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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

CIMB and Maybank Balance Transfer Plans

With the festive seasons over and some of us overspending with our credit cards, many are now looking at Balance Transfer to save on interest charges. If you are new to Balance Transfer, please read my previous postings first:




CIMB and DIRECT ACCESS 6 MONTHS  0% BALANCE TRANSFER PLAN

In the second link mentioned above, I have written down the steps to apply for CIMB Balance Transfer, However it seems that many still do not understand how the CIMB 0% Balance Transfer Plan actually works. So today I will give you an example on the CIMB 6 months 0% Balance Transfer Program/Plan.

Once your CIMB 6 months 0% Interest Balance Transfer Plan have been approved, a new 16 digit account will be created for the amount applied/approved which is completely separate from your card account. You will be issued new separate Monthly Statements along with your regular Monthly Statements. This makes it very easy to keep track on the outstanding balance in the balance transfer account. The only thing is the CIMB Balance Transfer Statements do not tell you what month you are into the Balance Transfer Plan, so you have to keep track and make sure you settle in full before the plan expire to avoid interest charges. For my case, after I make the fifth payment, I will call CIMB/Direct Access customer service to double confirm the expiry date of my Balance Transfer Plan and make sure I settle in full before the expiry to avoid any interest charges. After the 6th month, interest will be imposed onto the Outstanding Balance in the Balance Transfer Account.

Below is a sample calculation for CIMB 6 months 0% Balance Transfer Plan.

Say you BT RM4200 to CIMB 0% 6-month plan.

Month #1: Mar-2011
Your NEW BT Account Outstanding Balance in Statement = RM4200
You must pay RM210 (5% minimum)

Month #2: Apr-2011
BT Account Outstanding Statement balance = RM4200 - RM210 = RM3990 
You must pay RM200 (5% minimum, actual amount RM199.5 but round it up)

Month #3: May-2011
BT Account Outstanding Statement balance = RM3990 -RM200 = RM3790
You must pay RM190 (5% minimum, once again round up)

Month #4: May-2011
BT Account Outstanding Statement balance = RM3790 - RM 190 = RM 3,600
You must pay RM180 (5% minimum)

Month #5: June-2011
BT Account Outstanding Statement balance = RM3420
You must pay RM171 (5% minimum)

Month #6: July-2011
BT Account Outstanding Statement balance = RM3249
You must settle in full RM3249.

From months 1 to 5, you can pay more but not necessary. There is no benefit by paying more than the 5% (if you got the money in FD for example). Having said this, usually I will pay more than the 5%, about 10% rounding it up to the next nearest thousand for me to easily keep track the outstanding balance in my Balance Transfer Account. Also, if you are the type that do not save money, better you pay more each month so that comes end of the 6th months you won't be caught in a situation where you cannot afford to settle the outstanding balance in one lump sum (you can see from above, if you only pay 5% each month for the RM4200 transferred, at the end of the 6th month you still have to settle in full RM3249 which is a big amount).

Before I forget, when applying for the CIMB Balance Transfer Plan, you must enclose your other credit card Statement. The other credit card statement need not be the latest but can be from the previous month. CIMB needs your credit card statement to confirm the account number and the issuer of the credit card you are transferring your outstanding from. 


MAYBANK 12 MONTH 0% INTEREST BALANCE TRANSFER

Maybank's Balance Transfer Scheme or Plan, or whatever you want to call it, works differently from CIMB's Balance Transfer Plan. I have not done any balance transfer with Maybank but I understand that the amount transfer to a 12 Months 0% Interest Plan will be divided equally and there isn't a separate account created for the MBB's Balance Transfer. 

Assuming you do a balance transfer of RM6000 with Maybank from another credit card. You will then be required to pay RM6000/12months = RM500 monthly for the next 12 months. This said RM500 must be paid together with your other monthly transactions in full to avoid being charged interest. 

I must stress that it is important that you pay the RM500 (for RM6000 BT) monthly plus whatever amount you transacted prior to the Statement Date or else you will be imposed interest.

I hope the above is helpful, for further clarification on Balance Transfer Plans, go check with your card issuer customer service and make sure you fully understand the terms and conditions before you go apply for a Balance Transfer Plan.  

CONCLUSION

From the above CIMB example, when one does a balance transfer of RM4,200 and only pay the minimum 5% monthly, he/she would still end up with a big amount to settle at the end of the 6th month. I have said in all my previous posts that never let the bank charge you interest on your credit card outstanding amount as the interest is high. By doing balance transfer, you are simply transferring your debt from one bank to another and the fact remains that you are still in debt. The 0% Interest Balance Transfer Plans are not free money, you have to pay back and if you can't, you be charged higher interest and working for the bank for a long long time. Like I mentioned earlier in my posts, the banks attract you with low interest but they know that one does balance transfer because he or she has no discipline and comes end of the expiry period or even during the BT period, the person won't be able to settle the amount owned and the banks get to charge higher interest and make more money, The Balance Transfer Plan and Installment Plans are  traps by the banks to make more money from people who spend beyond their means. 

