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A bit of BT gamesmanship - any feedback?

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A bit of BT gamesmanship - any feedback?

Hi all,

 

I'm taking advantage of the NFCU 1.99% x 12m BT offer (sadly, I wasn't targeted for 0%) to set aside some cash for taxes & anticipated college costs for my daughter.

 

Since NFCU wants another credit card to BT to*, I'm going to take a cash advance (no fee, but immediate interest) at Penfed, then BT from NF to Penfed.  The timing is a question ...

 

When I requested the BT, I asked if the payment would go electronically or by paper check, and the NF rep said "We try electronic, and if they don't accept, we send a check."  He wasn't able to guess if Penfed takes electronic pmts.  

 

Given the amount of the BT and my Penfed interest rate, I'd be paying about $7 a day while waiting for the cash advance be paid off, so I want to put off taking the advance for as long as possible.  On the other hand, I once did the same thing at NFCU, and the pmt arrived so quickly that my card ended up with a large credit balance that they wouldn't release to checking for a couple weeks unless they could arrange a conference call with the source of the money, so I don't want to wait too long to do the cash advance either. 

 

Does anyone have any recent experience with these 2 CUs in particular?

 

Or at least, I'm too nervous to give an "other financial institution acct #" that's not a card.  If anybody has specified a checking or savings and had it work, let me know.

 

TIA!

Message 1 of 11
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Senior Contributor

Re: A bit of BT gamesmanship - any feedback?

@wwalter2718   You'll have to time your window of opportunity. Two dates you want to be concerned with is March 2 (end of NFCU promo) and your PFCU statement close date.

 

You don't want two reported utilization of the same debt.

  • Do the PFCU cash advance after your close date. Wait for it to post.
  • Then, do the NFCU BT before March 2.
  • Allow 2 weeks. However, it may happen quicker.
Message 2 of 11
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Re: A bit of BT gamesmanship - any feedback?

Thanks, Allzero.

 

I did take closing dates into account as well.  The NFCU Plat just closed 2/4 with balance of 0 (I've only ever used it for BTs, and not in over a year, except for a keep-alive charge every now & again), so the BT won't show up at the agencies for a good long while.  Same for the PF card, which reported 0, also as of a few days ago; that one should never be reported as anything but 0. 

 

I'm actually considering doing this in parallel.  I have a NF Go Rewards and a PF Platinum Rewards that close around the same time in about 2 weeks. The idea was to split the actual cash out so both NF cards are <48.9% when all is said & done. 

 

Another factor, not really relevant, but part of the plan: I have another CU with a promo no-fee, 0% for 15 months offer, so I'll be BTing from that card onto both NFCUs to reduce the total incurring 1.99%.  Not enough of a limit to cover it all, though.

 

Message 3 of 11
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Senior Contributor

Re: A bit of BT gamesmanship - any feedback?

Sounds like you have a plan. Yes, keeping individual utilization in line will help. You may loose a few points but as the saying goes, finances over FICO.

Message 4 of 11
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Re: A bit of BT gamesmanship - any feedback?

Yup, the last card in line will probably end up around 88.9%. I've had some similar individual-card utils at various points in the game with no real consequences (except that Barclay's, which use to shower me with 1%-fee 0% offers, has stopped doing that) 

I have no real idea of how to weigh a few lost points vs. a few dollars less interest, so I won't bother trying.

Message 5 of 11
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Re: A bit of BT gamesmanship - any feedback?


@wwalter2718 wrote:

Yup, the last card in line will probably end up around 88.9%. I've had some similar individual-card utils at various points in the game with no real consequences (except that Barclay's, which use to shower me with 1%-fee 0% offers, has stopped doing that) 

I have no real idea of how to weigh a few lost points vs. a few dollars less interest, so I won't bother trying.


...and my idea is simple...

 

I'd rather save dollars.  If I lose Ficos in the process, so be it.

 

Dollars are more valuable than fico points.  IMHO.

02/01/20 Fico 8: EX 704, EQ 713, TU 725.
02/08/20 Fico 9: EX 689, EQ 678, TU no idea...

Zero percent financing is where the devil lives...
Sitting in the garden behaving myself. #noinqs2020
Message 6 of 11
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Re: A bit of BT gamesmanship - any feedback?

Agreed, in general. 

