My Personal Finance Journey

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My First No-Fee 0% APR Balance Transfer Offer (CFI)

Contributed by mm | July 21, 2004 7:45 PM PST

Today I received a no-fee 0% APR balance transfer offer from my Discover credit card for up to my credit line of $6,000. It is the first such offer (both 0% APR and zero-fee) I have received, so I did spend some time reading and confirming the fine prints.

I plan to save this $5,000 to the 2.10%-yielding VirtualBank eMoney Market account. This little carry trade should land me about $75 in interest in the next nine months. (I do need to pay back the minimal every month, so not all $5,000 will be used for carry trade for the entire nine months.)

I finally decided to write me a check of $5,000 to take advantage of the offer (yes, the offer explicitly says even if I write myself a check, it will be considered as a balance transfer instead of cash advance). I don't want to take out the entire $6,000 because maxing out a credit account will leave the impression that I am cash stripped and hurt my credit profile.

I also thought about depositing the money at TreasuryDirect by purchasing Saving Bonds. It will generate a little more interest, but as Saving Bonds cannot be cashed in the first 12 months, and early withdrawal before five years will lead to 3-month interest penalty, it is not a good place to park the 0% APR money.

(By the way, if you want to open an account in VirtualBank to exploit the highest interest rate with maximum liquidity, give me a mail so I can refer you and both of us can enjoy a nice bonus of $20.)

This Post Has Received 32 Comments. Share Your Opinions Too.


Andrew Yu Commented on December 25, 2004

Why don't you use presidential bank that gives 2.75% rate on checking account? It requires direct deposit but that's all. It's a great bank and I have with them for 2 years.


Terry Commented on June 27, 2005

I agree, I don't live in DC area and they work great not only with good rates but good internet banking. IT dpt must have be pretty efficient, see on www.jobvent.com that CIO has time during the day for hankypanky with co-workers.


cc Commented on September 12, 2005

I've been doing similar things with Citibank (12 mo, 0% interest) and using INGDirect (3.30%). ING also allows for scheduled monthly withdrawals and distributions so you could schedule the money for the monthly payment -and- the final payment. Combined with autopay from a bank account and one has a nearly automatic spread maximising tool


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