Instant approval balance transfer credit cards

Looking to move your debt to a balance transfer credit card? Find out if you're approved sooner with an instant approval card.

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A balance transfer credit card can help you save on interest, especially if you opt for a card that comes with a long promotional balance transfer offer. While the actual time it takes to transfer your debt to your new balance transfer card varies from one card provider to the next, some credit card companies offer instant approval — making it quicker to transfer your debt and stop paying those high APRs.

Keep in mind instant approval is still conditional approval, but it’s a promising step in the right direction to paying down your credit card debt faster and cheaper.

What is an instant balance transfer credit card?

Many credit card providers offer instant approval, which means your application receives a conditional approval within seconds or minutes of applying. Once the provider double checks your application, you can typically expect to receive your credit card in the mail within 7 to 10 days.

Credit cards with balance transfer offers charge little to no interest on transferred balances for anywhere between 6 and 10 months, depending on the offer. Even when the offer doesn’t include a promotional rate, you might still benefit if the new card’s interest rate is noticeably lower than the rate you’re currently paying on your debt. Just watch out for balance transfer fees, which are usually between 1-3% and are charged as a fee for moving the balance over to your new card.

With an instant balance transfer credit card, you may be able to move your balance to the new card before you even receive the physical credit card in the mail. This can help speed up the transfer process and move your debt to your 0% or low rate card sooner – saving you money on interest charges. That said, most balance transfers typically take between 5 and 14 days to complete, and most providers require that you activate your card before the balances are transferred – which means you’d need to physically have the card.

Compare instant approval balance transfer credit cards

Name Product Welcome Offer Purchase Interest Rate Balance Transfer Rate Annual Fee Credit Rating
Offers a 0.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers with 0% transfer fee for the first 6 months. Ends 31 October 2019.
12.99%
0.99% for the first 6 months (then 12.99%)
$29
650+ recommended credit score
Save on interest by consolidating your higher-rate balances and get a low 12.99% purchase interest rate.
Receive 5% cashback (up to $300 cashback) in the first six months.
19.99%
1.99% for the first 6 months (then 22.99%)
$99
Good, Excellent
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months to new cardmembers. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Earn 2.5% cash back (up to $150 cash back) in the first three months.
19.99%
1.99% for the first 6 months (then 22.99%)
$0
Good, Excellent
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Get 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months. Valid within the first 30 days of account opening.
19.95%
1.95% for the first 6 months (then 19.95%)
$0
650+ recommended credit score
Earn 4% Money-Back Rewards in three categories of your choice such as groceries, dining, petrol and more. Ends 31 October 2019.
Offers a 3.99% balance transfer intro rate in the first nine months to new cardmembers.
12.99%
3.99% for the first 9 months (then 12.99%)
$20
Good
Offers a 3.99% balance transfer intro rate for nine months to new cardmembers.
Offers a 3.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers with 0% transfer fee for the first 6 months. Ends 31 October 2019.
16.99%
3.99% for the first 6 months (then 16.99%)
$0
650+ recommended credit score
Save with a low interest rate and no annual fee.
Receive 2,000 bonus AIR MILES® when you spend $1,500 within the first three months of membership.
19.99%
1.99% for the first 6 months (then 22.99%)
$65
Good, Excellent
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Receive 2,400 AIR MILES® when you spend $3,000 within first three months of membership.
19.99%
1.99% for the first 6 months (then 22.99%)
$299
Good, Excellent
Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Earn up to 800 AIR MILES bonus miles with minimum spend of $1,000 in the first three months. Ends 31 October 2019.
19.99%
1.99% for the first 9 months (then 22.99%)
$0
Good
Get 3¢ discount per litre at participating Shell stations. Ends 31 October 2019.
Get 5% cash back with minimum spend of $2,000 in the first three months of card membership. Ends 30 November 2019.
19.99%
1.99% for the first 9 months (then 22.99%)
$0
Good
Offers a 1.99% balance transfer intro rate for nine months to new cardmembers.