 

At 1.99%, though, I'm not losing too many $, and I like to have the cash on hand (held in various accounts at between 3% and 6.17% interest rates) esp. since upcoming costs are a little unpredictable. 

 

I'm meeting a SUB on an Amex BBC and another on a US Bank business card, together another $750 in cash, so I'll be spending on those, then matching their increasing balances in hi-interest accounts until the 0% purchase rate expires in November/May at which point I'll zero them from savings. 

 

Believe it or not, my eventual goal is to have one good checking account with a sufficient balance that all credit card payments can be set for "auto full statement balance" and just run on auto-pilot.  But while I'm trying to reduce net debt, I'm going for every bonus & trick that seems to make sense.  It's fun.  I'll never forget when I earned over $1300 cash back paying off my student loans with my DoubleCash card via Plastiq when they had their MasterPass no-fee promo. I made like 300 payments through Plastiq in about 2 months and paid off the DC with 0% BTs, mostly no-fee or 1%, whenever it hit the limit. Good times!  

 

Someday, I may get burned, but I always keep an eye on the bottom line: if I have to pay off all credit balances suddenly, I'm decently close to being able to mobilize enough cash... 

 

Now, I have to go close a few checking accounts that have yielded up their bonuses...  so I can open others and get just a wee bit closer to net 0 debt.  

Message 7 of 11
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Valued Contributor

Re: A bit of BT gamesmanship - any feedback?

I BT from PenFed to Navy frequently and did one this past week.

 

I requested it on 2/4, it posted to NFCU on 2/5, and PenFed received the $ on 2/6.

Ch 7 Discharge May 2015
Discover/Target/NFCU CLOC/NFCU Cash Rewards/NFCU Platinum/PenFed Power Cash Rewards/PenFed Pathfinder AMEX/Citi Costco Visa/CapitalOne SavorOne - $142k total revolving
Message 8 of 11
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Re: A bit of BT gamesmanship - any feedback?

Many thanks!  That's exactly the answer I was originally looking for. I guess I'll go ahead and take the cash advance on my Penfed card today; looks like I might be on the hook for just $6 or $12 in interest before NFCU rides to the rescue.  Then ACH over to Orion checking for use as needed.  

 

Thanks again!

Message 9 of 11
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Re: A bit of BT gamesmanship - any feedback?

Ok, so this is how it really worked in the end:

 

Submitted BT request to NFCU 11:15am 2/8/20

 

Tried to do a cash advance on the Penfed card into Penfed checking on the morning of 2/10, but found that while Penfed accepts the initial dollar figure, there is actually a limit of $5k cash advance per 24 hours.  I had to split it into 3 requests on 2/10, 2/11, and 2/12.  I did it in the morning each time, and the 24-hour rule was scrupulously followed: NOT at 7:15am, but OK at 7:30am.

 

After the first CA, pushed the cash from Penfed to the target 3% checking acct.  After the 2nd CA, tried to do the same but found that Penfed has a rolling 3-day limit on outbound ACH of, yup, $5k. Instead had Alliant Credit Union pull it, then push it to to the target.  The result reminded me that Alliant is *fast* at this stuff! Same for the 3rd CA.

 

Today, the whole adventure is over.  Zero balance on PF card, full BT balance on NFCU card, Penfed checking and 3% checking accts at intended balances.  The excess cash will mostly sit at 3% until I need a chunk of it to pay off a 0% balance on another card in June.  (I would never have gone through all this if only NFCU would offer their 1.99% deal when *I* needed it. No complaints, though!)

 

One oddity:  Even though the cash appeared in Penfed's checking right away, the CA request and reduction in remaining credit on the card took a couple days to show up.  In fact, I had ACHed out $10K before the first CA appeared, and when the BT from NFCU arrived on 2/12, I had a temporary credit balance on the PF card even though the final CA and ACH pull were already done.  

 

Originally, I had thought to do a similar process with a 2nd NFCU and a 2nd PF card, but instead I funded a number of checking accounts with my Fidelity 2% Visa and then BT'ed directly from NFCU to Fidelity.  That's a welcome 2% bonus on my cash, and I would have done more, but there are only so many banks that allow significant credit card funding of new accounts.

 

Anyway, now it's time to settle down, set up or modify a bunch of autopays at various places and just let it all play out for about the next year.  12 months from now, I should have no need for any similar hijinks, I hope.

 

 

 

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