The reason why I wrote the previous 2 Balance Transfer posts was to share with others how to make a little bit pocket money from utilizing the funds ready on hand to settle his/her credit card monthly outstanding balance. Just remember what I said in my very first post on Balance Transfer, if you are doing a Balance Transfer without having the funds on hand, you are living beyond your means.


Other Related Posts

Click here to read my review on Maybankard 2 American Express, Visa and MasterCard Credit Cards



Click here to read my article titled Credit Cards are Cash Cow For Banks. Are You Working Fot The Banks?  In this article I touched in interest charges imposed onto outstanding balance and other traps that make you spend more than you can afford.

UPDATE July 2011 - Click here to read my article titled CIMB Bank 0% Interest 6 Months Balance Transfer Extended to 31 December 2011.

10 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing! Idea of taking BT fund & put in FD account is good, as we can actually generate some profit to pay off st***d GST.

    ReplyDelete
  2. GX,

    I wonder if it is best that you could refine your example from “month” to “day” basis and to state the exact date of the “final month” when the final monthly instalment is to be made.

    From my repeated reading on the T&C, for CIMB, I “suspected” that the catch is the term "date of Approved Balance transaction", where the "interest free period" of 6 months is counted from this date, not actually 6 credit card statement months.

    I did my BT last month, it was “approved” on 17 Jan 2011 where payment was made to the receiving credit card company on 18 Jan 2011. However, I am “asked” to make my “first instalment” only on the same due date of my Direct Access credit card, which is 3 March 2011. This would means my subsequent “instalments” will be on 3 April(2nd instalment), 3 May(3rd instalment), 3 June(4th instalment), 3 July(5th instalment) and finally 3 Aug 2011(6th instalment). But my “interest free period” would end by 17 Jul 2011 !! I believe I will be charged interest from 18 July to 3 Aug 2011 then!

    ReplyDelete
  3. marx, thanks for reading. As for example from month to date, you have already done it :)

    If you had read my second post on BT where I gave steps on CIMB application for BT, you would have read that I mentioned that with proper planning you can get 7-8 months of 0% interest free period. I shouldn't be spoon feeding everybody but since you have experienced CIMB BT I will elaborate further. The method to enjoy the "longer" interest free period is 1) to swipe card A after the statement date where you would have about 40-45 days to make payment and 2) to transfer balance from Card A to CIMB after the Statement Date of your CIMB card. Yes, payment is due to CIMB based on your principal card Due Date. As I have said, it takes planning and need brains to ensure that payment is paid by CIMB to Card A to avoid interest charges on Card A, hahaha Also me having many cards makes it easier to plan.

    Having said the above, my advise is still that you check with CIMB CS after the 5th month to confirm when payment is due to ensure interest is not imposed.

    ReplyDelete
  4. GX,

    You're no doubt the GURU for credit cards "manipulation" ! :p

    The trick to select the proper "feng shui" days for swiping card A and apply BT to CIMB are excellent in extending the interest free period from 6 to 7/8 months. This is what we, as clients, could play a good strategy with.

    But my point brought out in earlier post was concerning the "strategy" could have played by CIMB, causing some interest to be charged on us for not reading and understanding the T&C of the BT program entirely, and could have "mistakenly" thought that as long as all BT amount is settled in 6 "credit card statement" months (i.e., the due date for each monthly instalment is "purposely" made the same day of the due date of the credit card payment), there is zero interest to be paid for.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Can I check with you something....
    Im going to buy a house. which the deposit is about 40k. I manage to arrange for kwsp account2 withdrawal for about 30k. which according to kwsp, they will bank in direct into my saving account
    I need cash to channel for bussiness cash flow.
    So , Im thinking of paying the deposit to developer using credit card. and arrange to BT to CIMB for 12 months plan. Then, i can utilised the 30k kwsp withdrawal for 1% interest for 12 months.
    Is this works? need your opinion.
    Thanks in advance

    ReplyDelete
  6. Toh, from what I read initially, I thought you needed the epf money for cash flow since you'll be using part of your cash to pay for the down payment. If you want to use EPF money and deposit in FD earning less than 4% interest, isn't it better you leave the money in epf and earn 5%+ dividend?

    Having said above, even if you got cash, yah use CC and get reward points and then do balance transfer to CIMB 6 months 0% interest. My principle is not to pay any interest to the banks, even if it is 0.1%.

    ReplyDelete
  7. is there anyway for me to settle up my credit card using my kwsp acc 2..? please advice

    ReplyDelete
  8. KWSP is savings for our old age. For ways to withdraw money from Acct 2, please refer to KWSP website. But for settling credit card, the answer is NO, at least not directly.

    ReplyDelete

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