Best Balance Transfer Cards Of April 2024 – Forbes Advisor


While a balance transfer card can be an appealing option to help pay down debt, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of balance transfer offers before opening up a new card.


How Much Debt Can You Transfer With a Balance Transfer?

The maximum amount of debt you can transfer will be determined by the issuing bank. There’s no guarantee that you’ll get approved for an issuer’s maximum limit, however. Your specific limit will be determined by your creditworthiness.

Also, remember that any balance transfer fees will count toward your limit and will need to be factored in when doing a transfer. The table below shows how the maximum transfer amount for a card with a $10,000 limit would change depending on the balance transfer fee percentage.

Doing a Partial Balance Transfer

You aren’t required to transfer a full debt balance from one card to another; Cardholders can elect to do a partial balance transfer if that makes more sense in their circumstances.

To do a partial balance transfer:

  • Check your credit limit on the card you wish to transfer to. This will educate you on the maximum balance you may be able to transfer over.
  • Calculate the costs of transferring your partial balance. Most cards charge a fee of 3% to 5% on the amount transferred, so it will be cheaper to transfer a smaller balance. Compare this to the amount of interest saved to find your own sweet spot.
  • Determine the amount you want to transfer. You’ll need to specify the exact amount you want to move from one card to another when initiating the balance transfer.
  • Make regular payments on both cards. If you only transfer part of your debt, you’ll have at least two credit cards with a balance. Continue paying both cards so you aren’t slapped with missed or late payment fees.

What Is a High Credit Limit Balance Transfer?

Some balance transfer cards may have minimum credit limits of $500 or less, but others will have higher minimums. If you’re approved for a Visa Signature card, for example, you’re guaranteed to receive a credit line of at least $5,000.

Card issuers also vary regarding their maximum balance transfer amounts. Chase caps balance transfers at $15,000, and American Express often sets a balance transfer limit of $7,500. Navy Federal Credit Union, meanwhile, has a far higher maximum total credit limit on balance transfers at $30,000.

How Can You Get Approved for a High Credit Limit Balance Transfer?

Higher balance transfer limits are riskier for banks, so it’s likely that you’ll need a good to excellent credit score to get approved for a card’s highest balance transfer limit. Keep in mind that you won’t know for sure exactly what credit limit you’ll be approved for until after you apply, however, some banks do publish their minimum credit limits.

Pro Tip

Several credit card issuers today will allow you to see if you’re preapproved for some of their credit cards with a soft credit check that won’t impact your credit score. Using these preapproval tools is a great way to check your eligibility for a card before you go through with the full application and submit to a hard credit inquiry.

How Much Can You Save With a Balance Transfer?

How much you can save with a balance transfer will depend on a few factors, including:

  • The interest rates on your card with a balance
  • The amount of your balance
  • The balance transfer fee
  • The APR on the new card
  • The amount you transfer

Use our balance transfer calculator to determine how much you can save by transferring your balance using a card on our list. You’ll need the APR of your current credit card, the balance you intend to transfer and the fees, the APR and the intro period length of the card you wish to transfer the balance to.

For example, let’s assume you have a $2,000 balance on a credit card that currently charges 28.00% APR and you’re making payments of $100 per month. Without making any changes, it would take you 28 months to pay off your balance and you’d pay $726 in interest over that time for a total cost of $2,726.

Now let’s assume that you decide to transfer the entire balance to a card that offers 21 months of 0% intro APR with a 3% balance transfer fee. If you continued to make $100 monthly payments, you’d pay off your balance in exactly 21 months which means you’d pay no interest at all. After accounting for the $60 balance transfer fee, your total cost would be $2,060. In this example, your estimated balance transfer savings is $666.

Average Credit Card Interest Rates

The amount that you can save with a balance transfer is impacted by the interest rates that you’re paying on your existing balances and how long your new card would provide a lower rate. The average APR across all credit cards that are tracked by Forbes Advisor’s database is 27.90% as of March 2024.

Below are the average credit card interest rates by card type. Note that the average rates in this table are for standard APRs which don’t kick in until after any 0% introductory period that a card may offer.

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