What is a balance transfer fee? Calculate fees | finder.com
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What is a balance transfer fee?

Here’s what you may have to pay when you consolidate your debt.

Balance transfers can be a useful way to consolidate your debt without the cost of high interest. While you’ll save on interest with a lower introductory rate, this doesn’t mean that balance transfers are cost-free. As well as the standard card fees, you will typically have to pay a one-time balance transfer fee.

Balance transfer fee defined

A balance transfer fee is a charge from your credit card company – typically between 3% and 5% of the transferred amount – that allows you the convenience of transferring your outstanding debt or debts to a new credit card that likely has a promotional period offering little to no interest for anywhere from 12 to 24 months. The money saved in interest can then be used to make larger payments to help get you out of debt faster.

How balance transfer fees are calculated

A balance transfer fee is charged when transferring your existing credit card debt to a new credit card. It’s generally 3% to 5% of the total balance being transferred. Usually this fee is set at a minimum amount, and you’ll be required to pay the larger of the two. For example, either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. If 3% of the amount you are transferring is less than $5, then you will be charged $5. Only a very few banks will cap the transfer fee — most only set a minimum.

Scenario 1: You’re transferring $10,000 onto a new balance transfer credit card.
The card has a 3% balance transfer fee with no cap.
Because the card has no cap on the fee, you’ll pay $300 ($10,000 x .03 = $300).
As you can see, balance transfer fees can add up quickly if you are transferring a large balance to a card with no cap on their fee.
Scenario 2: You’re transferring $10,000 onto a new balance transfer credit card.
The card has a 2% balance transfer fee with a max of $75. Because 2% of $10,000 is $200, you’ll pay just $75.

If you’re wondering what fee you’ll be charged to transfer a balance, check the relevant Terms and Conditions, and you should be able to locate your answer under the “fees and rates” section. If you’re still unsure, contact the provider’s customer service team to confirm what you’ll be expected to pay.

Comparison of Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Rates last updated April 23rd, 2018
Name Product Product Description Intro APR for Balance Transfer APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate ) Annual fee Minimum Credit Score
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)
14.49% to 25.49% variable
$0
Fair (660-699)
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)
16.24% to 24.99% variable
$0
Fair (660-699)
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)
16.24% to 24.99% variable
$0
Fair (660-699)
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)
14.49% to 24.49% variable
$0
Good (700-739)
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)
14.49%, 18.49% or 24.49% variable
$0
Fair (660-699)
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
11.40% to 17.99% variable
$0
Fair (660-699)
DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card
A great way to establish or improve your credit history.
13.00% variable
$0
Poor (Below 660)
primor® Secured Visa Gold Card
Fast, easy application process. No processing or application fees!
9.99% variable
$49
Poor (Below 660)
Barclaycard Ring™ Mastercard®
A low, variable APR on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances.
10.49% variable
$0
Good (700-739)
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)
24.49% variable
$0
Poor (Below 660)
Fifth Third Secured Card
Build, or rebuild, your credit with each purchase.
25.49% variable
$24
Poor (Below 660)

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Important Information*
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