Santander Sphere Card Offers Two Years of Zero Interest
File this one under aggressive balance transfer offer!
Santander Bank is offering a 0% APR balance transfer for 24 months (a full two years) via their new Sphere Card. The card also comes with 0% APR for the first 12 months on purchases.
The Sphere Card has no annual fee, but it does charge a balance transfer fee of either 4% or $10 for each balance transfer, whichever is higher. That’s kind of the catch. It’s slightly higher than the industry standard 3% balance transfer fee.
Still, it’s hard to beat 24 full billing cycles of 0% APR, and a 1% bump in fee shouldn’t cost you too much more depending on how much your actually transfer.
After the two years are up, the APR for balance transfers will be a variable 12.99% to 22.99% based on the Prime Rate and your credit history.
Another “catch” is that you have to apply for the Sphere Card in person at a Santander Bank branch. The problem here is that there are only branches in eight states, including:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island
In other words, if you don’t live in the Northeast, you probably won’t be able to take advantage of this great offer.
Santander also has the “Bravo Credit Card,” which offers 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months with a lower 3% balance transfer fee. But it has a $49 annual fee (waived first year) and doesn’t offer 0% APR on purchases.
For both offers, you must request the balance transfer within the first 90 days of account opening to obtain the special APR.
There’s also a similar offer from Transportation Federal Credit Union, located in DC and Massachusetts, that comes with 1.49% APR for 24 months and no balance transfer fee. Not too shabby if you live nearby!
Citi Balance Transfer Offer Now Just 21 Months
Citibank also used to offer 0% APR on balance transfers for 24 months on its Citi Platinum Select MasterCard.
I’ve never seen 0% APR on a balance transfer for a period this long (0% APR for 18 months was the previous high), so if you’ve got a lot of high-interest credit card debt, you may want to consider this Citi card.
After all, you’ll have plenty of time to pay it off without incurring any finance charges, instead of just six or 12 months.
Once the two years are up, the APR will be variable, ranging from 11.99% to 19.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
Of course, your goal for those initial 24 months will be to pay off all the credit card debt before the balance transfer APR adjusts much higher. If you need more time, you can always transfer the remaining balance to another card.
This balance transfer credit card also comes with 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months, making it a good all-around deal for those who want to actively use the card as well, though it’s never recommended to mix up your new credit card purchases and your existing debt. It’s best to just focus on paying the debt down to zero.
There is a balance transfer fee with this offer – $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
That’s pretty low, considering many balance transfer fees are as high as 5% of the transfer amount with no cap.
Although, credit card issuer Discover recently lowered its balance transfer fees to stay competitive.
Last but not least, the card comes with no annual fee, so get on it!
Update: The 24-month 0% APR balance transfer offer from Citi has been downgraded to a 21 month 0% APR balance transfer offer, and now to just an 18-month offer. Boo! Wait, now it’s back to 21 months! Yeh! Maybe it’ll climb back to 24 months again.
While this is still a relatively long amount of time, you may be better served with a no fee balance transfer, such as the Chase Slate No Fee Balance Transfer, which comes with 0% APR for a lengthy 15 months.
It’s a better alternative now that the max 0% APR period differs by just six months. Might as well save money by avoiding balance transfer fees and attempt to pay down the debt a little quicker.