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0% Balance Transfer? Not Quite

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0-percentThey're back from their welcome hiatus. I've already received a couple of offers to open credit card and bank card accounts with full year 0% interest on balance transfers. Why is it that you only get these great offers when you need them the least? But I digress, and on second look they're not great offers after all.

The difference between these 0% offers and those of the credit-giddy past is that there's now a 5% or higher transfer fee attached. So let's see, the interest is 0% but there's a 5% upfront fee. Isn't that the same as charging a 5% interest rate for the first year? In fact this is worse because it's piled on in advance and people are stuck with the fee no matter how fast they pay off the loan.

The marketing gimmicks never cease. I'm sure a bunch of people have already applied for the phantom 0% accounts.

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