A strong credit history increases debt transfer options.
Having good credit not only increases your chances of credit card approval, but it can also make you eligible for a high credit line and a competitive APR on purchases and balance transfers. This will help you save on interest — even after an intro APR expires.
Compare balance transfer credit cards for good credit
What’s in this guide?
What to expect from balance transfer cards if you have good credit
Credit card providers consider many factors beyond your credit score. Still, a good score will help you be eligible for top balance transfer cards that come with:
- High credit limits. This means you can transfer higher balances, especially when credit card issuers limit balance transfers to a certain percentage of your credit limit.
- Lower APRs. Your APR is based on your creditworthiness, and stronger credit generally means a lower APR after your intro period expires.
- Rewards and perks. You might find a card that earns you rewards on your purchases, though your transferred balances likely won’t count toward them.
How to compare balance transfer cards
Having a good credit score opens up more options. To find the best balance transfer card for you, take a comprehensive look at:
- Intro APR and length. Ideally, you’ll want to focus on cards offering no interest for a period of a year or longer, giving you the most time to repay the debts that you transfer.
- Time limits. Many cards with no- or low-interest intro APRs will require you to make the transfer within a limited time frame. The amount of time can range from 60 days all the way up to four months following your account opening.
- Ongoing APR. After your intro APR period expires, you don’t want to be stuck paying a high APR — and potentially undoing your savings. Look for a low revert on purchases and more.
- Transfer fee. Balance transfer fees range from 3% to 5% of your transfer amount. If you’re moving several thousand dollars to your new card, a mere 2% difference can result in hundreds of dollars extra.
- Annual fee. A card with an annual fee doesn’t guarantee a longer intro APR or stronger rewards. Weigh the savings or rewards your new card offers against your spending habits before determining the fee is worth it.
- Partial transfers. Some cards outright decline your request if the amount you’re looking to transfer exceeds your credit limit, while others accept partial balance transfers. Carefully read the terms and conditions to avoid a surprise down the road.
Who is a balance transfer card good for?
Balance transfer cards can be a good tool if you’re paying a high APR on another card’s debt. Moving your existing balances from other cards can help you:
- Save money. If you’re set to pay $200 in interest on another card, transferring your balance to a card offering a 0% intro APR can help you keep that $200 in your pocket if you pay off your debt before your rate reverts.
- Pay off debt faster. When none of your payment is diverted to cover the interest, more of it goes toward doing away with your debt.
- Consolidate debt. If you’re stuck paying high APR on several cards, transferring your remaining balances to a single card brings your statements down to one.
How to apply for a balance transfer card
Most balance transfer card providers offer cards to applicants who are at least 18 years old and reside in the US.
While the exact information you’ll need to complete your application can vary by provider, you’ll likely submit:
- Your personal contact information.
- Your Social Security number and date of birth.
- Your residential status.
- Financial details, such as your annual salary and other income.
Some credit cards allow you to request your balance transfers on the application itself with:
- Account details for the debt you’re hoping to transfer.
- The amount to transfer to your new card.
4 tips to making the most out of your balance transfer card
The best way to leverage the benefits of a balance transfer card is to focus on doing away with your debt, rather than the perks banks and providers use to lure you in:
- Make sure you’ll save money. A balance transfer card with an annual fee and high transfer fees can eat into your savings. The interest you’ll save on your debt should outweigh the card’s costs.
- Pay more than the minimum. Knock out your balance quicker by paying as much as you can beyond your statement’s minimum. Find the magic number by dividing your remaining balance by the months left in your intro period.
- Avoid additional purchases. Many cards prioritize your payment toward new purchases, which could threaten your ability to repay your transfers before the end of your intro. Hold off on swiping your card until your balance is down to $0.
- Heed the revert rate. If you don’t pay off your balance by the end of your intro period, your rate reverts to the everyday APR. Adopt your revert date as your payoff deadline if you can to avoid paying more than you need to.
Credit card providers typically reward good credit with low APRs and high credit limits, which can help you get the most out of a balance transfer card. Before applying, weigh any annual or balance transfer fees against the money you’ll save on interest. Try to pay it all off before your intro period expires.
Learn more about how balance transfers work, and compare balance transfer cards to see how they can help you pay off your debt while saving on interest.