How to do multiple balance transfers on the same card

What you need to know before you apply for a second balance transfer credit card.

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If you’ve come to the end of your current balance transfer promotion and haven’t repaid your entire debt, there are ways for you to avoid paying high interest rates on the remaining balance. You may be able to move your remaining debt to a new credit card with a low or 0% intro APR on balance transfers. While there are technically no restrictions on the number of times you can transfer your credit card balance, you should be aware that you can’t transfer your debt to a card offered by the same provider (or any of its affiliates) which means you’ll run out of providers quicker than you might think.

Scotiabank Value Visa Card

Scotiabank Value Visa Card

12.99 % APR

Purchase interest rate

Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply

Scotiabank Value Visa Card

Apply today and enjoy a 0.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months when your new credit card account is opened by 1 March 2020.

  • Purchase interest rate: 12.99%
  • Cash advance rate: 12.99%
  • Intro balance transfer rate: 0.99% for the first 6 months
  • Standard balance transfer rate: 12.99%
  • Annual fee: $29
  • Minimum income: $12,000
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Promoted

How to make a second balance transfer

Follow these steps to transfer your debt from a credit card with a promotion that’s about to end to a second balance transfer credit card.

  1. Pay off as much as you can before the balance transfer promotional period ends on your first balance transfer card.
  2. Compare balance transfer credit cards and carefully consider the length of the promotion and any fees on the card to determine whether it’ll benefit you.
  3. Double check the eligibility requirements for the card you’re interested in. In addition, make sure you haven’t had a credit card from the provider that you’re interested in – or one of its affiliate companies. You usually can’t transfer your debt to a provider that you’ve already had a card with.
  4. Apply for a balance transfer credit card and enter your current credit card details when prompted by the online application, or call the number on the back of your new card once you receive it if you’re not asked to balance transfer at the time of application.

Keep in mind that your second balance transfer will be subject to the credit card provider’s lending criteria. This includes a credit check that will show your previous applications and current credit accounts — meaning they’ll see when you applied for your first balance transfer card. This could raise red flags for them, possibly resulting in rejection.

What you could save by making a second balance transfer

Let’s say you have a debt of $14,000, which you move to a new card that doesn’t charge a balance transfer fee and has a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for six months. During the promotional period, you’re able to pay the debt down to $11,000. Now that it’s over, you’ll start paying a 19% variable APR.

Here’s how much you could save by transferring the balance again, assuming:

  • A 3% balance transfer fee is charged.
  • You’re able to pay the debt down to $6,000 during the intro period.

The balance transfer fee brings the total debt to $11,330. That means it would take $5,330 to pay it down to $6,000.

Had you paid interest on the previous card during those six months, it would’ve run about $900. Meaning once you account for the balance transfer fee, the second transfer will have saved you about $570.

Compare balance transfer credit cards

Name Product Reward Purchase Interest Rate Balance Transfer Rate Annual Fee Minimum Income Credit Rating
Earn 4% Money-Back Rewards in up to 3 categories of your choice. Offer ends January 31, 2020.
19.95%
1.95% for the first 6 months (then 19.95%)
$0
$60,000
650+ recommended credit score
Get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months. Valid within the first 30 days of account opening.
Save on interest by consolidating your higher-rate balances and get a low 12.99% purchase interest rate.
12.99%
0.99% for the first 6 months (then 12.99%)
$29
$12,000
650+ recommended credit score
Offers a 0.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers with 0% transfer fee for the first 6 months. Ends March 1, 2020.
Get 2% cashback after the Welcome Rate on all purchases. No cap and no limit.
19.99%
1.99% for the first 6 months (then 22.99%)
$99
N/A
Good, Excellent
Receive 5% cash back (up to $300 cash back) and a 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months to new cardmembers. No balance transfer fee upon application.
1.25% cash back rate on all purchases when your welcome offer ends. No cap.
19.99%
1.99% for the first 6 months (then 22.99%)
$0
N/A
Good, Excellent
Earn 2.5% cash back (up to $150 cash back) in the first three months. Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months and no balance transfer fee upon application.
Earn 4% Money-Back Rewards in three categories of your choice such as groceries, dining, petrol and more. Ends January 31, 2020.
19.95%
1.95% for the first 6 months (then 19.95%)
$0
$12,000
650+ recommended credit score
Get 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months. Valid within the first 30 days of account opening.
Low interest rates of 12.99% on purchases and cash advances.
12.99%
3.99% for the first 9 months (then 12.99%)
$20
$15,000
Good
Offers a 3.99% balance transfer intro rate for nine months to new cardmembers.
Save with a low interest rate and no annual fee
16.99%
3.99% for the first 6 months (then 16.99%)
$0
$12,000
650+ recommended credit score
Offers a 3.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers with 0% transfer fee for the first 6 months. Ends March 1, 2020.
Earn 1 AIR MILES® for every $5 you spend at eligible sponsors, stores, drugstores and gas stations (up to $30,000 annually) and 1 Mile for every $10 you spend anywhere else.
19.99%
1.99% for the first 6 months (then 22.99%)
$120
N/A
Good, Excellent
Receive up to 3,500 bonus AIR MILES®. Conditions apply (Ends January 20, 2020). Offers 1.99% balance transfer rate in the first 6 months. No balance transfer fee upon application.
Earn 2x AIR MILES reward miles per $20 spend at eligible AIR MILES partners and and 1 miles per $20 spend in credit card purchases.
19.99%
1.99% for the first 9 months (then 22.99%)
$0
$15,000
Good
Enjoy AIR MILES on your every dollar spent and build a healthy credit history. Earn up to 800 AIR MILES bonus miles with minimum spend of $1,000 in the first three months. Ends January 15, 2020.
Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases. No caps, no limit.
19.99%
1.99% for the first 9 months (then 22.99%)
$0
$15,000
Good
Enjoy cash back on your every dollar spent and build a healthy credit history. Get up to 5% cash back with minimum spend of $2,000 in the first three months of card membership (Ends March 31, 2020).

