I stumbled upon a great no fee balance transfer today, currently being offered by Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU).
It comes with 0% APR on balance transfers for 12 months – after that, the APR is variable, ranging from 7.99% to 18%.
The purchase APR is based on your creditworthiness, not that you’re interested in the purchase APR anyways…
And yes, you heard it right, there is no balance transfer fee, making it one of the only 0% balance transfers with no fee available at the moment.
How to Save Money with Navy Federal
Navy Federal uses a good example to illustrate the hefty cost of the balance transfer fee.
Using $5,000 as the balance transfer amount, their fee is, drum roll…$0.
Meanwhile, Discover’s fee is $150, Bank of America’s fee is $200, and Citibank’s fee is $245. Ouch!
Of course, they’re skewing the numbers in their favor.
Most, if not all of the balance transfer offers on this site have a 3% fee, not the 4 or 5% fee that they allude to. And most folks are probably transferring less than $5,000…well, hopefully.
So what’s the catch?
Well, besides having to be in the Armed Forces (or affiliated with someone who is) to be eligible for the Navy Federal offer, there is a catch.
So don’t go running out and joining the Navy…at least not for this credit card deal!
There’s an annual fee on the associated balance transfer credit cards.
An $18 annual fee applies to their goRewards card and a $49 annual fee applies to their Visa Signature Flagship Rewards card.
So I guess it’s not really a free balance transfer after all. There is a cost, it’s just kind of shoved under the rug here.
Their so-called “$0 Credit Card Balance Transfer Fee” offer ends on July 31, 2011. But it seems to come and go all the time, so be sure to keep an eye on the Navy Federal promotions page if and when you’re looking for a balance transfer credit card.
Here’s An Alternative to Navy Federal
And you don’t need to be in uniform for this offer.
Chase is currently offering $100 cash back if you balance transfer just $500 within the first 3 months from account opening.
So you could transfer $3,000 ($90 fee) and still come out $10 ahead with the bonus, all while enjoying 0% APR with no annual fee…take that Navy Federal!
Remember, balance transfer offers change all the time. The good news is that when one door closes, another opens, thanks to the competitive nature of the credit card industry.