Compare up to 4 providers

What can I expect when applying?

Before going through the application process, check out the card’s terms and conditions — a table that every credit card company is required to have on its site that clearly states fees, policies and information about APRs.

Once you fill out your application (which includes providing your personal, financial and employment information) you can then provide the details required to complete your balance transfer. This will entail providing information about the banks and institutions that your debt is currently with.

Once you hit submit, you can expect a decision within a few seconds or minutes. If you’re approved, don’t expect the transfer to be instant. Transfers typically take between 5 and 14 days to process from the time you receive and activate your card.

What can I do to increase my chances of approval?

Make sure you meet all of the eligibility requirements for the new card, and pay particular attention to any minimum income and credit score requirements. Have all of the required documentation on hand to support your credit card application, and provide all relevant details of the accounts from which you wish to transfer balances.

You can read more about increasing your odds of approval with our guide to successfully applying for a balance transfer credit card.

How does my credit score affect instant approval?

Your credit score plays a significant role in the overall approval process. If you have a very good to excellent credit score, you’re most likely a good candidate for instant approval. On the other hand, a credit score below 650 may prevent a credit card company from approving your application immediately — or at all.

However, lenders look at many factors when they evaluate your application. Other factors, such as too many inquiries into your credit, late payments and having a high credit utilization ratio are all parts of the big picture. Your credit score is one large piece of the puzzle when it comes to how lenders view how risky of a borrower you are.

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Can I apply for multiple cards?

Applying for multiple credit cards around the same time isn’t usually a good idea. Every time you apply for a credit card, the provider will do a “hard pull” on your credit report to check how risky of a borrower you are. A hard pull temporarily lowers your score a few points, and the inquiry will stay on your credit report for up to three years.

Are instant approval balance transfer credit cards right for me?

If you’re looking for a quick response, applying for an instant approval card can be the right choice. However, not all balance transfer cards offer instant approval so you could be limiting your choices.

When trying to decide on the right balance transfer card, take into account how much debt you have, how much you can move to the new card, the length of the promotional period, any balance transfer fees and annual fees, the purchase APR and the interest rate that your debt will take on once the promotional period expires. These factors may be more essential to consider than the amount of time it takes to get approved for a balance transfer card.

How long until everything is finalized?

Even if you’re approved right away, transferring balances from your existing cards to the new card can sometimes take up to 4 to 6 weeks, although most providers note that it usually takes up to 14 days – but this is typically for the transfer to take place, which happens once you’ve received and activated your card.

Typically, balance transfers won’t be initiated until after you’ve activated your card. Depending on your provider and how soon you act upon receiving the card, that could take two weeks on its own – which is why some transfers can take up to 4 or 6 weeks.

What else should I consider when applying?

Before you apply for an instant approval balance transfer card, consider the following:

  • Is there a promotional offer?
    A number of credit cards come with promotional balance transfer offers, and some charge low or 0% interest introductory rates for a specified period of time – usually between six and 10 months, sometimes longer. However, once the promotional rate ends, any outstanding balance starts accumulating interest at the revert rate.
  • What is the revert rate?
    At the end of the promotional period, outstanding balances from transfers will start accruing interest at the revert rate, which is most often the purchase rate. The purchase rate will be stated on the terms and conditions at the time of your application. Some providers may use the cash advance rate as the revert rate, so make sure you know what you’ll be charged before applying for the card.
  • How much can I transfer?
    Just how much you can transfer onto your new credit card depends on the card you get. While some cards allow you to transfer up to 90% of your card’s credit limit, others may limit you to 70% of your card’s limit.

Bottom line

Transferring your balance to a new card with a low or 0% APR can be a smart way to save money and lower your debt. However, while instant approval on your application might speed things along, the actual transfer time of your debt can vary – and the instant approval may prove to be negligible.

Remember, even if you get approved for a new balance transfer credit card, you’ll still need to keep up to date on your existing credit card or loan payments until your transfer is complete and the debt has been successfully moved.

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