Balance Transfer Calculator: How Much Can You Save With A Balance Transfer? (2023)

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A balance transfer can help you save money by moving high-interest debt on one credit card to a card with a lower interest rate or an introductory 0% APR offer. When you shift a balance to another card, you may have to pay a balance transfer fee, which is typically 3% to 5% of the amount being transferred.

Although a balance transfer fee can add to your existing debt, it’s usually far less than the double-digit interest rates charged by most credit cards. Some cards don’t charge a balance transfer fee, which can help save you money overall. However, if you’re looking for the longest runway possible to pay down your debt, cards with the longest introductory 0% APR offers typically come with fees.

Before choosing a balance transfer card, it’s important to do the math to make sure that what you’ll save on interest over the introductory 0% time period is less than what you would pay upfront in balance transfer fees.

Use the balance transfer calculator below to see how much your total debt amount would be with a balance transfer offer, including any transfer fees. Comparing offers this way will help you determine the best balance transfer card for your particular circumstances.

How much you can save with balance transfer?

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Balance Transfer Calculator: How Much Can You Save With A Balance Transfer? (1)

Your savings with a balance transfer:


Based on your previous credit card payment(s):

Based on your new credit card payment:

(Video) How do you calculate balance transfer?

Show payoff charts

Payoff Schedule with Old Card

Payoff Schedule with New Card

No.Monthly PaymentInterest PaidPrincipal PaidOriginal Balance
No.Monthly PaymentInterest PaidPrincipal PaidOriginal Balance

How To Use The Balance Transfer Calculator

Step 1: Enter Current Card Details

Enter your current card’s details in the balance transfer calculator boxes. In the first box, enter the amount of debt on your current card that you’re looking to transfer. Then, enter the interest rate you’re currently paying on the balance in the second box. Finally, enter the amount you pay each month towards that balance in the final box.

If you have more than one card you’re looking to transfer a balance from, repeat the process for each card.

Step 2: Enter New Card Details

Next, enter the information for the new balance transfer card you’re considering. This includes the ongoing interest rate you’ll pay after the promotional period expires, the amount you plan to pay each month towards the balance, any annual fee associated with owning the card, as well as the terms of the introductory offer including the promo APR, length of the offer and any balance transfer fees.

After inputting all relevant information, hit the “Calculate” button.

Step 3: Interpreting Your Results

The calculator will show you how much you could save by transferring your current balance to a card with a low or 0% APR balance transfer offer. You’ll also see how much it will cost you to pay off your balance at the current rate with your current card(s) as well as how much your monthly payments would have to be on the new card to pay it off completely before the promotional period expires.

You can click on “See Payoff Charts” to see detailed information month-over-month comparing the progress you’d make paying off your current card compared to payments on a new card with a promotional balance transfer offer.

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(Video) Credit Card Balance Transfer Calculator: Will It Save You Money?

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Calculate Balance Transfer Fee

When you move a balance to a card with a 0% introductory rate, you won’t pay any interest until the end of the introductory period. However, most cards require a balance transfer fee when you initially transfer the balance by paying off the old card using the credit line from the new card.

(Video) Balance Transfer credit cards explained - pay 0% interest on debt

The balance transfer fee is generally charged as a percentage of the balance transfer amount. For example, if you have a 2% balance transfer fee and transfer a $1,000 balance, your balance transfer fee would be $20.

To calculate the balance transfer fee, multiply the total balance transferred by the listed percentage from your new card’s user agreement.

What Is a Balance Transfer?

A balance transfer moves a balance to another account or card, preferably one with a lower or 0% interest rate. That lower rate is typically an introductory one and will only last for the promotional period which is typically anywhere from six months to nearly two years. There’s also typically a balance transfer fee which typically ranges from 3% to 5% of the amount that you’re transferring.

Before you apply for a new card, check your current credit cards for balance transfer offers. Most cards do not allow you to do a balance transfer to another card issued from the same bank, but utilizing the offers you already have could be a better option than getting a new card.

The best balance transfer cards are generally those with lengthy introductory 0% APR periods. For those who find themselves making just the minimum payments without making headway on the principal debt, a balance transfer card might help them whittle down the balance.

How Does a Balance Transfer Work?

A balance transfer is a multi-step process where you pay off an old credit card balance, or multiple balances, using the open credit line from another card. If you have one or more credit card balances incurring high interest charges, a balance transfer to a lower-interest card can lead to significant savings.

When going through a balance transfer, your new credit card company issues a payment to your old credit card company to completely pay off the credit card balance. With a successful payment, your old card is paid off and the balance is effectively transferred to your new account.

How To Do a Balance Transfer on a Credit Card

Each credit card company uses its own systems and methods to handle a balance transfer on the backend. Your balance transfer experience will most likely happen in a few common ways:

  1. Convenience Check: Sometimes, you can use a convenience check provided by your credit card company. In this scenario, you would use a blank check from the new credit card company to pay your old card company.
  2. Online Form: Using online balance transfer forms, you can enter your credit card account and balance details, which your new credit card provider uses to pay off the old balances.
  3. Customer Support: Your credit card company may handle the payoff based on the account details you provide by phone or chat support.

