You may run into a roadblock if you try to transfer a balance between cards from the same issuer.
If you get an offer in the mail for a balance transfer credit card, you may be ready to jump on it. You might be surprised to learn that most credit cards won’t allow you to make transfer within the same credit card company.
For example, if you get an offer from American Express, it’s likely you won’t be able to transfer your debt from your Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Card or Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express because they’re all credit cards issued by Amex.
So if you’re considering a balance transfer, find out the issuer and what debt it’s willing to take on.
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Can I transfer debt with the same issuer?Transferring debt between cards with the same issuer is typically not allowed. Most credit card companies have restrictions on transferring balances on other credit cards or other loans from the same issuer.
For example, if you have debts on a Cabela’s CLUB Credit Card, GM BuyPower Card® and PlayStation® Card that you’d like to consolidate onto a Capital One card, your application will likely be denied because they’re all affiliates Capital One.
Check with the issuer before you apply for your balance transfer card to learn if you can transfer balances from certain cards.
While it’s very rare an issuer will approve a balance transfer within the same bank or provider, there are sometimes exceptions. For example, Barclays will consider a transfer between some of its issued cards at its discretion.
What’s the difference between a credit card issuer and a credit card brand?
To understand this more clearly, let’s distinguish between a credit card issuer and credit card brand. While credit cards are often branded by banks, stores or even supermarkets — like Lowe’s, Amazon and Costco — these cards are actually issued by larger financial institutions like Chase.
To go one step further, there’s also a difference between a credit card issuer and a credit card network. Chase may issue the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card, but it’s part of the Visa network. Networks facilitate transactions and determine where cards are accepted.
Changes between credit card brands and issuers
Some credit card brands may change card issuers from time to time. So, check your current card issuer when you’re about to request a balance transfer.
In some cases, a different issuer may be affiliated with your account, which could affect your ability to balance transfer your debt to other associated credit card brands.
Why are balance transfers not allowed between cards by the same issuer?
When you’re sent balance transfer offers in the mail, the issuer is looking for new customers. Balance transfers let you shift debt from one creditor to another, typically with a benefit of lower rates.
It’s not likely a provider will let you to transfer debt you currently have with it — debt it’s profiting from — to another affiliated card to get a lower rate.
What happens if I apply for a balance transfer with the same credit card issuer?
If you accidentally apply for a balance transfer with the same provider, the impact depends on the companies involved and your financial circumstances. Some potential outcomes include:
- Your application may be declined.
In most cases, the reason that your application is denied usually has more to do with other factors, including your credit score and history. Even if a balance transfer isn’t possible, you could still be approved for the card.
- It could affect your credit score.
A denied application can potentially lower your credit score. Every time you apply for a credit card, the company does a hard pull on your credit that can temporarily lower your score. Multiple denied applications can be bad news for your credit.
- You could get an offer for the new card without the balance transfer.
If you have good credit, you’ll likely to be approved for the card, even without the balance transfer offer.
Banks and credit card issuers will generally not allow you to transfer debt balances from a card issued by the provider or its affiliates. However, you can check with the issuer before applying for a new card. Contact the bank or credit card company and explain which cards you want to transfer debt from and ask if it’s allowed.
Before applying for any balance transfer, read the terms and conditions to understand the fees, expectations and limitations. Even if a bank allows you to transfer your balances, promotional terms such as 0% interest rates may not always be available to existing cardholders.Back to top
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