The average Florida resident carries a $5,754 credit card balance, paying a stunning $1,134 in interest every year. So if you have a credit card balance, you can take comfort in the fact that you are far from alone. But more and more Florida residents are taking advantage of a simple trick in order to cut that debt way, way down, freeing up a lot of spare spending money in the meantime. Just think, if you were to use this trick to cut your credit card debt in half, that would be the same as adding about $500 to your bank account every year if you're like the average Floridian. Follow this simple process and start realizing those savings tomorrow.
First: Make Your Bank Stop Charging You Interest
Think of this: on a $10,000 balance, $150 of a $200 monthly payment gets vacuumed up by interest charges.** That's 3/4 of your payment that goes nowhere but bank pockets, while only 1/4 of it actually reduces your balance. We'll show you how to legally stop paying interest tomorrow, so that 100% of your payments will reduce your balance, and you'll be able to break out of the debt cycle almost 4 times faster.
There's a simple way to do this, and we'll show you exactly how below. But before getting into the details, we want to show you how fast you'll be able to get out of credit card debt once you do.
Second: Erase Your Balance 3.5 Times Faster
If you were able to stop paying interest for just 15 months, you'd be able to pay off your balance an amazing 3.5 times faster. Going back to our $10,000 example, if you do nothing, you'll barely make any headway on your balance. You'll spend $3,000 but only cut your balance down by $850. So after sending all that money to your bank, you'll still have a $9,150 balance. But if you stop the interest, the entire $3,000 gets wiped off your balance, and you end up owing only $7,000 rather than $9,150. Thats 3.5 times more progress without spending a single penny more. You can see this clearly in the graphic below.
As you can see, without cutting out the interest charges, the same $200 monthly payments barely make any headway.
How To Take Action:
Fortunately, taking action is simple if you know about certain incentives being offered to Florida residents. We've included four promotions available in Florida right now that you can use to immediately stop paying interest on your balance. Included is our editor's choice, which will deliver 15 months of interest-free time without charging any fees.
The No Transfer-Fee Card
The Chase Slate® is tied as our highest-rated balance transfer card, and for good reason. It charges no fee for transferring your balance to it in the first two months, no annual fee, and no interest on balances transferred for a full 15-month 0% intro APR period. This makes it a phenomenal tool to gain control of your credit card debt, as you can make a costless balance transfer, then use the 15-month interest grace period to pay down your balance.
The Verdict: If you don't need the entire 18 months offered by the BankAmericard, this can be efficient since it doesn't have a balance transfer fee. No transfer fee and no annual fee, combined with the 0% intro APR means that this is really free money for the 15 month term, no catches.
Most Appropriate For: Those who want a no-fee way to stop paying interest, and possibly pay off the cards during that breather. Those with good rather than excellent credit.
Least Appropriate For: Those who pay off their balances every month would be better served getting a card paying high rewards. Note that the 0% transfer fee is an introductory offer, so be sure to transfer your balance in the first 60 days, or there will be a fee.
Recommended credit: Just Good. The Chase card has the most lenient credit requirements of our top balance transfer cards.
The Ultra-Long 0% Intro APR Card
The BankAmericard® Credit Card is tied as our highest rated balance transfer card, featuring an unbelievable 18 billing cycles (months) 0% APR intro period. This means that if you were to roll your balance over onto the card today, you wouldn't have to pay interest until well into 2018. The card does charge a 3% balance transfer fee (or $10, whichever is greater), but if you’re looking to avoid paying any interest on your credit card balances for as long as possible, the BankAmericard could be your card.
The Verdict: Getting a loan this cheaply for this long is pretty amazing. If you're carrying a balance, and realistically you know you will have to carry that balance for a while, this card becomes a no-brainer. As an example, assume you have a $10,000 balance on your current cards at a 18% rate. Over the 18 billing cycle (month) term, you would have paid $3,098 in interest.* Switching to this card would cost $300 in fees, but then nothing the rest of the way, for a net savings of $2,798. Not bad, you could do a lot with that extra cash.
Most Appropriate For: Those who have large balances and want as much interest-free time as possible to pay the principle down.
Least Appropriate For: Those who pay off their balances every month or every few months.
Credit Required: Good to Excellent
The Cards With Long 0% Intro APR AND Cash Rewards Programs.
Pros: Chase's new Freedom Unlimited card is essentially an improved version of the old Freedom. They bumped the base cash back rate all the way up to an industry leading 1.5%, and pay that full 1.5% on all spend, with no limit or spend category restrictions. Unlike most other high paying cash back cards, you don't have to worry about categories or have to activate anything. You'll receive the full 1.5% back as you make your spend, on all spend, automatically. In addition, Chase is temporarily offering a cash bonus to new card-members. If you charge $500 on it in the first 3 months, you'll earn a $150 cash bonus. Finally, Chase is also offering new card-members 15 months of 0% interest for the first 15 months of using the card to make new purchases. So during that period, you can use the card without paying any interest on balances you tally, while still earning cash back. The card requires good, not excellent credit, making it easier to get in.
Cons: Charges a 5% balance transfer fee. This is on the high side, so we recommend looking at the Slate or BankAmericard if your goal is to transfer a balance. The Freedom Unlimited should be viewed as a cash back card.
The Verdict: One of the strongest cards available to those with good (but not perfect) credit. The card combines industry leading cash back rates (1.5% on everything) with a strong 15 months of 0% interest on new purchases combined with a $150 cash bonus when you use the card to make $500 in spend in the first 3 months.
Most Appropriate For: Those with good credit seeking a daily-use card offering great cash back rewards and 0% intro APR. Best for new charges.
Least Appropriate For: Balance transfers, as it charges the 5% fee while offering no more free term than the Slate (which has no transfer fee).
Credit Required: Good to Excellent
Pros: Capital One's Quicksilver card makes things simple: you earn 1.5% cash back on all your purchases, with no limit and no category restrictions or games. We included the card in our balance transfer list because it offers 0% intro APR 9 months on all balances transferred.
Cons: Does charge a 3% balance transfer fee. Requires good credit to get in.
The Verdict: If you're looking to transfer a balance and make some purchases, you can use this card to avoid paying interest during the intro period AND earn cash rewards.
Most Appropriate For: Anyone who might make some large purchases in the near future, or regularly charges a lot on their cards. Making the charges on the Quicksilver would earn cash back but not require any interest during the intro period.
Credit Required: Good to Excellent