Balance transfer credit card calculator: how much can you save?

You may have heard that balance transfer credit cards are a great way to pay less on your debt. But exactly how much will it help?

To get a better idea of how balance transfer cards can help, check out our handy debt repayment calculator to see if a balance transfer card works for you. Then take a look at the following examples of debt repayment to see how it compares to other options.

To use this calculator:

  1. Fill out your current credit card information by inputting their balances and APR on each line.
  2. If you know the details about the card you’re transferring to, fill those out to see how much you’ll save. We’ll input some default values for you if you don’t have a specific card in mind.
  3. Hit “calculate” to see your savings.

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

What are my other options for paying down debt?

If you have debt you need to repay, you have options. One of those options is to pay of your debt at the same rate you are now. Let’s compare two options to a balance transfer credit card – continuing on the same path, or getting a personal loan.

Option #1: Pay off your debt at the same rate

Among a sea of choices, making no changes is certainly an option! Let’s say your situation is as follows:

  • You have a $5,000 balance on your credit card.
  • The balance comes with an APR of 18%.
  • You’re paying $250 a month toward your balance.

Here are the results of that strategy:

  • You’ll pay off your debt in 24 months.
  • You’ll pay $5,989 total ($5,000 in debt, $989 in interest).

There may be a better option that could save you from paying quite so much in interest.

Option #2: Get a personal loan

Instead of paying off your credit card debt the old-fashioned way, you could take out a personal loan. A personal loan gives you a set amount of cash up front that you can use to pay off your credit card, and then you would pay off the loan over time. If you get an interest rate on the loan that’s lower than the rate you’re paying on your credit card, you can pay off your debt slightly faster and more cheaply.

Here’s an example:

  • You take out a $5,000 loan, then pay off your credit card with that loan.
  • Your loan comes with a 14% APR.
  • You continue to pay $250 a month toward your debt.

Here are the results:

  • You’ll pay off your debt in 23 months.
  • You’ll pay $5,727 total ($5,000 in debt, $727 in interest).
  • Compared to paying off your credit card debt at the original rate, you save $262.

There’s yet another option you may want to look at: taking advantage of a great balance transfer promotion.

Option #3: Get a balance transfer credit card

With the best balance transfer cards, you’ll get a 0% APR on transferred balances for a long period of time.
Let’s say you’re approved for the Citi Simplicity card, which offers a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 21 months.

  • You transfer your $5,000 balance to the Citi Simplicity card. You pay a 3% transaction fee, which comes out to $150.
  • You get 0% APR on your balance for 21 months.
  • You pay $250 a month toward your balance.

Here are the results:

  • You’ll pay off your debt in 20 months.
  • You’ll pay $5,150 total ($5,000 in debt, $150 for the balance transfer fee).
  • Compared to paying off your credit card debt at the original rate, you save $839.

As with any debt repayment plan, it’s best to compare all of your options before making a decision that works best for you.

Rates last updated June 25th, 2017
Intro APR for Balance Transfer APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate ) Annual fee
Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard
Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard
0% Intro APR for 12 months (with minimum of $5 or 3% balance transfer fee) 16.74% - 23.74% Variable $0 annual fee for the first year ($89 thereafter) Go to site More info
Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®
Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®
0% Intro APR for 15 months 13.74% Variable $0 Go to site More info
Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®
Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®
0% Intro APR for 15 months (on balance transfers made within first 45 days) (with 3%, Minimum $5% balance transfer fee) 15.49% - 25.49% Variable $0 More info
USAA Cash Rewards® American Express®
USAA Cash Rewards® American Express®
10.65% - 26.65% variable $0 More info
USAA Cash Rewards® Visa Signature® Card
USAA Cash Rewards® Visa Signature® Card
10.40% - 26.40% Variable $0 More info

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