Can I make a balance transfer with the same bank?

You likely can't transfer a balance between credit cards issued by the same bank or provider.

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If you get an offer in the mail or see an attractive offer online for a balance transfer credit card, you may be ready to jump on it. You might be surprised to learn that most credit card providers won’t allow you to make the balance transfer within the same credit card company or a card offered by one of their affiliates.

So if you’re considering a balance transfer, find out the issuer and what debt it’s willing to take on.

Can I transfer debt with the same provider?

Transferring debt between cards with the same provider is typically not allowed. Most credit card providers have restrictions on transferring balances on other credit cards or loans from the same provider or one their affiliates.

For example, if you have debt on an MBNA credit card that you’d like to consolidate onto a TD credit card, your application will likely be denied because MBNA is an affiliate of TD. Check with the provider before you apply for your balance transfer card to learn if you can transfer balances from cards issued by certain providers.

While it’s very rare a provider will approve a balance transfer within the same bank or credit card provider, there are sometimes exceptions. These exceptions will likely be made on a case-by-case basis.

Which credit card providers accept balance transfers from cards they issued?

Although you can’t balance transfer to a card offered by the same provider, you may be able to transfer a balance from another provider to a credit card you’ve held for a long time with a different bank — sometimes even scoring a promotional APR.

This is not always the case, as some providers require you to be a brand new customer to reap the rewards of a promotional offer such as a low or 0% APR balance transfer offer. Although the providers below may allow existing customers to do a balance transfer, they may not reward you with the promotional introductory offer.

Credit card issuerAccepts balance transfers from credit cards issued by itAccepts existing customer balance transfers
American Express
BMO
Scotiabank
Tangerine
Capital One
CIBC
MNBA
PC Financial
RBC
TD

Compare balance transfer credit cards

Name Product Purchase Interest Rate Balance Transfer Rate Annual Fee Minimum Income Reward Description
BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard
12.99%
3.99% for the first 9 months (then 12.99%)
$20
$15,000
Take advantage of an introductory balance transfer offer, annual fee waiver in the first year, and low purchase and cash advance interest rates.
Get a rate of 3.99% on balance transfers for 9 months with a 1% transfer fee. Plus, get the $20 annual fee waived in the first year.
Scotiabank Value Visa Card
12.99%
0.99% for the first 6 months (then 12.99%)
$29
$12,000
Save on interest for 6 months by consolidating your higher-rate balances with the balance transfer offer, and get an on-going 12.99% interest rate on purchases, cash advances and balance transfers.
Get a 0.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers with a 0% transfer fee for the first 6 months. Apply by July 1, 2020.
No-Fee Scotiabank Value Visa Card
16.99%
3.99% for the first 6 months (then 16.99%)
$0
$12,000
Save with a low interest rate, no annual fee and a balance transfer offer.
Get a 3.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers with a 0% balance transfer fee for the first 6 months. Apply by July 1, 2020.
Tangerine World Mastercard
19.95%
1.95% for the first 6 months (then 19.95%)
$0
$60,000
Earn 2% cash back in two categories of your choice (or three categories if you open a Tangerine Savings Account and directly deposit your cash back into the account), and 0.5% cash back on everything else.
Get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months (valid within the first 30 days of account opening).
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
19.95%
1.95% for the first 6 months (then 19.95%)
$0
$12,000
Earn 2% cash back in two categories of your choice (or three categories if you open a Tangerine Savings Account and directly deposit your cash back into the account), and 0.5% cash back on everything else.
Get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months (valid within the first 30 days of account opening).
BMO AIR MILES Mastercard For Students
19.99%
1.99% for the first 9 months (then 22.99%)
$0
$15,000
Earn 2 AIR MILES for every $20 spent at eligible AIR MILES partners, and earn 1 AIR MILE for every $20 spent elsewhere.
Receive up to 800 AIR MILES Bonus Miles. Plus, get a 1.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for 9 months. A 1% fee applies to balance amounts transferred.
BMO CashBack Mastercard For Students
19.99%
1.99% for the first 9 months (then 22.99%)
$0
$15,000
Get 1% cash back on all eligible purchases.
Get up to 5% cash back in the first three months (up to a maximum spend of $2,000). Plus, get a rate of 1.99% on balance transfers for 9 months, with a 1% fee for every transferred balance.
BMO AIR MILES Mastercard
19.99%
1.99% for the first 9 months (then 22.99%)
$0
$15,000
Get 2 AIR MILES for every $20 spent at eligible AIR MILES partners, and get 1 AIR MILE for every $20 spent elsewhere.
Earn up to 800 AIR MILES Bonus Miles. Plus, get a rate of 1.99% on balance transfers for 9 months. A 1% fee applies to transferred balances.
BMO CashBack Mastercard
19.99%
1.99% for the first 9 months (then 22.99%)
$0
$15,000
Get 1% cash back on all eligible purchases.
Get up to 5% cash back on all eligible purchases in the first three months of card membership (up to a maximum spend of $2,000, and earn 1% cash back thereafter). Plus, get a rate of 1.99% on balance transfers with a 1% balance transfer fee for nine months.
Scotia Momentum Visa Card
19.99%
2.99% for the first 6 months (then 22.99%)
$39
$12,000
Earn 2% cash back on all eligible gas station, grocery store and drug store purchases and on recurring bill payments (up to a $25,000 annual spend), and earn 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases (and on all eligible purchases once the $25,000 annual spend is reached).
Get a 2.99% introductory rate on balance transfers and a 0% balance transfer fee for the first 6 months. Apply by July 1, 2020.

