I just used my credit card from Barclay Bank to make a balance transfer at 0% APR for 18 months for a 2% fee.
I already paid the 2% fee, so I'm not planning on paying anything more than the minimum payment each month until the 18 month deadline, when I will pay the entire promotional balance left in one shot to avoid the interest. This obviously requires me to carry a balance during the promotional period, which I was under the impression disqualified me for the interest-free grace period on new purchases.
However, looking at the fine print on my previous statement, it reads:
You may also avoid paying interest on Purchases if either Paragraph A or Paragraph B of this section applies to your account.
Paragraph B applies to my account in this case, and it reads:
If you have Purchase balances with an APR that is greater than 0%, and you also have other types of promotional balances on your account, you still may be able to avoid paying interest on those balances without paying your Statement Balance in full. If this applies to your Account, you will see a Paragraph titled “Avoiding Interest on Purchases (Grace Period)” appearing directly below the Interest Charge Calculation section on the front of this Statement. This will show the amount you can pay by the Payment Due Date and still avoid interest charges on your Purchase balances. This amount may differ from your Statement Balance. It may differ because you currently have certain promotional APR balances, and the nonpayment of these balances will not affect your grace period on Purchases, provided you pay all other balances on your account.
I haven't been able to see this "Avoiding Interest on Purchases" paragraph on my statement because I haven't yet received my first statement with the promotional balance transfer posted, but I'm guessing that this amount they're talking about equals the minimum payment plus new purchases.
The letter I got in the mail with the balance transfer offer, I think also echoes the quoted text above. It reads:
You can avoid interest on purchases without paying your entire balance. Instead, you can pay, by the payment due date, your entire balance minus this reduced APR balance transfer balance.
My understanding has always been that I'd lose my grace period the moment I don't pay my statement balance in full, resulting in new purchases accruing interest the moment they post to the account. Is Barclay Bank being more flexible about this and saying: "It's OK. Just pay the minimum plus your new purchases each month and you get to keep the grace period"?
I also did a promotional balance transfer on my Capital One card a while ago, and they had similar wording but did not pay too much attention to it since I was not interested in using it for new purchases. However, unlike the Capital One card, the Barclay Bank card has some sweet cash back rewards, so I'd like to keep using it if I can. On the other hand, I have looked through my Bank of America card statement and it seems they don't have this flexibility in place; their wording seems to confirm that you do lose the grace period if you don't pay the statement balance in full no matter what you do.
Is this flexibility something some credit card companies offer but most don't? Or am I misunderstanding what Barclay Bank is saying?