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0% APR Introductory Credit Card Offers Still Exist

Contributed by mm | August 8, 2007 1:05 AM PST

WSJ columnist Jane J. Kim reviewed the trick of profiting from introductory credit card offers and declared that there are still enough opportunities for those we are willing to take a temporary hit on credit score for a couple of extra grands a year:

"The increasingly popular strategy involves applying for a slew of credit cards that charge 0% interest on balance transfers, then parking those borrowed funds in high-yield online savings accounts, which often pay 5% or more.

Then, just before the cards' introductory period expires, typically in 12 months, you pay off the loans and pocket the interest earned.

...

Competition among card issuers for new customers is so intense that companies can't afford to do away with the generous offers altogether. American Express Co., Citibank, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America, for example, say they still offer no-fee, 0% balance transfers to selected customers."

I myself am a loyal practioner of the practice, and in the past 12 months alone, I maintained an average credit card balance of over $40,000 in 0% APR or low-APR balance transfer offers. That's probably the easiest $2,000 I pocketed last year.

In case you don't know where to find these offers, below are some cards you can look at. They all include introductory 0% APR balance transfer offers for 12 months or longer with credit card annual fee. I included those with capped balance transfer transaction fees since with a larger balance transfer, arbitrage profit can still be obtained under capped fee arrangements.

Chase

Chase Platinum Visa®
0% APR for 12 months for purchase and balance transfer; 3% transaction fee capped at $75 (PFBlog Review)

Chase Platinum MasterCard®
0% APR for 12 months for purchase and balance transfer; 3% transaction fee capped at $75 (PFBlog Review)

Disney Rewards® Visa® Card
0% APR for 12 months for purchase and balance transfer; 3% transaction fee capped at $50; various Disney benefits and rewards (PFBlog Review)

Citibank

Citi® Driver's Edge® Platinum Select® Card
0% APR for 12 months for purchase and balance transfer; no transaction fee; additional rebates up to 6% (PFBlog Review)

Citi® Platinum Select® Card
0% APR for up to 12 months for purchase and balance transfer; no transaction fee (PFBlog Review)

Discover

Discover® Open Road Card
0% APR for 12 months for purchase and balance transfer; 3% transaction fee capped at $75; 5% rebate on gas and auto maintenance purchases. (PFBlog Review)

Miles by Discover® Card
% APR for 12 months for purchase and balance transfer; 3% transaction fee capped at $75; reward in miles plus 12,000 bonus miles with monthly purchase. (PFBlog Review)


I couldn't find any American Express offers that match the above criteria. Did I miss out any other similarly attractive offers?

This Post Has Received 10 Comments. Share Your Opinions Too.


Tyler Commented on August 8, 2007

I've done this for some time and have benefited greatly. I take the interest I earn each month (almost $500) and put it towards my mortgage principle.


Mike Commented on August 8, 2007

How do you get the cash though? For instance, all of these cards have 0% balance transfers, but charge interest (I assume) + a transaction fee on cash withdrawals.


Nabloid.com Commented on August 8, 2007

Are there a lot of 0% opportunities like this for Canadians?


JohnDiddler Commented on August 8, 2007

USBank made me one last week. 15 months but yearly fee if no use. trickier and trickier.


MM Commented on August 8, 2007

Mike, usually I balance transfer to my credit union's credit card, and my credit union allows me to transfer any credit balance to my checking account without charge.


igotmumps Commented on August 10, 2007

Nabloid

I don't think there are any 0% APR offers for Canadians. The best I've seen is 1.9% from MBNA Canada. There is a 1% balance transfer fee, so on a $10,000 transfer you are having to pay a $100 fee. Investing in a high yield savings account makes it too hard to make any money, but if you can accept a little more risk, using the money to invest in something like a unit trust (which generates a > 10% yield) will allow a greater return. The interest paid can also generate a tax credit as the money is used for investment purposes. I am not an expert, so be sure to check with a financial adviser or accountant on the specifics.


EB Commented on August 11, 2007

Tyler - Can you (or someone else) please elaborate on how you do this?


Anon Commented on August 16, 2007

Yes, with $40,000 you can come out making decent money. But it is probably not going to be the whole $2,000 though. A couple things:
1.) You need to pay tax.
2.) You might have to pay that balance transfer fee (unless you are really lucky!).
3.) You probably didn't have the $40,000 earning interest for the entire 12 months. =)

Assume that you are with the 28% tax bracket, no balance transfer fee, have money earning for 11 months, and interest APY of 5.05% (Emigrant Direct), your total earning will probably be a little over $1300. Nothing to be taken lightly nonetheless!

For the calculation, I used the calculator found in
http://www.moneyeconomics.com/articleInterestArbitrageCalculator.php


ASAP Credit Card Commented on October 11, 2007

Luckily, the number of 0% APR credit cards doesn't seem to be decreasing-- even with credit worries and problems in the subprime lending market. But take advantage now... because if problems continue to persist, you might see these offers slowly start disappearing...


Smart Balance Transfers Commented on October 30, 2007

Amex hasn't gotten into the 0% balance transfer game. They offer a lot of long term fixed APR deals. One thing that has happened recently with 0% APR balance transfer deals is that a lot of banks have upped the maximum balance transfer fee from $75 to $250 or even no limit. The list you put above is pretty good, though. None of those offers charge more than $75 on balance transfers.


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