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Balance transfer limit: How much can I balance transfer to a new card?

Understand how balance transfer limits work so you can find the right credit card to consolidate your debts.

A balance transfer can be a great way to pay off an existing balance faster and cheaper with a 0% promotional period. However, the right balance transfer offer for you may depend on the size of the debt you’re transferring. This is because many banks only allow cardholders to transfer up to a percentage of their approved credit limit.

Use this guide to understand how balance transfer limits work and to compare 0% balance transfer offers by their limits to find the right one for you.

How do balance transfer limits work?

When you apply for a credit card, the card issuer assigns you a maximum credit limit based on your income, credit history and other factors including the credit limit you request during the application. If you’re also applying for a promotional balance transfer, you can usually only transfer up to a maximum limit.

This is usually between 90% and 95% of your approved credit limit depending on your card issuer. So if you have a card with a S$10,000 and a 90% balance transfer limit, you could only transfer up to S$9,000 to the card. If you’re transferring multiple debts from more than one account, you need to make sure that the combined debt doesn’t exceed this balance transfer limit as well.

If your debt is larger than this, then the bank will transfer the maximum amount of debt and any remaining balances will stay in your old account. You may also find that there is a minimum transfer limit, which is usually around S$500 and S$1,000.

Minimum and maximum balance transfer limits vary between banks, so you can compare your options below.

How much can I balance transfer?

The table below shows balance transfer limits for different financial institutions. When you’re reading balance transfer reviews on finder, you can also view the balance transfer limit section on the information table to confirm the transfer limits for that particular product. Information provided is accurate at the time of writing.

Bank

Balance transfer limit

DBSDBS can process balance transfer requests from S$500 up to 93% your available credit limit.
OCBCYou can use up to 90% of your available credit limit towards a balance transfer with OCBC.
UOBMinimum balance transfer limit of S$500 and a maximum balance transfer limit typically of up to 90%-95% of your approved credit limit.
CitibankCitibank’s minimum balance transfer limit is S$500. Citibanks maximum balance transfer limit is usually up to 90% of your approved credit limit.
Standard CharteredStandard Chartered typically lets you use up to 95% of your credit card limit towards a balance transfer. However, the minimum balance transfer limit is S$1,000.
MaybankMaybank usually allows up to 95% of your credit card limit for a balance transfer.
Bank of ChinaMinimum balance transfer limit of S$1,000 and a maximum balance transfer limit up to your approved credit limit.

Frequently asked questions

How do I do a balance transfer?

You can usually complete your balance transfer online. When you start your application, there’s usually a section dedicated to balance transfers where you can include the details of your existing debt(s) that you want to move. If you’re approved, the balance transfer request is processed when you activate your credit card.

How long does a balance transfer take?

Your application shouldn’t take longer than 15 minutes to complete if you have the necessary information and you should receive a response within a minute or so. The balance transfer can take up to 14 days to process, but often it can be much quicker than this.

Why might I consider a credit card with a low or 0% balance transfer offer?

Applying for a credit card with a 0% balance transfer means you can avoid interest on the overall sum you owe for the stated introductory period. People use these types of transfers to lower the total amount they have to repay, which can mean they pay back the total balance faster.

What happens if I don’t get approved for the credit limit I want?

If you’re approved credit limit is smaller than you requested, you may only be able to transfer a portion of your debt. If you have a S$5,000 credit card debt but are only approved for S$4,000 with a card that allows you to transfer up to 100% of your credit limit, only S$4,000 will move across to your new card. The remaining S$1,000 will remain in your old account and will continue to incur interest.

Do I need to close my old account?

If you were able to transfer your entire debt, it’s your responsibility to contact your old bank to close your account. If you don’t, you may be charged maintenance fees (such as the annual fee) if you keep it open. If you’re unable to transfer the entire debt, you’ll need to pay off the remainder of the debt before you can close the account.

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