Adam McCann, Financial Writer
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A balance transfer is a credit card transaction that involves using a card to pay a debt owed to another lender in order to move the debt to the balance transfer credit card. The main purpose of a balance transfer is to get a lower interest rate, save money and repay the debt sooner.
Key Things to Know About Balance Transfers
- What It Is: A balance transfer moves an existing debt to a credit card.
- Benefits: A balance transfer can get you a lower APR and/or more time to pay a debt off.
- Types of Balances Transferable: This depends on what your issuer allows, but may include balances from credit cards, auto loans, student loans, mortgages, HELOCs, small business loans and payday loans.
- How Long It Takes: A balance transfer typically takes around 15 to 25 days to process. During that time, you should continue making payments on your original debt.
- Introductory APRs: The best balance transfer credit cards have introductory 0% APRs for as long as 21 months. If you pay your balance in full during that time, you owe no interest.
- Fees: Some credit cards charge a balance transfer fee, which gets added to the balance you owe. This fee is typically either 3% or 5% of the amount transferred, but some cards have no balance transfer fee.
You can learn more about balance transfers on WalletHub, as well as see WalletHub’s editors’ picks for the best balance transfer credit cards.
2023's Best Balance Transfer Credit CardsCompare Cards
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