Discover the limit you need to consolidate your debts onto one credit card.
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.
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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.
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 if the limit I’m given is too low?
- Transfer what you can. Transfer as much of the balance that 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. You can find personal loans for debt consolidation as high as $100,000 with APRs as low as 4%, depending on your creditworthiness.
Cards with the highest limits
If you’re looking for a balance transfer credit card with a high limit, 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 to get 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.
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.
Your current credit cards:
Card that you are transferring to:
Intro Term (months)
Balance Transfer Fee
Your monthly repayment
At this rate, you will not pay off your debt.
At this rate you will pay off your debt during the card's intro period
At that rate you will not pay off your debt. You will need to make higher repayments.
Months that it will take you to pay off your debt:
With a balance transfer
Without a balance transfer
Money saved transferring debt to a balance transfer card:
Savings = $1,000
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 if it has a balance transfer fee the cost doesn’t outweigh what you’d save on interest.
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 other features of balance transfer credit cards, including intro and ongoing APRs, to find the card that’s right for you.