My Personal Finance Journey

Personal finance observation, musing and decisions in a journey toward financial independence by 2020 with at least $3 million.

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Free Money Still Abound

Contributed by mm | August 5, 2004 8:45 PM PST

Although I opened several credit accounts recently, I continued to receive at least three pre-approved credit card offers every week. Not many of them interest me in the last few weeks, but today comes a really exciting offer from Fleet: 0% APR on initial balance transfer until 11/05, with zero balance transfer transaction fee. As you may know, after testing water on Discover last month, I am very happy to take any such 0% APR balance transfer offers right now to earn some interest out of someone else's money.

Unlike the Discover card offer, which I can directly transfer money to my checking account, Fleet only allows me to transfer money to other credit cards. I don't have any revolving balance in other credit cards (except for the $5,000 free money at Discover), but I asked to transfer money to two credit cards I used most frequently: $8,000 to the 1.5%-cashback Fidelity Investment Rewards, and $4,000 to 5%-limited-cashback Citi Dividend Platinum Select. I didn't expect Fleet will approve the entire $12,000 balance transfer, because my highest-credit-limit is $13,000 with my credit union, and I applied maybe too many cards recently. However, to my surprise, Fleet approved my application immediately online, and the credit limit is $12,800. If everything is ok, I should receive the new card in two weeks.null

Then, the next question will be how I can effectively use the $12,000 float to get the most interest.

Based on my spending profile, I can consume the balance in approximately 4-5 months. Alternatively, I read I can probably call MBNA and Citi to ask for a check for any negative balance. Either case, I expect the $12,000 float can earn interest for around 12 months, and by parking the money at the 2.15% APY VirtualBank eMoney Market Account, I should sport $250 interest during the period. I might also consider to move some of the money to US Saving Bonds, which will entertain me with somewhat higher return even after some early withdrawal penalty I may need to pay.

Let's see how many sweet 0% APR offers I can gather by the end of the day :-)

This Post Has Received 80 Comments. Share Your Opinions Too.

Flexo Commented on August 6, 2004

I also get tons of 0% APR offers and I'm considering playing the balance transfer game. I called one of my existing cards to confirm I could get a credit refund check without a fee, and the CSR said it's possible, "but the only thing to worry about is money laundering." Does this activate some sort of a red flag with credit companies?

mm Commented on August 6, 2004

I don't see it as a big issue and definitely it should have zero impact on the credit report. If I cannot get a credit refund check, I'll just gradually erode the balance by more purchase.

WOW! Credit Cards Commented on September 26, 2005

Many people transfer to 0% APR credit cards on a regular basis to avoid paying interest altogether. It's a great way to save money and hopefully become debt free!

Just be careful not to get too comfortable with that 0% interest rate. Just because you aren't paying interest doesn't mean you can charge guilt free! Eventually, you'll have to pay interest on your balance if you don't transfer to another offer. And it could really hurt if you aren't responsible!

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