Transfer your debt and save with instant approval cards.
A balance transfer credit card can help you save on interest, especially if you opt for a card that comes with a promotional balance transfer offer. While the actual transfer time varies from one credit 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.
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What is an instant balance transfer credit card?
Many credit cards offer instant approval, allowing you to sign up and potentially start using the credit line within minutes of submitting your application.
Credit cards with balance transfer offers charge little to no interest on transferred balances for anywhere between six and 21 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 debt you have.
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, provide the information about the banks and institutions for your transfer and hit submit — you can expect a decision within a few seconds. If you’re approved, don’t expect the transfer to be instant. Transfers typically take between five 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 the eligibility requirements for the new card, and pay particular attention to its minimum income requirement. Have all the required documentation available 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.
How does my credit score affect instant approval?
Your credit score plays a significant part in the overall approval process. If you have a very high credit score, you’re most likely a good candidate for instant approval. On the other hand, a lower credit score 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, having a high income-to-debt ratio are all part of the big picture. Your credit score is one large piece of the puzzle when it comes to how lenders view their credit risk with you.
Can I use an instant-approval store credit card for a balance transfer?
Typically store cards can only be used at the store it’s for and its affiliates. As such, cash advances and balance transfers aren’t always available. Check the credit card terms and conditions before applying.
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, it will do a hard pull on your credit. This temporarily lowers your score a few points.
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.
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 six weeks.
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.
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 0% interest or lower introductory rates. Don’t forget that these promotional periods expire between six and 21 months, after which any outstanding balance starts accumulating interest.
- What is the revert rate?
At the end of the promotional period, outstanding balances from transfers will usually start charging the revert or purchase rate. The purchase rate is usually determined when your application was approved and is often based on your credit.
- 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 80% of your card’s credit limit, others limit you to 50% of your card’s limit.
You can look forward to noticeable savings in a relatively short time by getting an instant approval balance transfer credit card. It’s best to compare a few before deciding which one to use as there are many options available.
Transferring your balance to a new card with a lower APR or better terms 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 can vary. Though you’re approved and have provided information for your transfer, keep up to date on your payments until your transfer is complete.