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Balance transfer limits: How much can I transfer with a balance transfer card?
Discover the limit you need to consolidate your debts.
When you apply for a new balance transfer credit card, you’re given a credit limit, which affects how much you can transfer. Usually a percentage of your limit is available for a transfer, or a flat amount. Aside from the debt itself, other factors may impact how much you can transfer.
How much can I transfer?
Credit card providers use your credit limit to determine how much debt you can transfer to a new card. While some cards will let you transfer up to 100% of your credit limit, others may cap it at 75%.
For example, if you had $10,000 worth of credit card debt and got a balance transfer card with a $10,000 credit limit, you might not be able to transfer all of the balance to the new card. A balance transfer card with a higher credit limit of $12,000, on the other hand, is more likely to allow you to move the whole debt.
The higher your credit limit, the more likely you are to meet these requirements and get your balance transfer approved.
What is the maximum balance transfer amount?
Depending on the credit card, you could be able to transfer a maximum of 70% to 100% of your approved credit limit. So in some cases, you may not be able to transfer all of your debt even if it’s equal to, or more than, your approved credit limit.
Compare credit cards with high balance transfer limits
The following cards tend to have higher-than-average credit limits according to readers. However, providers rarely share the exact credit limits of their cards and a high limit isn’t guaranteed. If you apply with a good to excellent credit score you may be more likely to qualify for a higher limit.
How do balance transfer limits work?
Balance transfers often come with minimum and maximum amounts that depend on a percentage of your credit limit. Credit card companies consider your credit score, monthly income and outstanding debt to determine your balance transfer limit.
For example, if you’re offered a credit card with a $5,000 limit, you may be given a balance transfer limit of $3,500. The limit includes any transfer fee you’ll pay.
There’s no real way to determine how much you’ll be approved for until you apply for a card. If you need a higher limit, you can call the provider and ask, or find another card with a higher limit. Note, however, that applying for too many cards within a short period of time can lower your credit score.
What if the limit I’m given is too low?
- Transfer what you can. Transfer as much of the balance as you can to the new card and take advantage of the introductory rate. During this time, you’ll still need to make minimum payments on your original card and the new one.
- Request a higher limit. Try to request a higher credit limit from the provider. It’ll require calling the issuer or visiting a local office — and there’s no guarantee that the provider will agree to it.
- Consider other options. If you’re struggling with debt and can’t find a balance transfer card with a high enough limit, you might consider looking into personal loans. Find personal loans for debt consolidation as high as $100,000 with APRs as low as 4%, depending on your creditworthiness.
Estimated balance transfer limits by bank
Your assigned credit limit depends on several factors including your creditworthiness, utilization rate and debt-to-income ratio. However, some card providers are typically more generous than others and are a better fit for large balance transfers.
|Estimated low credit limit||Estimated high credit limit||Estimated balance transfer limit|
|Discover||$500||Between $15,000 and $25,000||Up to 100% of your available credit limit including fees|
|Chase||Between $5,000 and $25,000 on average||Up to 100% of your available credit limit or $15,000 including fees, whichever is lower|
|American Express||$500||Between $5,000 and $25,000 on average||Up to 75% of your available credit limit or $5,000 including fees, whichever is lower|
|Citi||$500 or $5,000 depending on the card||Between $5,000 and $30,000 on average||Up to 100% of your available credit limit including balance transfer fees|
|Barclaycard||$500||Between $2,000 and $15,000 on average||Up to 100% of your available credit limit including balance transfer fees|
|Bank of America||$500||Up to 100% of your available credit limit including balance transfer fees|
Cards with the highest limits
If you’re looking for a high-limit balance transfer credit card, you’ll have better luck with a high credit score. Apply with a credit score in the good to excellent range of 670 or higher for a better chance of being approved for transfer limits up to $10,000. Check your credit history and see what you can do to improve your score.
Are there any cards that offer a $10,000 credit limit?
Yes, most of the card providers offer a $10,000 credit limit or higher. That said, these cards can be ideal for large balance transfers. But as we said before, the size of your credit limit depends on your finances and credit score. So unless you have at least a good credit score or higher and low utilization rate, don’t put your hopes high for a generous credit limit.
Use our calculator to determine what you could save
Enter in your current balances and APRs, as well as the information of the card you’d like to transfer to and your monthly repayment amount to find out if the card is right for you — and how much you’ll save.
Credit limits and balance transfer limits
Finding the right limit for you is a straightforward process. Look at your debt and consider if you want to use the maximum credit limit offered.
While moving all of your debt may not be an option if the credit limit you receive isn’t high enough, you can likely still transfer a partial amount to an approved card. Just be sure that the cost of the balance transfer fee doesn’t outweigh what you’d save on interest. There are some no-fee balance transfer credit cards that may be worth checking out.
Transferring any amount frees up one credit card, and the temptation to spend using it can come up. Be sure to use both your cards, new and old, as little as possible to avoid slipping further into debt.
If you’re focused on getting out of debt, a balance transfer may be what you need. If you have a lot of debt and need a higher limit, consider your income and credit score to get the highest limit. It’s also important to compare balance transfer cards and consider the following features: the length of the intro APR period and the ongoing APRs. This will help you find the right card for your situation.
Frequently asked questions
How do I initiate a balance transfer?
With most providers, a balance transfer can be done online. During the application, you’ll likely be asked if you want to transfer a balance from an existing credit card. Enter each card number and the amount you want to transfer from that account to your new account.
The balance transfer request is often processed when you activate your credit card.
How long does a balance transfer take?
A balance transfer request can take up to 14 days to process from when you activate the card. Often it can be much quicker than this.
What happens if I don’t get approved for the credit limit I want?
You’ll only be able to transfer some of the balance from your previous card under these circumstances.
For example, if you have a $5,000 credit card debt you want to pay off using a balance transfer, and you only get approved for $4,000 on your new credit card, the balance transfer maximum limit is calculated on a credit limit of $4,000.
How do I get more credit so I can transfer all my credit card debt?
You’ll have to apply for a credit limit increase with the card provider. This request is approved or denied based on the financial institution’s credit lending criteria.
If you’ve accepted the maximum credit limit available to you and your circumstances have not changed, you may not be able to get a credit limit increase.
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