In many cases, consumers are paying higher interest rates than they should and, they know it! In these cases, balance transfer credit cards may be a great option. These special cards allow consumers to transfer balances from other high interest rate credit cards and, consolidate multiple accounts into one. However, as with any other financial option, there are several different balance transfer credit cards out there. Each different offer is specially designed to be a perfect fit for a specific type of consumer. With that said, it's never a good idea to jump at your first option. As with any financial option, the key to choosing the best balance transfer credit card for you is to compare the market and find the one that fits you best. With that said, here are the steps you should follow as you compare balance transfer credit cards...

Step #1: Comb The Market For Interesting Offers - The first thing that you should do when you compare balance transfer credit cards is make a list of the offers that you plan to compare. To do so, search Google for "Balance Transfer Credit Cards" and visit a few of the websites that show up. On the websites, quickly choose a few different offers that really stand out to you. Maybe they have incredibly low long-term rates, promotional rates or rewards. The offers that appeal to your reason for comparing balance transfer credit cards in the first place will be the offers that pop out to you.

Step #2: Compare The Issuing Lenders - Now, take a glance at the lenders that provide the cards you've chosen. Are there any that you've never heard of? If so, do a bit of research. Look for reviews of that lender written by honest consumers. Ask your friends or family if they've had any experiences with that lender and, if so, how were they. After doing everything you can to really get to know that lender and their level of service, ask yourself, "Can I trust this lender?". If the answer is "no", cross the offer off the list!

Step #3: Compare Long-Term Interest Rates - Although one of the driving factors for you choosing a balance transfer credit card may be the promotional interest rates they tend to come with, a more important factor associated with these cards is the where the interest rates well end up after the promotions expire. If the long-term rates for the new card are higher than the long term rates for the card or cards you plan to transfer balances from, it is most likely going to be a bad move. With that said, always make sure to compare standard, cash advance and default interest rates when comparing balance transfer cards. Now, cross off every card on your list other than the card or cards with the lowest long term interest rates.

Step #4: Compare The Fees - Now that you have a bit of a smaller list, it's time to look at the fees. When it comes to these offers, you really want to pay attention to annual fees and transfer fees. Although we all know what annual fees are, transfer fees tend to be a surprise to many. With that said, transferring a balance is a service. A service that is paid for through the transfer fee. In most cases, transfer fees will be between 3% and 5% of the total amount of the transfer. Cross off all cards with the exception of the card or cards that have the lowest annual and transfer fees.

Step #5: If You Haven't Already Chosen A Card, Take A Look At The Promotions - Finally, if you have a tie, promotions are great tie breakers. Take a look at the promotional interest rates and how long they last. Also, take a look at the rewards that the card provides. Using promotions as a tie breaker is always a good idea!

Final Thoughts

Finding the best balance transfer credit card for you is not a hard thing to do. It just takes a bit of research and comparison and you should be fine. However, I should also say that balance transfer credit cards are not the perfect option for everyone. It is important to do your research to find out who should and who shouldn't consider using balance transfer credit cards.

Author's Bio: 

This article was written by Joshua Rodriguez, proud owner and founder of CNA Finance and avid personal finance journalist. Join the conversation about this article and more on Google+ or facebook!