Balance Transfer Calculator – Forbes Advisor – Forbes Advisor

Editorial Note: We earn a commission on partner links on Forbes Advisor. Commissions do not affect the opinions or ratings of our editors.

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

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

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

Use the balance transfer calculator below to see your total debt with a balance transfer offer, including the transfer fee. Comparing offers this way will help you determine the best balance transfer card for your particular situation.

Your savings with a balance transfer:

$1,337

Based on your previous credit card payments:

Based on your new credit card payment:

To show paytables

Payment schedule with the old card

Earnings schedule with the new card

No. Monthly payment Interest paid Capital paid original balance
No. Monthly payment Interest paid Capital paid original balance

How to Use the Balance Transfer Calculator

Step 1: Enter current card details

Enter your current card details into the boxes in the Balance Transfer Calculator. In the first box, enter the amount of debt on your current card that you want to transfer. Then enter the interest rate you are currently paying on the balance in the second box. Finally, enter the amount you pay each month for this balance.

If you want to transfer a balance across multiple cards, repeat the process for each card.

Step 2: Enter new card details

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

After entering all the relevant information, click on the “Calculate” button.

Step 3: Interpret 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 will also see how much it will cost to pay off your balance at the current rate with your current card(s) as well as how much your monthly payments will need to be on the new card to pay it off completely before the promotional period. expired.

You can click “See Payout Charts” to see detailed month-over-month information comparing the progress you would make paying off your current card versus paying on a new card with a promotional money transfer offer. pay.

What is a balance transfer?

A balance transfer moves a balance to another account or card, preferably with a lower or 0% interest rate. This lower rate is usually an introductory rate and will only last for the promotional period, which usually lasts from six months to almost two years. There are also usually balance transfer fees which can range from 2% to 5% of the amount you transfer.

Before applying for a new card, check your current credit cards for balance transfer offers. Most cards won’t allow you to make a balance transfer to another card issued by the same bank, but using offers you already have might be a better option than getting a new card.

The best balance transfer cards are usually the ones with long 0% APR introductory periods. For those who find themselves making only the minimum payments without making progress on the principal debt, a balance transfer card could help them reduce the balance.

How to transfer credit card balance

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

Once you’ve been approved and know what the credit limit is on the new card, now is the time to collect the information you’ll need to transfer the debt to the new card. This will include the account numbers of all the accounts you wish to transfer from as well as the amount you plan to transfer. Don’t forget to calculate the amount of the balance transfer fee into the amount you will put on the new card.

How long does a balance transfer take?

Balance transfer times can vary widely, ranging from two or three days to six weeks or more. The transfer time depends on the banks involved and each bank has their own estimates of how long a balance transfer will take.

How to apply for a credit card with balance transfer

Applying for a balance transfer card is the same as applying for any type of credit card and can usually be done online by entering some basic information about yourself. Once your application and approval have been approved, you will know your credit limit. Just as your credit limit is the maximum amount you can charge to your credit card, it’s also the maximum amount you can transfer.

Unfortunately, factors such as your credit history and the amount of debt you have can 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 consider giving you a higher credit limit. Be aware that some senders will always have limits on the total amount you can transfer. For example, even if you get a new card with a credit limit of $20,000 and have excellent credit, the bank may allow a transfer of up to $15,000.

Find the best balance transfer credit cards of 2022

Balance Transfer FAQs

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

How do balance transfer fees work?

Most, but not all, balance transfer cards charge a fee. These fees are generally between 3% and 5% of the transferred amount. This means that if you transfer $10,000 debt to a new card and you are charged a 5% balance transfer fee, your debt will now be $10,500.

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

What is the best no-fee balance transfer credit card?

Almost all credit cards charge a balance transfer fee. There are a few exceptions to this rule, however, as issuers often change the terms of a card to attract new cardholders. Since these terms are likely to fluctuate often, it is important to know that there is no “best” card with no balance transfer fee.

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. This is because issuers take risks when you open a new account with them and if you do so specifically to transfer a balance, that means they also take on the risk that you will not repay your debt. The better your credit score, the better the rates and terms of any type of loan you will qualify for.

Are there balance transfer cards for bad credit?

You may need to choose a secure card with a 0% or low interest introductory balance transfer offer or consider transferring your balance to a card with a lower permanent interest rate than you are currently paying. Either option is always likely to save you money in the long run.

How to choose a balance transfer card?

The right card for you comes down to two choices: either choose the card that offers the longest duration on its 0% intro APR offer, or choose the card that is the cheapest option, which usually means transfer fees low or zero balances.

You should also keep in mind that banks will not allow you to transfer a balance within the same bank. So, if you are in debt and want to take advantage of a 0% APR balance transfer offer, you will need to switch to a card from another bank. However, sometimes you will receive a balance transfer check, in which case you can write yourself a check and use that money to pay for the card of your choice.