How much can I transfer with a balance transfer card? | finder.com
balance-transfer-explanation-diagram

Balance transfer limits: How much can I transfer with a balance transfer card?

We know that everyone's situation is unique and we aim to help you find the right product for you. We may receive compensation when you visit our partners' sites or are approved for their products. You can read more about how we maintain editorial independence and how we make money here.

Understand how balance transfer limits work so you can find the right credit card to consolidate your debts.

Some balance transfers offer a low introductory interest rate for existing debts you move to the new card. This means you can save money on charges and pay off the balance faster. Some offer 0% offers for 12 months or more and are generally available to new customers only.

When you apply for a new balance transfer credit card, you’re given a credit limit that affects how much you can transfer. Usually a percentage of your limit is available for a transfer. We help you find a balance transfer credit card with a credit limit to cover your debt.

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 you can find another card with a higher limit.

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. So 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 will 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 consolidating your debt as high as $100,000 for 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 balance, you’ll have better luck with a high credit score. If you apply with a credit score in the good to excellent range 670 or higher, you could be approved for transfer limits up to $10,000. Check your credit history and see what you can do to improve your score.

Compare balance transfer credit cards

Rates last updated April 27th, 2018
Name Product Maximum Balance Transfer Amount Intro APR for Balance Transfer
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Earn $150 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive the $150 back in the form of a statement credit.
0% Intro APR for 15 months (with whichever is greater, $5 or 3% balance transfer fee)
The Chase Freedom® Unlimited™ credit card
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase – it's automatic. No minimum to redeem for cash back.
0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles (with whichever is greater, $5 or 5% balance transfer fee)
Chase Slate® credit card
Jumpstart your financial fitness! 60 day introductory balance transfer offer, save on interest, and get your free monthly credit score.
0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles (with $0 for transfers in first 60 days. Then $5 or 5% balance transfer fee)
BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card
Earn more cash back for the things you buy most.
0% Intro APR for 12 statement closing dates (with whichever is greater, $10 or 3% balance transfer fee)
HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard®
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases. See Rates and Fees
0% Intro APR for first 15 months from account opening (with whichever is greater: $10 or 4% balance transfer fee)
NASA Federal Platinum Advantage Rewards Credit Card
NASA Federal Platinum Advantage Rewards Credit Card
Enjoy perks and save money while gaining points that never expire with every purchase.
9.9% Intro APR for 90-days
DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card
A great way to establish or improve your credit history.
primor® Secured Visa Gold Card
Fast, easy application process. No processing or application fees!
Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®
A low, variable APR on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances.
Discover it® Secured Credit Card
2% Cashback at restaurants or gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus 1% cash back on all other credit card purchases.
10.99% Intro APR for 6 months (with the amount of each transfer, 3% balance transfer fee)
Fifth Third Secured Card
Build, or rebuild, your credit with each purchase.

Have we missed anything in the comparison table? Tell us

Compare up to 4 providers

Credit limits and balance transfer limits

Finding the right balance transfer credit card with a limit right for you is a straightforward process. Look at your debt and consider if you want to use the maximum credit limit offered. Check out the following case studies, where Jessica and Daniel recently transferred a balance to a new credit card to save money on credit card interest payments.

Jessica, Boston, 36

Jessica applied for the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard so she could pay down the $5,000 she owes on her Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® Credit Card. The Barclaycard has a 0% balance transfer offer for 12 months. Cardholders can use up to 100% of their credit limit toward a balance transfer. She previously took the maximum credit limit offered to her by Indigo card, $6,000. However, Barclaycard could only offer her a limit of $3,000 on her new credit card.

Jessica was able to transfer $2,850 from her Indigo credit card on to her new Barclaycard credit card under the balance transfer promotion. She used the interest free period on her Barclaycard to save money on that debt so she could concentrate on paying down the remaining $2,150 on her Indigo card.


Daniel, Los Angeles, 29

Daniel applied for the Barclaycard Ring Mastercard to use on an overseas trip. Mastercard offered him a $10,000 limit but he decided he only needed a $2,000 limit. Even though he planned on only using the Barclaycard in an emergency, Daniel ended up maxing out it out. When he got home, he applied for a balance transfer to the UNITY Visa Secured Card, which offered a 0% intro APR for six months with a one-time 3% balance transfer fee. UNITY offered Daniel a $5,000 credit limit, but he decided to set his limit at $2,100. UNITY lets cardholders use up to their credit limit for a balance transfer, the limit on the UNITY card was enough to cover the whole debt.

Use our calculator to determine what limit you need

Your current credit cards:

Amount Owing

APR

Card 1

Card 2

Card 3

Card 4

Card 5

Card that you are transferring to:

Intro APR

Intro Term (months)

Ongoing APR

Balance Transfer Fee

Annual Fee

Your monthly repayment
$500

 
 
Critical
At this rate, you will not pay off your debt.
 
Recommended
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
12 months

Without a balance transfer
15 months

Money saved transferring debt to a balance transfer card:

Savings = $1,000

By moving forward with a balance transfer credit card and transferring the maximum amount, you could be saving $1,000 on fees and interest charges.
You will save an infinite amount of money as you will not pay off your debt on your current cards at that rate.
In this case, a balance transfer card is not the best option. You might want to consider a personal loan to help consolidate your debt. You can find out more here.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this calculator, the results should be used as indication only. Certain assumptions have been made around the repayments made. This calculator is neither a quote nor a pre-qualification for a credit card

Bottom line

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 credit cards to find the card that’s right for you.

Frequently asked questions

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    stephNovember 14, 2017

    can i open multiple cards to accommodate transferring all my debt?

    • Staff
      JoshuaNovember 15, 2017Staff

      Yes, it is possible to open multiple cards to transfer all of your balances. But, you’ll want to consider the likelihood of approval for multiple cards. Here are a few things that may affect your approval.

      If you submit a lot of applications in a short amount of time, it can actually have a detrimental effect on your credit report. In turn, this could hurt your chances of a successful application.

      Each time you submit a credit card application, the credit card provider assesses your application by requesting a copy of your credit report. This is called a “hard credit inquiry” and is recorded on your report for up to two years, regardless of the outcome (which is not recorded). Hard inquiries aren’t limited to credit card applications; you get one every time you apply for any kind of loan, mortgage or utility credit. Each hard inquiry can take a few points off your credit score.

      While occasional hard enquiries are unlikely to hurt your credit score, imagine having a bunch of them together on your report within a short period of time. To a lender, it could look as if you’re desperate for credit, and definitely raises a red flag when they are assessing your application.

      That said, credit providers consider a lot more factors than merely the hard inquiries on your credit file. They also look at any other black marks such as late payments, payment defaults, court writs or bankruptcies. Plus, if you have any positive payment history on your file (such as details of a credit account you always pay on time), this could work in your favour.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

US Credit Card Offers

Important Information*
Deserve® Classic Card
Deserve® Classic Card

APR

24.24
variable

Annual fee

0 For the first year
More info
Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™
Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™

APR

16.49
variable

Annual fee

0 For the first year
More info
The First Access VISA® Credit Card
The First Access VISA® Credit Card

APR

29.99
variable

Annual fee

75 For the first year
More info
Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® Credit Card
Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® Credit Card

APR

23.9
variable

Annual fee

75 For the first year
More info
Go to site