How to Transfer a Credit Card Balance

There are a few simple steps to do a balance transfer. First, once you’ve picked a balance transfer card that aligns with your goals, you can apply for it just like you would any other card. Typically, you can apply online and find out within minutes if you’re approved.

After you’re approved and you know what the credit limit is on the new card, now is the time to collect the information you’ll need to transfer debt to the new card. This will include the account numbers of any accounts you’re looking to transfer from as well as the amount you plan on transferring. Don’t forget to calculate the amount of any balance transfer fee into the amount you’ll be putting on the new card.

How Long Does a Balance Transfer Take?

Balance transfer times can vary greatly from as little as two or three days, to six weeks or more. The transfer time is dependent on the banks involved and each bank has its own estimates for how long a balance transfer will take.

How To Apply for a Balance Transfer Credit Card

Applying for a balance transfer card is the same as applying for any type of credit card and can typically be done online by entering some basic information about yourself. Once you apply and are approved, you’ll find out your credit limit. Just like your credit limit is the maximum amount you can charge on your credit card, it’s also the maximum amount you can transfer.

Unfortunately, factors like your credit history and the amount of debt you’re carrying, may affect the limit you get approved for on a new card. If this happens, you can try calling the issuer and see if they’ll grant you a larger credit limit. Be aware that some issuers will still have limits on the total amount you can transfer. For example, even if you get a new card with a $20,000 credit limit and you have great credit, the bank may only permit a maximum of $15,000 to transfer.

Find the Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards Of 2023

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much can I transfer?

You can’t transfer more than the credit limit on the card you want to transfer a balance to. The catch is you often don’t know how much of a credit line you’ll receive when you apply for a credit card. If you have $10,000 worth of debt and you’re hoping to take advantage of a balance transfer offer on a new card to help pay it off, there’s no guarantee you’ll get approved for as much credit as you’re seeking.

What is a balance transfer fee?

A balance transfer fee is a flat one-time fee charged by a credit card lender for performing a balance transfer. The balance transfer fee is usually a percentage of the balance transfer amount. A select group of cards offers balance transfers with no added fees, but most cards charge a fee of up to 5% for balance transfers.

(Video) Balance Transfer Cards 101: Everything You Need to Know

How does a balance transfer fee work?

Most, but not all, balance transfer cards charge a fee. This fee is typically anywhere from 3% to 5% of the transferred amount. This means if you’re shifting $10,000 worth of debt to a new card and you’re charged a 5% balance transfer fee, your debt will now be $10,500.

Depending on the amount being transferred and the fee being charged, this could add a hefty sum to your existing debt. It’s important to do the math to see if a card with 0% intro APR offer with a balance transfer fee will save you more money overall then just paying off your current debt over the same time period. Also keep in mind that the balance transfer fee may factor into your credit limit. This means on a $10,000 credit balance transfer line with a 5% fee, you may only be permitted to transfer $9,500 so you have enough left over to cover the fee.

Which is the best no balance transfer fee credit card?

Nearly all credit cards charge a balance transfer fee. There are a handful of exceptions to this however as issuers will often change the terms on a card to entice new cardholders. Since these terms are likely to fluctuate often, it’s important to know that there is no one “best” no balance transfer fee card.

What credit score do I need for a balance transfer?

Generally, you’ll need a good credit score or better to qualify for most balance transfer cards. That’s because issuers are taking on risk when you open a new account with them and if you’re doing so specifically to transfer a balance, that means they are also assuming the risk that you will default on paying off your debt. The better your credit score, the better the rates and terms on any type of loan you’ll qualify for.

Are there balance transfer cards for bad credit?

You may have to choose a secured card that has a 0% or low-interest introductory balance transfer offer or consider transferring your balance to a card that has an ongoing interest rate lower than what you’re paying now. Either option is still likely to save you money over the long-term.

What types of debt can you transfer with a balance transfer credit card?

Balance transfer credit cards are usually used to pay off other credit card balances. However, you can pay off nearly any type of debt with a balance transfer unless otherwise prohibited by your credit card user agreement. However, while you may be able to use a credit card balance transfer to pay off a car loan or personal loan, that may not be the best decision for your finances as those types of loans typically have lower interest rates.

What is a balance transfer APR?

A balance transfer APR is the effective interest rate charged on transferred balances. In many cases, the lender charges the same rate for standard purchases and balance transfers, with a higher interest rate for cash advance transactions. However, balance transfers may incur a higher or lower interest rate depending on the card.

APR is short for the annual percentage rate. You can evaluate borrowing costs for multiple credit cards and other types of loans using an apples-to-apples comparison with the APR.

How do I pick a balance transfer card?

Either pick the card that offers the longest length of time on its 0% intro APR offer or pick the card that’s the cheapest option, which generally means a low or zero balance transfer fee.

You should also keep in mind that banks won’t let you transfer a balance within the same bank. So if you’re carrying debt and you’d like to take advantage of an introductory 0% APR balance transfer offer, you’ll have to look for a card from another bank. However, sometimes you’ll receive a balance transfer check, in which case you can write a check to yourself and use that money to pay off any card you choose.

(Video) How 0% Balance Transfer Works (Don't make this mistake)


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