I have two Chase accounts. One is a Slate, opened in 2002. CL is $3,800. I've been stuck with the penalty APR of 29.99% for a couple of years, after going over my credit limit. I paid the card in full, so I haven't actually been paying interest at that ridiculous rate. I haven't had any late payments or gone over my limit or anything like that in over a year (when I had a payment that was literally one day late, because it didn't post by the time deadline on the due date). They still refuse to lower my APR, despite several different calls. However, they've been offering me generous balance transfer terms on the account, which I've used. I'm carrying a balance on that card that's about 80% of the limit, at 0%. I'm making more than the minimum payments, but I have no intention of paying it off before the 0% runs out, since I have other balances to pay off first that are charging me interest.
The second is an Amazon Visa, opened in July 2012. CL is $3,000, balance will be zero as soon as I make a payment in a couple of days. It has no balance transfer offers and a pretty bad interest rate too, around 21%, so I'm clearly not going to carry a balance on that. I do like the rewards on it though.
I want to be able to get some more goood balance transfer offers, so that I can pay down my credit card debt faster. I called Chase, and told them that I'd like a Freedom, but that I don't want three Chase cards. They said that I could open a Freedom and then transfer my available credit limits among my Chase accounts. I wouldn't mind keeping the Amazon open with like a $1,000 CL, just for rewards purposes, and always paying in full. But I'd like to get as much CL available for 0% BTs as possible.
So, do I:
A) Open a Freedom, transfer my Amazon credit limit, then use the Freedom for balance transfers. The Freedom would have a better APR after the promo period, and rewards, but would charge me BT fees.
B) Don't open a new account, and just transfer my Amazon CL to the Slate for balance transfers. I wouldn't be charged any BT fees. The APR would still be awful, and I don't know if they'll ever reduce it. I kind of think they won't, based on what I've heard.
C) Something else?
Open a card that is not Chase and begin moving your bussiness to a bank that values your bussiness more and is a bit more forgiving when you make a small mistake.
Perhaps they may change their mind when you start closing your accounts and reduce your APR.
+1. Credit Unions have lower interest rates if you are looking for a card to carry a balance.
It doesn't seem like there are many really good balance transfer cards out there though. By "really good", I mean 0% APR for 12-18 months and 0-3% balance transfer fees. There's the Chase Slate, Citi Simplicity (but Citi hates me for some reason), Chase Freedom, Discover More (which I have, but the BT offers haven't been great), and that's about it as far as I can tell. I don't have any local credit unions that are worth anything in terms of credit cards, especially ones that allow balance transfers. So, although I'm annoyed about this one particular account, overall, I want to keep a relationship with Chase and keep my Slate open for the forseeable future, since it's so old and has 0% balances on it.
Why is is that you do not want three Chase cards? If you never plan to carry a balance I would not worry about the rate. I think the two American Express cards I have are 22% or something. Barclays is also around that I think; I usually just glance at it when I get the card so I really do not know.
If you move credit over to the Slate from Amazon, it may be a hard inquiry. FIA initiates a hard inquiry when you do this, but I do not know about Chase. For the hard inquiry I would rather open a Freedom and get some bonus money.
The Barclays Rewards Mastercard and PNC Cashbuilder have zero apr balance transfers at 3% and fifteen months and twelve months.
Well, I actually wouldn't mind having the Slate, Amazon, and a Freedom open, so long as I could transfer some of the Amazon CL to the Freedom. I just sort of figured that Chase might not like me having three accounts, it seems a bit excessive. Not to mention the score impact of a new account, and having another account reporting a balance. But maybe it's worth it.
I don't have any accounts with Barclay, so that's a possibility to consider. I'll have to think about that more.
I have three Chase accounts and they have no problem with me. There are people with a lot more than three. The score impact would only matter if you plan to apply for anything in the next six months to a year. I have no complaints about Barclays, but people seem to be overly paranoid about them closing new accounts.
There are tons of BT 0% offers out there. I spent the last couple of weeks looking at a lot of them on the internet. There are websites where you can specifically look for 0 BT card offers. Here's just one website from a Google search: http://www.creditcards.com/balance-transfer.php And here's another: http://www.cardhub.com/credit-cards/balance-transfer/
The main ones are Chase, Citi and Discover. But there are others, like Barclay's MC and Priceline Visa. I've actually found that most CCs have a 0% BT offer when you first get the card.
I agree that you should look to a CC other than Chase. CUs can be a good idea for rebuilding, but in general aren't going to have a 0% BT offer. You could also look at getting a lower % loan w/your bank or CU. But you'll probably be better off paying 3% BT fee and 0% interest. I'd do some research online. Google something like "credit card 0 balance transfer" or "credit card 0 % intro offer."
CITI Diamond Prefferred has 0% APR for BTs for 18 months. And forming a relationship with CITI (another bank) will give you more leverage with Chase. You can build a higher credit line, which Chase will surely follow, and CITI won't directly hold your late against you (unless you late to them in the futur as well).
Citi doesn't like me, though I really have no idea why. I used to have a card with them, and I was never late or over my limit, and they closed it on me a couple of years ago. I called, and wasn't able to get a reason as to why, and I wasn't very credit-savvy at the time, so I just accepted it and moved on. I think it was around the time that Chase hit me with the penalty APR, so maybe they saw that I went over-limit or something, I don't know.
Since then. I've applied for a card with Citi a couple of times, and have been denied. My most recent denial was in July. It was weird, the letter only listed one reason for the denial, which was "Excessive inquiries". I called and explained that I had just been shopping for a new car, but they still denied my application. So, I'm not sure what the deal is with them.
I'm still mulling things over. I could potentially try to open a Discover Motiva or IT card (already have a More), but I might as well just get the Chase Freedom in that case, since the rewards would be more useful to me.