You can do multiple balance transfers to the same card, as long as the amounts transferred and any transfer fees do not exceed the card’s credit limit. Remember that a separate transfer fee applies to each balance that you transfer. Some issuers may also have their own restrictions.
Although you can transfer balances from multiple credit cards or various types of loans to a single credit card, the same creditor can’t be on both sides of the transfer. For example, you cannot transfer a balance from one Chase credit card to another.
Balance transfers usually take 7-10 days to complete. You should keep making payments on the accounts you’re transferring balances from until the transfers post to your new account. Otherwise, you may get hit with late fees.
Balance transfers don’t hurt your credit, but transferring a balance can indirectly cause credit score damage. When you apply for a balance transfer credit card, it will generate a hard inquiry on your credit report, causing a slight dip in your credit score. If you transfer a balance to an existing credit card account, however, there is no hard inquiry and no credit score damage. … read full answer
Balance transfers don’t hurt your credit score directly. But when you apply for a balance transfer credit card, it will generate a hard inquiry on your credit report, causing a slight dip in your credit score. If you transfer a balance to an existing credit card account, however, there is no hard inquiry and no credit score damage as a result. A balance transfer could still result in high credit utilization, though, and even allow you to rack up more debt than you can afford, if you’re not careful. Both of those things can hurt your credit score.
So, the act of transferring a balance itself won’t affect your credit, but it will indirectly alter several key components of your credit profile, from utilization to the age of your accounts. These changes might lower your score a bit in the short term. But over time, interest savings and the ability to pay off your debt faster should make transferring a balance a net positive for your credit score.
Here is how a balance transfer could hurt or help your credit:
Balance transfers can take up to three weeks, or be completed in just a few days, after you make a request or apply for a card. Transfers to new accounts may take longer than existing accounts. Continue making payments on your original account in the meantime to avoid hurting your credit score.
If you apply for a new balance transfer card, the resulting hard inquiry will likely cause a slight dip in your credit score for up to 12 months.
Adding a new balance transfer card will reduce the overall age of your accounts, which can have a slight negative impact on your score.
Keep an eye on how the transfer affects your account’s credit utilization. Making a transfer will usually add 3%-5% to your debt due to balance transfer fees. If your utilization is over 30% of your credit limit, that’s not good for your score.
If you leave your old credit card(s) open, adding a new card will reduce your utilization ratio across all accounts, assuming no additional spending. The utilization on the card you transferred the balance from will drop, and it will increase on the card you transferred the debt to.
Balance transfer cards often have 0% introductory APRs. This gives you the chance to pay off your balance faster, since the full amount of your payments will go to the principal rather than interest. This is good for your score long-term.
Balance transfers won’t hurt your credit by themselves. But they affect other elements of your credit that could bring your score down a little temporarily. Still, the benefits will outweigh the negatives in the long run, as long as you plan to repay most, if not all, of your balance during your card’s low introductory APR period.
Where people get into trouble is trying to use a balance transfer to support unsustainable spending habits, thinking 0% balance transfer credit card offers are always available. They’re not, and learning that the hard way is a very expensive mistake. So make sure to use a balance transfer calculator to make a payment plan.
There’s no hard-and-fast rule about how many balance transfers you can do. But individual issuers may have their own policies. For instance, you can request up to three balance transfers when applying for the BankAmericard Credit Card. Your credit line will also limit the number of balance transfers you’re able to do. The total dollar amount that you can transfer to a credit card can’t exceed the credit limit you’re approved for. You won’t be able to transfer a $10,000 balance to a credit card with a $5,000 limit, for example.… read full answer
It’s also worth noting that even the best balance transfer credit cards offer money-saving terms only for a limited time. Zero percent transfer deals, and other low introductory APRs, expire after a certain number of months following account opening. And fairly high regular APRs tend to take their place. Some cards have promotional balance transfer fees, too, requiring you to transfer your balance within the first 60 days to maximize your savings. So you don’t want to space out your balance transfers too much because the longer you wait, the less you’re likely to save.
Finally, you can’t count on another 0% balance transfer credit card being available to bail you out at the end of your current card’s interest-free intro period. That means you should only transfer an amount that you can afford to pay off before regular rates kick in.
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