"Most people only do a balance transfer if there is a no or very low APR intro period involved."
Agreed - but with this technique, anyone can benefit from it even if the card their transferring to only barely has a lower APR. Or even if all you want to do is shuffle balances around to keep your utilizations on certain cards lower.
"If you want to avoid BT fees, there are cards that dont charge them."
True - if you have good enough credit to get them.
I mean you’re still being forced to make payments the size of the debt you want to "transfer" so it’s not really the same thing, it’s just a vicious cycle of debt that actually wouldn’t be too hard to have it blow up in your face. I used to do this in my 20s and before I knew it, my cards were unmanageable. A BT can be a very responsible way to pay down debt if you stop using your cards when you take one but this method is an easy way to let your debt spin out of control and cost a lot more than the 3-5% fee.
I think I get it... now. @Saeren and @Remedios, the clarity has helped, but after reading all of that again, I'm having Friday head 'spinnies'.
It took me reading over it a second time to understand, but I've actually done this before.
Assuming you have a 0% offer on purchases it can work if your usual spend is similar to the amount you want to transfer anyway, but it will be easy for the casual credit card user to get lost in the details.
This is a good example of where the explanation for how to do something is more complicated than the actual 'something' itself.
I got this 1st time reading!
I've done this a few times.....
Also have moved statement credits (Subs) to another FI using this technique (I'm looking at you Amex)!
Funny thing... I've never used a balance transfer check to tranfer a balance between cards. Barclaycard US which for me was Sallie Mae, then something else, then something else... used to send me balance transfer checks for 1% transfer fee and 14 months term no interest. Back when the stock market was plush and difficult to pick a loser (2016-2017) , I borrowed $10K at a cost of $100 each a couple times.
Now this could have backfired, but I ended up $18K ahead when the account settled, so almost doubled my interest free investments. I considered it a hobby. Today... it's too scary. Besides, those 1% offers evaporated.
Citi used to send me tons of those checks, I think Discover did, too.
If you deposit them into your own accounts (checking, savings, stock, etc, ...) is the fee the same for each?
Or is it only the full charge for a check written to another card?
You make the checks payable to yourself and deposited by you. The terms are whatever is written for that check. Sometimes there will be different options for different checks on the same offer sheet so read the small print.