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The Wells Fargo Reflect℠ Card offers a very long introductory APR, making it a great choice if you’re looking to finance a large purchase or transfer a balance from a card with a high APR. But in order to take full advantage of this card’s power, you need to make all your minimum payments on time.
While the promotional offer is 18 months from account opening of 0% introductory APR on both purchases and qualifying balance transfers, you can get up to a three-month extension if you qualify by making on-time minimum payments during the intro and extension periods, for a whopping total of up to 21 months from account opening (13.24% to 25.24% variable APR thereafter). The Wells Fargo Reflect Card is quite specialized: If you’re looking for or — or your — you’ll have to look elsewhere.
With , with responsible use you can continue to build your credit even after the promotional APR period is over. Read on to learn more about the details surrounding the intro APR and balance transfers, as well as some recommendations for supplementary cards and potential substitutes.
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Introductory APR on purchases
With the base on purchases at 18 months from account opening, this card is one of the best on the market in that category. Any purchase you make in the first 18 months will have no interest applied as long as you pay the minimum monthly payments on time. Making the minimum payments each month (during the intro and extension periods) also lets you qualify for the up to three-month extension on the introductory APR.
Just keep one thing in mind. Whether you get 18 months or 21 months from account opening of the introductory APR, at the end of the promotional period your will then hike up to 13.24% to 25.24% variable. That means it’s best if you plan to pay off your balance in full by the end of the promotional APR period so you don’t rack up any interest. You can do this as a balloon payment at the tail end of the promotion, as equal monthly payments or anything in between — as long as you’re hitting that monthly minimum payment along the way.
Making a balance transfer
You also get a 0% for the first 18 months from account opening — with the same opportunity for up to a three month extension when you make all your minimum payments on time during the intro and extension periods (13.24% to 25.24% variable APR thereafter). Making a balance transfer onto such a card is a great way to consolidate your debt and save on interest charges.
To qualify for the introductory APR on your qualifying balance transfers to the Wells Fargo Reflect Card, you’ll have to request the balance transfer within 120 days of account opening.
You’re best off initiating a balance transfer request as soon as you get your card, because the promotional clock starts ticking when your account opens. For instance, if you wait three months to initiate your balance transfer, you’ll only get the remaining 15 months of introductory APR (plus the opportunity for the extension mentioned above).
As for the , it’s pretty standard for the industry: introductory 3% on balance transfers with a $5 minimum, for any balance transfers made within 120 days of account opening. But after 120 days, that fee shoots up to 5% ($5 minimum), which is one of the highest balance transfer fees around. The bottom line: If you’re getting this card specifically to make a balance transfer and temporarily escape a higher interest card, only apply for it once you’re ready to make the transfer.
There aren’t many other perks with this card — its strength is the introductory APR.
There are, however, a few small benefits that may be of interest to some. You’ll get up to $600 in cell phone protection — that is, reimbursement in the case of damage or theft to the phone — if you pay your cell phone bill with this card. (There is a $25 deductible.)
Another perk is the “My Wells Fargo Deals” you can opt for via your account. Select merchants may offer special deals for Wells Fargo credit card users, like cash-back promotions (in the form of a statement credit). These deals will all be subject to their own terms and expiration dates.
Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
Many credit cards with introductory APRs on purchases also allow you to earn rewards on those transactions. While the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card has a considerably shorter introductory APR period, the 2% cash rewards on purchases is likely to sway many shoppers. The welcome bonus is another perk — you can earn a $200 cash rewards bonus when you spend $1,000 in purchases within the first three months.
Check out our full review of the for more details.
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
The Citi Diamond Preferred card also offers one of the longest introductory APRs — on balance transfers, at least. You get an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers for 21 months from the date of first transfer, while you get a less-impressive 0% introductory APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening (13.99% to 23.99% variable APR, thereafter). Balance transfers must be completed within four months of account opening. However, you will incur a 5% balance transfer fee with a $5 minimum on all balance transfers with this card, regardless of when you make the transfer.
How do balance transfer credit cards work?
Though are technically credit cards, they’re more like a debt-financing tool. They’re better used to pay off existing credit card debt than as a payment method.
A balance transfer is when you take the debt, or balance, you owe on one card account and transfer it to another credit card account. Usually this is done with the goal of saving money by transferring debt from a high-interest account to one with lower or no interest.
While many credit cards allow balance transfers, those primarily designed for the purpose all share one main feature: an introductory 0% APR period on balances transferred to that account, typically applicable to transfers made within the first 60 to 120 days of card ownership. The introductory APR period generally lasts between 12 months and 21 months, giving you a significant period of time to pay off your balance interest-free.
While a few credit cards offer no-fee transfers, most balance transfer cards charge a fee to transfer your debt, usually between 3% and 5%. Broadly speaking, the longer the introductory 0% APR period, the higher the fee, and vice versa. So the best cards without a balance transfer fee have a shorter introductory APR period, and those with the longest introductory APR period have a 3% to 5% transfer fee.
If I still have a balance after the introductory APR period is over, can I just keep transferring my debt to a new balance transfer card?
Technically, yes. In some cases, transferring your balance two or three times might even be what’s necessary to finally pay off your debt. But unless you have a firm understanding of how you got into debt in the first place and a plan for getting out of debt, you won’t be working toward a solution.
While transferring your remaining debt to a second balance transfer card may allow you to pay off your balance without monthly interest or a fee, it’s important to note that there are too many variables for multiple balance transfers to be a failure-proof debt strategy.
For example, your card application could be denied, your credit limit could be much lower than you anticipated or your transfer request could be denied. Credit card offers could also change, making it difficult to plan ahead. For this reason I recommend selecting a card that allows you to pay off the full balance after one cycle if possible.
How long will it take to complete a balance transfer?
It may take anywhere between 10 days and six weeks to complete a balance transfer, after receiving your new card and cardholder agreement. It’s also important to note that some card issuers, such as Citi, make balance transfers available at their discretion, and could therefore decline a transfer request. And you should probably still pay the minimum on the old card’s balance until you’ve confirmed that the transfer was completed, so you don’t run the risk of fees or penalties.
We review the cards that are in the highest demand and offer the best benefits. We scour the fine print so there aren’t any surprises when you open an account. We find the key factors that make a card stand out and compare them to other top cards. That way, readers can opt for a different card with similar features if our pick isn’t right for them. Our reviews are regularly checked and updated to incorporate new recommendations, as well as to reflect changes in offers and the market.
The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.
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