Balance transfer calculator: how much can you save? | finder.com

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

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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.

How to use this calculator

  1. Fill out your current credit card information by inputting the balance 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.

Balance transfer repayment calculator

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

How much money will I save by doing a balance transfer?

The amount you’ll save depends on several factors, such as:

  • The size of your debt.
  • How much you want to pay on your credit card bill each month.
  • The introductory APR that comes with your balance transfer credit card.

The longer you keep your debt, the more you might save by switching to a balance transfer card. That’s because the card may offer 0% APR for a significant period, giving you a long break from interest.

Basically, you save money by paying far less interest for a certain time. The savings are reduced by any balance transfer fees or annual fees, but they can add up.

Compare balance transfer to your other options

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

Option #1: 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 18 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 a 0% APR on your balance for 18 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.

Option #2: Pay off your debt at the same rate

Among a sea of choices, making no change 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 #3: 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 upfront 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.
Prosper Personal Loans

Prosper

Borrow up to $40,000 for a variety of purposes, with rates starting at 6.95%.

  • Recommended Credit Score: 640 or higher
  • Minimum Loan Amount: $2,000
  • Maximum Loan Amount: 40000
  • Loan Term: 3 or 5 years
  • Turnaround Time: 1-3 business days
  • Simple online application process
  • No prepayment penalties

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

    Compare balance transfer offers

    Name Product Introductory Balance Transfer APR APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases Annual Fee Minimum Credit Score
    0% for the first 15 months (then 14.74%, 18.74% or 24.74% variable)
    14.74%, 18.74% or 24.74% variable
    $0
    Fair (660-699)
    Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases. See Rates and Fees
    0% for the first 18 months from account opening (then 12.74%, 16.74% or 20.74% variable)
    12.74%, 16.74% or 20.74% variable
    $0
    Fair (660-699)
    An 18-month 0% Intro APR period on both purchases and balance transfers, plus zero foreign transaction fees, makes this is a strong well-rounded card. See Rates and Fees
    0% for the first 15 billing cycles (then 16.74% variable)
    16.74% variable
    $195
    Enjoy unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
    0% for the first 15 billing cycles (then 16.74% variable)
    16.74% variable
    $495
    Good (700-739)
    Mastercard Black Card members receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
    0% for the first 15 months (then 16.74% to 25.49% variable)
    16.74% to 25.49% variable
    $0
    Fair (660-699)
    Jumpstart your financial fitness! 60 day introductory balance transfer offer, save on interest, and get your free monthly credit score.
    0% for the first 15 statement closing dates (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable)
    14.74% to 24.74% variable
    $0
    Fair (660-699)
    Transfer high rate balances and save on interest with an Introductory $0 balance transfer fee for the first 60 days your account is open. After that, the fee for future balance transfers is 3% (min. $10).
    0% for the first 15 months (then 14.74% to 25.74% variable)
    14.74% to 25.74% variable
    $0
    Fair (660-699)
    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% for the first 15 months (then 16.74% to 25.49% variable)
    16.74% to 25.49% variable
    $0
    Fair (660-699)
    Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase - it's automatic. No minimum to redeem for cash back.
    0% for the first 12 statement closing dates (then 14.99% to 24.99% variable)
    14.99% to 24.99% variable
    $0
    Good (700-739)
    Earn more cash back for the things you buy most.
    NASA Federal Platinum Advantage Rewards Credit Card
    NASA Federal Platinum Advantage Rewards Credit Card
    9.9% for the first 90 days (then 11.65% to 17.99% variable)
    11.65% to 17.99% variable
    $0
    Fair (660-699)
    Enjoy perks and save money while gaining points that never expire with every purchase.
    13.25% variable
    $0
    Poor (Below 660)
    A great way to establish or improve your credit history.
    10.74% variable
    $0
    Good (700-739)
    A low, variable APR on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances.
    10.99% for the first 6 months (then 24.74% variable)
    24.74% variable
    $0
    Poor (Below 660)
    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.
    25.74% variable
    $24
    Poor (Below 660)
    Build, or rebuild, your credit with each purchase.

    Compare up to 4 providers

    Bottom line

    If you need a break from high interest rates, a balance transfer credit card might help. By taking advantage of 0% introductory APRs, you can pay off your debt and slow the pace of interest accumulation.

    Try to apply for a balance transfer card with good credit, as your chances of approval will increase.

    Frequently asked questions

    Adrienne Fuller

    Adrienne Fuller leads the publishing team at finder.com. She has one goal: to deliver the accurate and transparent information she wishes she had when she made some of life's important financial decisions. When she's not helping folks save money, she's hiking with her two Catahoulas around her home in San Diego.

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