Is a balance transfer credit card right for me? What to consider
balance transfer credit card and computer

Is a balance transfer credit card right for me? Key considerations

Understanding the guidelines of the balance transfer process

A balance transfer is a great way to pay off your existing credit card debt at a much lower rate, but these deals are restricted by many terms and conditions. We’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions we get from users in hopes that it will make your debt consolidation journey easier.

What should I consider when conducting a balance transfer?

  1. What is the maximum/minimum amount I can balance transfer?
  2. Credit limits and how much you want to balance transfer
  3. Which banks can’t I do a balance transfer to?
  4. What is the revert rate of my balance transfer?
  5. Can I transfer to the same bank?
  6. Do interest free days apply?
  7. How long does a balance transfer take?
  8. Should I cancel my old credit card?

How much can you transfer?

Some banks will allow a minimum of $100, some $500. In terms of maximums, it depends on the institution. Some institutions don’t put a maximum on how much you can transfer, though this can sometimes sit between 75%-100% of your approved credit limit. Confirm what the minimum and maximum transfer amounts are by checking your relevant product disclosure statement. Generally speaking you can transfer up to 90% of your approved credit limit.

Credit Limit

70%

80%

90%

95%

$2,500

$1,750

$2,000

$2,250

$2,375

$5,000

$3,500

$4,000

$4,500

$4,750

$7,500

$5,250

$6,000

$6,750

$7,125

$10,000

$7,000

$8,000

$9,000

$9,500

$12,500

$8,750

$10,000

$11,250

$11,875

$15,000

$10,500

$12,000

$13,500

$14,250

Compare balance transfer credit cards

Rates last updated April 20th, 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)

Have we missed anything in the comparison table? Tell us

Compare up to 4 providers

Which banks can’t I balance transfer to?

You generally can’t transfer your debt from a balance with the same bank. There are also some institutions that you can’t transfer between, this is generally because the providers are owned by the same institution. Check who you can and can’t transfer between using the link below.

Which banks am I able to transfer my balance to and from?

What is the revert rate of my balance transfer?

Your low or 0% balance transfer rate will only last for the length of the promotional period, after which it will revert to either the much higher interest or cash advance rate. Usually the cash advance rate is higher, but you should check regardless because you could stand to collect around 20% in interest on your remaining balance. To confirm what your provider will revert the rate to, please click the link below.

What rate does my balance transfer revert to?

Do interest free days apply?

Many credit cards that you just transferred your balance to will not have any interest free days until you’ve paid off the full balance. This means that you shouldn’t really use it unless you’re prepared to pay a higher interest rate. If your old credit card has a reasonable purchase rate, it might be worthwhile to use that one instead and pay it off as quickly as you can. However it’s important to focus on paying the balance you’ve just transferred first.

How long does a balance transfer take?

This depends on the financial institutions involved. It usually takes about two weeks to complete, but as soon as the deal is approved by the bank your balance transfer period begins. When you’ve received your new credit card in the mail, assume that the balance transfer period has started a week beforehand. It’s important to remember that your balance transfer period doesn’t start from the date you receive the credit card. It’s important to start repaying your debt as soon as possible, because the promotional period starts from the moment your balance transfer is completed, so you’ll want to take advantage of the full offer if possible.

Do late payments affect the promotional balance transfer rate?

The promotional rate is effective for the entire period offered and is not usually affected by other rates on the credit card (e.g. late payments, cash advances etc). Check with your provider if you’re unsure.

Should I cancel my old credit card?

If it has an annual fee and you’re not intending to use the card, it is a good idea to close the card. If there still a balance on your old credit card pay it off as soon as possible and cancel the card to eliminate the chances of any other fees or charges. If you want to keep the card as a backup for purchases, make sure it has a low purchase rate and you can repay it in full each month to avoid building up debt again.

However, it is good for your credit score to have a long relationship with a card. Only keep the card open if there’s no annual fee and you aren’t tempted to use it.

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