Is a balance transfer good or bad for a credit score,... - Balance Transfer FAQ


ADVERTISING DISCLOSURE: is an independent, advertising-supported web site. receives compensation from most credit card issuers whose offers appear on our site. Compensation from our advertising partners impacts how and where their products appear on our site, including, for example, the order in which they may appear within review lists. has not reviewed all available credit card offers in the marketplace.

Credit Card Applications » Questions » FAQs » Balance Transfer » Is a balance transfer good or bad for a credit score, or could it damage my credit?

Is a balance transfer good or bad for a credit score, or could it damage my credit?

Answered on | Updated on March 15th, 2013
The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.

Opening new credit accounts is a two-sided coin. On the one side, having more available credit is a positive for your credit score, because it improves your debt-to-credit ratio – giving you more available credit. On the other side, applying for new accounts can have a short-term negative effect on your credit score as each credit inquiry form an issuer will usually drop your score by a few points.

In general, balance transfers are a good bet to improve your financial picture. Just be sure you consider the following factors first:

  • Don’t be a serial account opener, bouncing your balances from card to card. Choose a good balance transfer offer, preferably one with a long introductory 0% APR period. Then do your best to pay that balance off within the promotional period.
  • Don’t close your old credit card account, even if you have transferred the entire balance off the card. This can impact both your length of credit history and your total available credit, which can lower your credit score.

If you are paying a high APR on your credit card balance, take a look at the many great 0% APR balance transfer offers available to help you pay off your balance faster. Depending on how much you owe and the interest rate you are currently paying, doing a balance transfer could save you hundreds of dollars in interest charges.

Disclaimer: This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer(s). Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer(s), and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer(s). Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate information, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult a card's issuing bank for the terms & conditions.
All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.
Get the latest news, articles and expert advice delivered to your inbox. It's FREE.

Intro APR on Balance Transfer: 0% 12 months on Balance Transfers

Ongoing APR on Balance Transfer: 15.74% - 25.74% (Variable)

Balance Transfer Fee: 3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.

Excellent, Good Credit

Intro APR on Balance Transfer: 0% (first 12 billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening)

Ongoing APR on Balance Transfer: 18.24%, 22.24% or 25.24% variable based on your creditworthiness

Balance Transfer Fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

Good/Excellent Credit
See Rates & Fees

Intro APR on Balance Transfer: 0% Intro APR for 12 months

Ongoing APR on Balance Transfer: Variable APR of 15.24%, 19.24% or 25.24%

Balance Transfer Fee: Either $10 or 4%, whichever is greater, will apply on each balance transfer and credit card check

Good, Excellent Credit
See Rates & Fees

Other Questions in
Balance Transfer

You've successfully subscribed!

Please specify the following:All these fields are optional

Your Credit History
Themes you are interested in:

By providing this information you help us make our news letters more useful and informative. Thank you!