Payoff Calculator

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The savings shown in your results are based on the difference in total compound interest charges between the higher APR cards you entered and the lower promotional balance transfer APR, net of transfer fees. Your actual savings may be different based on your purchase and payment activity as well as other fees.

This calculator is intended solely for general information and educational purposes and does not take into account all of the personal, economic and other factors that may be relevant to your decision making. The accuracy of this calculator and its applicability to your personal financial circumstances is not guaranteed or warranted.

Why you should pay more than the minimum payment

Many credit card issuers allow cardholders to carry a balance month-to-month and make “minimum payments” (usually around $25 or 3% of the total balance) partly for the cardholder’s convenience, but also because it benefits the issuer to create a big interest charge.

If you’ve experienced the weight of compounding interest, you know that by paying more than the issuer’s minimum requirement, you’ll wipe out the debt in fewer months and be subject to fewer interest charges. Unfortunately, if your total balance is a large enough number, it will take a hefty monthly payment to counteract the interest you accrue.

In short, interest charges can make it feel impossible to pay off a balance. Fortunately, balance transfer credit cards can help you dig yourself out.

How to choose a balance transfer card

Pick the balance transfer card that aligns with which matters more to you — your timeline or the size of your monthly payment. Most balance transfer credit cards have an introductory APR period on balance transfers that lasts well over 12 months. For the length of that time, you can pay down your balance without being charged any interest. The majority of these cards also have a balance transfer fee (usually 3% – 5%), which will be tacked on to your balance. You’ll find that the longer the introductory APR period, the higher the balance transfer fee.

If you have a large balance, go with a card that has an extra long intro period. You’ll have more time to pay it off and consequently, your monthly payments will be smaller. If you have a manageable balance you’re confident you can pay off in 12-15 months, choose a balance transfer card with a lower transfer fee. You won’t have as much time to pay it off, which means your payments will be higher, but you’ll save on the transfer fee.

What else to know about this calculator

When estimating your monthly charges, be sure to include any annual fees or other fees charged by the card issuer.

This calculator is intended solely for general information and educational purposes and does not take into account all of the personal, economic and other factors that may be relevant to your decision making. The accuracy of this calculator and its applicability to your personal financial circumstances is not guaranteed or warranted.

To learn more on paying off your balance, read about our favorite balance transfer credit cards from our partners.