Best Way to Transfer Balance

In my yesterday’s post, So How Many Credit Cards Can You Have and Still Get a Good Credit Score?, I said that at one time back in June I had nearly $51,000 balance on four credit cards, all due to 0% balance transfers. I LOVE (yes, LOVE) to take free loans from credit cards (new or existing cards), even some times I had to pay $75 fees to get a transfer for only six months. At current interest rate levels (anywhere from 4.4% to 5.5%), I can easily make hundreds of dollars by taking the free loans and deposit the money into high yield online savings accounts.

When you get a sparkling credit card with a one-year 0% balance transfer offer attached, the best and easiest way to take advantage of the offer is, of course, write yourself a check using the convenient checks the bank provided and deposit the check into your own bank account. However, sometimes the bank may not give you a check and they only want you to use their money to pay balances you accumulated elsewhere (like credit cards and car loans). But what if you don’t have any balance to transfer and simply want that money in your bank? Well, in this case, the second best way can help as long as you have a Citi card (other cards may also work, but it seems Citi cards are more convenient as all transactions can be done online without having to deal with CSRs). Back in September, I transferred $9000 from a Discover Miles card to my Citi cards and whole process took about two weeks to complete. A little bit long, but very smooth. If you want to take this route, here’s how it works:

Check out these credit card bonus promotions:

  • Once you get your new card and ready to take the BT offer, call the credit card company and tell them you want to transfer balances from your Citi card (it doesn’t matter whether you have balance on the Citi card or not).
  • Wait several days (I waited three days for my transfer) to let the money settle down in your Citi card.
  • Once the money shows up in your Citi card, login into your Citi online account and click Manage My Account -> Maintenance Requests -> Credit Balance Refund to request a refund for the overpayment
  • Write a short message like “Send me a refund check for the credit balance of $xxxxx” and submit your request.
  • The next day (it was the next day for me), Citi will send you a notice, simply acknowledging your request has been received. Last time I got the following message:

Before processing your refund request, we must verify your recent payments.  We will contact you through the Secure Message Center within 7-10 days.

  • Several days later (5 days for me), Citi will send you another message, asking you to check their response delivered to your online secure message box. Once you get that message, login into your account and click the Help/Contact Us button, then click the View/Update Messages link to access their response. Since the money is transfered from a legitimate source, they should have no problem verifying it and issuing you the check.
  • After waiting another week or so time, you should get the refund check in the mail. Simply deposit the check in your bank account and enjoy the free loan.

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