A new report by CompareCards has revealed that despite introductory offers, users of 0% balance transfer cards are unable to make the most out of the product.
Analysis of 165 balance transfer cards in the US showed 0% interest introductory offers are still common but accompanied by deadlines.
Report found 41% of customers have had a balance transfer card. However, four out of ten cardholders couldn’t pay off the balance within reduced-rate introductory period.
Only 17% users of balance transfer cards said they have zero balance transfer fee at the time of their last transfer. More than 60% of the people said they paid a fee of 3% or more.
CompareCards chief industry analyst Matt Schulz said: “As long as you understand the fees, deadlines and other quirks that come with a balance transfer card, you’ll likely be rewarded with some real savings on your credit card debt. Don’t wait, though.
“Consumers and banks alike love these offers too much for that limited-time 0% offer to ever go away completely, but we will likely see shorter introductory periods and perhaps even higher fees as the Federal Reserve raises rates and banks look to keep these 0% offers as profitable as possible. That means now is the time to act.”
Of the total cards reviewed, 76 had a 0% APR offer, of which 74 had introductory periods that lasted at least a year.
Around 54 of those 76 cards had ‘use it or lose it’ deadlines for their introductory reduced-rate period. The shortest was observed to be less than 30 days.