Best Credit Cards For Big Debt

5:21 PM, Sep 27, 2012   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) -- Robert Muthumbi says he hasn't bought a family Christmas tree in two years, even eating out is a rare treat.

It's all an effort to chip away at his $10,000 credit card debt.

"I've been really making efforts to pay them down, two or three times more than what the minimum payment that is due," he says.

But with the 16 and 22 percent interest rate on his cards, he barely makes a dent. 

For families like his, financial experts recommend transferring the balances to a card with a lower rate.

"You can often find cards with very low interest rates, even down to zero for balance transfers.  But, look carefully at the terms because they vary a lot from card to card," says Greg Daughtery.

You're often charged a balance transfer fee, three to four percent up front.

And that zero percent or low APR often lasts only 12 to 18 months.

The Chase Slate card is good for people who can pay off the balance quickly.

It has zero interest for 15 months and no transfer fees in the first 60 days.

The Best Credit Card For You

Consumer Reports' Daughtery says, "But if you can calculate that you won't be able to pay off your debt that quickly, you're better off with a card with a low fixed interest rate."
















One of the best credit cards is the PenFed Promise.  It currently has a low APR of 4.99 percent on transfers made before the end of the year, and has no balance transfer fee.

You must be a member of the PenFed Credit Union.  It cost $15.

If Robert does transfer his balances, he should try to get another card for any new purchases.

And, he'll need to pay that one off in full every month to avoid going deeper in debt.

Now, a rewards or cash back card is a better choice if you pay off your credit card balance each month.

Consumer Reports recommends the American Express Blue Cash Preferred card.  You will have to pay a $75 annual fee.

You'll get six percent back at supermarkets, three percent back on gas and at department stores and one percent back everywhere else.


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