Compare up to 4 providers

Five factors to consider before applying for a second balance transfer

  1. Is the debt eligible to be transferred?
    You must transfer your debt to a credit card from a different bank to be eligible for a balance transfer promotion. For example, if you have a Scotiabank credit card, you can transfer the balance to an American Express credit card but not another Scotia credit card or Tangerine card (since Scotiabank is the parent company of Tangerine).
  2. Do you meet the credit card eligibility requirements?
    Every credit card has a list of application requirements that you need to meet to be eligible to apply. Canadian citizenship or permanent residency, a minimum age limit and minimum income factor into your eligibility. Read our guide on how to ensure your balance transfer application is successful for more tips on how to improve your likelihood of approval.
  3. Is there a balance transfer limit?
    There’s likely a minimum and maximum amount you can transfer. The minimum amount may be as low as $25 – but it will differ between providers. The maximum balance transfer amount varies depending on the provider and your creditworthiness, and is often expressed as a percentage of your credit limit and/or a dollar amount. For example, American Express allow you to transfer up to 50% of your approved credit limit or $7,500, whichever is less.
  4. How will this impact your credit score?
    Every application for credit is recorded on your credit report. Applying for too many credit cards can hurt your credit score because each application triggers a hard inquiry, which lowers your score by a few points each time. Once you make timely repayments, your score will rise again.
  5. Are there balance transfer fees?
    Some providers charge a balance transfer fee. The typical fee is 1% to 3% of the amount you want to transfer and is usually deducted from your remaining credit limit. It’s also important to consider other costs, such as the annual fee and the revert interest rate (the rate your debt will take on once the promotional period ends). The transfer likely isn’t worth it if these costs outweigh the savings earned by paying off all – or part – of your remaining debt without interest.

What is credit card kiting?

Credit card kiting is the act of using credit cards to make it seem like one has more purchasing power than they actually do. This can involve tactics such as taking out a cash advance with one card to make the minimum payments on another.

Another means of kiting involves taking advantage of introductory rates by continuously transferring balances between cards without paying the balance.

Simply making a second balance transfer, however, doesn’t constitute as credit card kiting. Just make sure you’re paying down your balances to avoid running into trouble.

Mistakes to avoid when doing a second balance transfer

If you’ve decided to apply for a second balance transfer credit card, watch out for these pitfalls:

  • Waiting to make your balance transfer. Most balance transfer credit cards require you to make the transfer within 30 days of opening your account. Waiting too long to transfer your debt to the new card could mean missing out on the intro APR period entirely.
  • Using your balance transfer credit card for purchases. Balance transfer credit cards charge a higher interest rate on purchases. Depending on the terms and conditions of your card, your repayments may automatically go toward the debt that’s accruing the highest interest – which could mean your debt will just sit there while you pay off any new purchases first.
  • Making a late payment. Many balance transfer credit cards have penalty APRs that kick in if you make a late payment, which means you’ll lose out on any months you had remaining in your 0% or low introductory APR period. Set up a calendar reminder or enroll in autopay to ensure you never miss a payment.
  • Not making a payoff plan. Since the goal with opening up a second balance transfer credit card is to pay off your debt before the 0% or low APR promotional period ends, make a plan to pay off your balance before the intro period is over by looking into how much you’ll need to pay each month. You may need to create a monthly budget and stick to it.

Learn more tips on how to deal with common balance transfer problems in our guide here.

What to do with older accounts

You may not want to close your old accounts directly after transferring your debt. By closing your old credit card accounts, you could negatively affect your credit score. This is because both your credit utilization rate and the age of your credit cards will change, which will directly impact your credit score.

Learn how to manage your new balance transfer credit card and discover what to do with your old credit card accounts on our page here.

Bottom line

Before trying to avoid interest charges on your debt, weigh all of the factors above before you apply for a second balance transfer credit card. Remember that any balance transfer card you apply for will be subject to approval and recorded on your credit report, so it pays to do your research first before lodging your application.

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