I keep getting offers for a USAA card. I read something about transferring balances. I am not exactly sure what it all means and I deleted the email on accident. What I would like to do is close a credit card with a $1200 limit with 27% APR (that seems like no matter what I do, I can't pay it off) to see about this usaa card in hopes to pay the other card off and close it while maintaining the new card with hopefully a much less APR. Is this possible? Im sorry if I am confusing, I am not very good at this stuff.
Thanks for reaching out - this is a common question.
A balance transfer allows you to transfer your balance from one credit card to another. One of the main reasons to consider this option is that it could help you save time and money when paying off your credit card debt by transferring the amount you owe to a lower interest rate.
Before doing a balance transfer, be sure to understand all terms and fees. Typically there is a transfer fee and there could be promotional rates that eventually expire. On some cards, the lower rate only applies to balances transferred, not to new purchases. If you transfer a balance to a higher interest rate credit card, or to a card you can’t pay off before the promotional rate period ends, you may end up paying more in the long run. If you are applying for a new card to transfer the balance to, you will need to qualify for a credit limit high enough to move the balance.
Be sure that you aren’t transferring a balance only to free up credit that you’ll use up again. The next thing you know, you could have more debt, higher payments, and a lower credit score.
You mentioned closing your existing card, however, unless there is an annual fee associated with the existing card, you may want to keep the card open to avoid negatively impacting your credit score. Keeping the card open but not using it, will help you improve your overall credit utilization ratio, which refers to how much you owe compared to your total available credit. This is the second highest factor in your overall credit score.