Compare up to 4 providers

*The products compared on this page are chosen from a range of offers available to us and are not representative of all the products available in the market. There is no perfect order or perfect ranking system for the products we list on our Site, so we provide you with the functionality to self-select, re-order and compare products. The initial display order is influenced by a range of factors including conversion rates, product costs and commercial arrangements, so please don't interpret the listing order as an endorsement or recommendation from us. We're happy to provide you with the tools you need to make better decisions, but we'd like you to make your own decisions and compare and assess products based on your own preferences, circumstances and needs.

What’s the difference between a credit card provider and a credit card brand?

To understand this more clearly, let’s distinguish between a credit card provider and a credit card brand. While credit cards are often branded by banks, stores or even supermarkets — like Costco and BestBuy — these cards are actually issued by larger financial institutions like TD or CIBC.

To go one step further, there’s also a difference between a credit card provider and a credit card network. Scotiabank may issue the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card, but the card is part of the Visa network. Networks – which include Visa, Mastercard and American Express – facilitate transactions and determine where cards are accepted.

Note that American Express is both a network and a credit card provider.

Changes between credit card brands and providers

Some credit card brands may change card providers from time to time. So, check your current card provider when you’re about to request a balance transfer.

In some cases, a different provider 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 provider?

When you’re sent balance transfer offers in the mail, the provider is often looking for new customers. Balance transfers let you move your debt from one creditor to another, typically with the benefit of a lower APR on your debt for a specific period of time.

A provider will not allow you to transfer the debt you currently have with it to another affiliated card to get a lower rate simply because they are profiting from your debt – so why change that?

What happens if I apply for a balance transfer with the same credit card provider?

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 will probably be declined. In most cases, the reason your application is denied has more to do with other factors, including your credit score and history. However, if you hold debt with that provider, they will likely deny your application as well.
  • It could affect your credit score. Every time you apply for a credit card, the provider does a hard pull on your credit that can temporarily lower your score by a few points.
  • You could get an offer for the new card without the balance transfer. If you have good credit, a provider may offer you the chance to apply for a different credit card issued by them. While you might be approved for this card, any promotional balance transfer offers that come alongside the card won’t usually be available.

Bottom line

Banks and credit card providers generally won’t allow you to transfer debt from a card issued by the provider or its affiliates.

Contact the bank or credit card provider and explain which cards you want to transfer debt from and ask if it’s allowed before you apply to avoid being rejected.

Before applying for any balance transfer credit cards, read the terms and conditions of the card to understand the fees, expectations and restrictions. Even if you’re approved for a balance transfer card, you might find out that you can’t move all of your debt to the new card, since some providers limit the amount of debt you can move to your new card.

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