Can I Earn Points on Credit Card Balance Transfers?
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TPG reader Michelle sent me a message on Facebook to ask:
“Do balance transfers between credit cards give you points, and if yes, which do you recommend?”
Carrying credit card balances can be precarious, because any amount you pay in fees or interest can negate the value of the points and miles you earn, and it can damage your credit store as well. One of the biggest factors in your FICO score is the ratio of how much debt you carry each month to your total available credit.
First off, you can’t earn any points or miles on balance transfers with any reputable bank, at least not that I’m aware of. Of course if anyone else is aware of a card or bank that does allow this, please let us know in the comments section below.
If you’re transferring balances, I recommend the Chase Slate card, because it offers a 0% balance transfer APR and initially charges no balance transfer fees, which are typically around 3%. There are plenty of balance transfer cards that offer one or the other, but Slate is the only one I’m aware of that offers both.
You’re not going to earn points or miles with this card, but 15 months of 0% APR and no balance transfer fees is almost unheard of. If you’ve got the balances, put the debt there and try to pay it down. The more you can reduce your balance, the higher your score will go.
Once you’re out of debt and are no longer carrying big balances—and have learned your lesson! No judgement here though, I’ve been there—your score will be up and you can get in on some of the great sign-up bonuses 2015 has to offer.