Credit Card Balance Transfers Are Back — With a Catch

stack of junk mail - credit card balance transfer
stack of junk mail - credit card balance transfer

Before lenders battened down the hatches of the credit market, it was common to receive credit card offers that promised a low or even no-interest period on balance transfers. When the economy took a dive, many experts predicted that these offers had gone the way of the negatively-amortizing adjustable-rate mortgage: disappeared for good.

As it turns out, though, balance transfer offers are a good way for card companies to pick up new customers. Issuers are loosening the purse strings again, and they're once again offering special deals on balance transfers to coax more people into becoming cardholders.

A survey by CreditCards.com of 38 cards that offer balance transfers reveals to what extent those 0% offers are returning -- and what's different this time around.