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Requested Another 0% Financing Balance Transfer

After taking out three 0% financing balance transfers last year and dealing with the hassles of them, I told myself that all the work wasn’t really worth it and that I wouldn’t apply for any more cards for the purposes of balance transfers. I am happy to report that I have not applied to any more credit cards and that this time the balance transfer offer sort of fell into my lap. I wrote on Monday about how you shouldn’t cancel your old credit cards [3] because you never know when you’ll see something nice, like a balance transfer offer for no reason, and yesterday I initiated a new balance transfer off the Citi Platinum Select MasterCard.

The major downside to applying for a new card and requesting a balance transfer is that it will have a significant negative impact on your credit score. Since your credit utilization will increase and you’ll have yet another credit inquiry, it’s guaranteed your score will fall. This isn’t a concern if you aren’t planning on going after a mortgage or other large loan but I really didn’t want yet another item on my credit history so this particular scenario is perfect. I can get a balance transfer without another credit inquiry, so in essence it’s “free.”

Now, if you happen to find one of these free balance transfers, you should request a credit line increase before the transfer. On a typical arbitrage play, the card is brand new so the credit card company won’t increase your credit line limit but if it’s an “old” card, you won’t have this problem. Request the increase so you can put more onto the transfer! Sometimes you’ll get an automatic offer of an increase of a thousand dollars or so, just take that and make the transfer. Those offers usually require no credit inquiry and so they are perfect, if they don’t offer you that and instead require you to fill out a large form, just skip it. Since you’re taking advantage of the “free” nature of the offer, you don’t want a credit inquiry muddying it up.

Good luck!