Quick Answer: What Is Balance Transfer Credit Cards Explained?

What does it mean to transfer a balance on a credit card?

Transferring your balance means moving all or part of a debt from one credit card to another. People often use them to take advantage of lower – sometimes 0% – interest rates. Switching to a card with a lower interest rate lets you: pay less interest on what you currently owe (but you’ll usually pay a fee)

What is a credit card balance transfer and why do people use it?

A balance transfer is a type of credit card transaction in which debt is moved from one account to another. For those paying down high-interest debt, such a move can save serious money on interest charges if done strategically.

Do balance transfers go against your credit?

A balance transfer can affect your credit score, depending on 1) if you open a new card to transfer a balance and 2) what you do once your balances have been transferred. If you simply move your balances around on your existing cards, your credit score likely won’t be impacted.

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Why are balance transfers bad for your credit?

A balance transfer may lead to your scores dipping in the short term. That’s because you’ ll decrease your average account age and increase the credit utilization on a single card. But your credit could rise again with careful use.

Should I close my credit card after a balance transfer?

Once you’ve committed to transferring your balance, don’t close the old account just yet. Keep making the minimum payment on the old account until both your old account and new account show that the transfer is complete. This ensures you don’t accidentally miss any payments and hurt your credit score or incur any fees.

Is it bad to have a lot of credit cards with zero balance?

“Having a zero balance helps to lower your overall utilization rate; however, if you leave a card with a zero balance for too long, the issuer may close your account, which would negatively affect your score by reducing your average age of accounts.”

Is a balance transfer the same as a payment?

Yes, balance transfers work just like a monthly payment to your credit card company. The credit card company you’re transferring from only knows you made a payment — it doesn’t know if it’s a transfer or not. That said, a balance transfer doesn’t process exactly like a minimum payment you’d make online.

What is best way to pay off credit card debt?

Ways to pay off credit card debt

  1. Pay the most expensive balance first. If you want to get out of debt as quickly as possible, list your debts from the highest interest rate to the lowest.
  2. The “snowball” method.
  3. Consider a balance transfer credit card.
  4. Get your spending under control.
  5. Grow your emergency fund.
  6. Switch to cash.
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Can I do a balance transfer over the phone?

The best way to transfer a credit card balance is by contacting the new credit card company with the balance transfer request. You can typically do a balance transfer over the phone or online.

What happens if I balance transfer too much?

Avoid transferring a balance up to the new card’s full credit limit. If you transfer a balance that either maxes out your new card or gives it a really high utilization rate, that could hurt your credit score. A maxed-out card can lower your score by more than 100 points, according to myFICO.

Should I keep my credit card balance at 0?

The standard recommendation is to keep unused accounts with zero balances open. A zero balance on a credit card reflects positively on your credit report and means you have a zero balance-to-limit ratio, also known as the utilization rate. Generally, the lower your utilization rate, the better for your credit scores.

Is 7 credit cards too many?

As with almost every question about credit reports and credit scores, the answer depends on your unique credit history and the scoring system your lender is using. “Too many” credit cards for someone else might not be too many for you. There is no specific number of credit cards considered right for all consumers.

Does transferring money from credit card affect credit score?

Any change in your credit use can affect your credit score, so it’s possible that a balance transfer from one credit card to another could negatively impact you. However, any decrease in your scores would likely be temporary, and over time this could be a positive change.

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How long does balance transfer take?

A credit card balance transfer typically takes about five to seven days, but some major card issuers ask customers to allow up to 14 or even 21 days to complete the transaction.

Does closing a credit card hurt your credit?

A credit card can be canceled without harming your credit score⁠—paying down credit card balances first (not just the one you’re canceling) is key. Closing a credit card will not impact your credit history, which factors into your score.

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