Citi PremierPass Credit Card for Balance Transfer
the 0% balance transfer business, that is.
Last month, I applied and was approved for a new Citi PremierPass credit card. I usually don’t (in fact never) try to get a card that carries annual fees, but the promotion for this card was too generous to pass over: no annual fee, 15,000 bonus ThankYou points, and, as usual, 0% BT for 12 months. On the second day I received this card, I activated it and made a purchase in order to get the bonus points. Last week, I paid off the balance of the first and only purchase, getting ready to put it into business.
Finally, this morning after some delay, I called Citi to make a balance transfer of $18,500 ($1000 less than the credit limit), payable to me in check. What’s weird is that it was clearly printed on the card carrier that there is a maximum of $250 balance transfer fee for this promotion, but the CSR I spoke with this morning told me there’s no fee. To make sure he got me right, I said the fees I meant was not the interests, but just for doing the transfer. Again, he insisted it was fee free. While, since the CSRs make mistakes all the time, I didn’t really expect to get the loan totally free when the paper says I have to pay $250 for it. Somehow I remember before when I did 0% BT with Citi cards, there was indeed no fees. So maybe the CSR was correct. If that’s the case, the deal is even sweeter.
Currently, I have another on-going BT with Discover card for about $8,000, which expires in June. As I said many times, I like play the BT game and enjoyed the free money made from it, but I won’t get a bunch of cards at the same time (thus all the inquiries are treated as one instead of multiple), just for the purpose of getting the free loan. I usually get a couple of cards in a year (I got two last year) if the terms are right and the cards look nice (like the PremierPass card). The negative effect of applying for a new card every several months on credit score is that I always find this line on my credit reports:
- The time since the most recent account opening is very recent
But do I worry about it? Not really, and the impact on credit score seems to be quite small, as I recently found out from my credit score. Once the promotion expires, I usually move the credit line of the new card to other old cards and cancel the new card if I don’t want to keep it. In this way,
- The total combined credit limit is increased, and
- The credit history is not shortened.
If I do want to keep the new card, the most likely scenario is it will find a place in my drawer collecting dust before I can find any good reason to use it. But I won’t cancel the old cards for obvious reason.
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