for them), so it’s a bit confusing as to how this will give customers a “voice” and let them “speak out?”

Additionally, credit card balance transfers merely shift credit card debt from one major bank to another, so the money may go from say Citi to Chase, or from Chase to Discover.

It likely won’t land in the accounts of non-profit, local banks, as they aren’t the ones who offer the most lucrative balance transfer offers.

So no big change, just the shuffling of money from one major bank to another.

Balance Transfer Day a Marketing Ploy?

I did a little digging and discovered the group’s Facebook page, which had a link to a Google search results page for “0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers.”

Interestingly, the author of the Huffington Post article represents a website called, which happens to appear in these same Google search results on the first page.

Call it a coincidence, but it almost makes you wonder if it’s all just a marketing ploy to get more sales.

You see, the website is merely a page where you fill out applications for credit card balance transfers and the site is presumably paid a commission if a sale or something else positive occurs.

So it makes you wonder if it’s all just a gimmick to increase the volume of balance transfers, especially for the sites that appear on the Google search results page referenced.

Now it’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with balance transfers. In fact, I’m the first to promote their numerous benefits.

But it just seems a bit of a stretch to liken applying for a balance transfer to a form of protest, especially if all the “enemies” are profiting as a result.

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