What is a balance transfer credit card?

If you’re struggling with rising credit card balances, you’re not alone. According to a recent TransUnion report, the average credit card debt per borrower in Q3 2023 was $6,088. Naturally, as balances increase, people are looking for a way to manage that debt and avoid high interest charges. Balance transfer credit cards can be enticing because many offer promotional rates for transferred balances for new account holders.

Here are some things to know about balance transfer cards:

How do balance transfers work?

Most major credit card issuers offer a credit card with a promotional grace period for balance transfers. You can find cards with 0% interest on balance transfers for a year, all the way up to 21 months and longer. Promotional grace periods and other terms depend on the lender and are card specific — not all cards have the same features. The better your credit score, the better your chances of being approved for a new credit card. In general, cards with generous promotional offers like 0% balance transfers or bonus rewards points tend to be reserved for people with good credit scores.


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