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How to transfer a balance to a Chase credit card

Summary

Considering a balance transfer to a Chase credit card? Here’s everything you need to know, including card options, fees, restrictions and tips for improving your chances of approval.

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The interest rate on your credit card is too high. And because you carry a balance each month, that rate is costing you serious dollars.

If you’re considering making a balance transfer to a Chase credit card, here’s everything you need to know before applying – including card options, restrictions, balance transfer fees, chances of approval and even potential pitfalls.

See related: 6 steps to a successful credit card balance transfer

 Chase balance transfer card options

Chase offers three options for consumers who want to transfer an existing balance.

Chase Slate

  • Balance transfer fee: No fee during the first 60 days after you open the card. After that, the fee is $5 or 5 percent of the amount transferred – whichever is greater.
  • 0-percent promotional period: 15 months.
  • Regular APR: 16.99 percent to 25.74 percent (variable).
  • Worth noting: Chase Slate offers purchase and price protection, but no rewards.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

  • Balance transfer fee: 3 percent of the amount transferred, $5 minimum.
  • 0-percent promotional period: First 15 months after you open your account.
  • Regular APR: 17.24 percent to 25.99 percent (variable).
  • Worth noting: 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases, no annual fee, 3 percent cash back in the first year (up to $20,000 in purchases, then 1.5 percent)

Chase Freedom

  • Balance transfer fee: 3 percent of the amount transferred, $5 minimum.
  • 0-percent promotional period: 15 months.
  • Regular APR: 17.24 percent to 25.99 percent (variable).
  • Worth noting: 5 percent cash back on rotating categories that you must activate each quarter (up to $1,500 per quarter); 1 percent cash back on general purchases; no annual fee; $150-sign-up bonus if you spend $500 in first three months.

See related:Best no annual fee credit cards

What you should know about Chase balance transfers before applying

There are limits to balance transfers with Chase credit cards, according to the company.

  • Customers can’t transfer more than $15,000 in credit card debt within any 30-day period.
  • You can’t transfer your balance from an existing Chase card to another card issued by Chase.
  • Balance transfer requests take time. While Chase says that your debt will be transferred to your new card within a week, it can take up to 21 days.
  • You need to continue making payments on your existing card until you are certain that the balance transfer has closed.
  • Balance transfers won’t earn you rewards points or cash back, if the card you are transferring a balance to offers them.
  • There is no guarantee Chase will approve your balance transfer request. It might turn you down if you are past due on your existing card or if it believes you won’t be able to repay whatever balance you want to transfer.
  • Chase might also approve only a portion of the balance transfer you requested. Maybe you want to transfer $8,000 from an existing card, but Chase will only approve a transfer of $5,000.

How to improve your chances of approval for a balance transfer

Eszylfie Taylor, president and founder of Taylor Insurance and Financial Services in Pasadena, California, said that those consumers who are in the strongest financial health are usually the ones most likely to get approved for a balance transfer.

  • If you want to increase your odds of qualifying for a transfer, Taylor recommends you pay your bills on time each month.
  • If you can’t afford to pay every bill on time, focus on those that affect your FICO credit score.

Revolving payments such as your mortgage loan, credit card bills, student loans and auto loan are reported to the credit bureaus. If you pay any of these bills late by 30 days or more, your credit score will tumble. However, defaulting on other bills, such as internet or cell phone, can result in the account being sent to collections, which will also show up on your credit report in due time.

See related:Zero to 750: What’s the fastest way to raise your credit score?

How to initiate a balance transfer to a Chase credit card

If you already own a Chase credit card:

  • Log into your account and select the “transfer a balance” option. This will bring up the offers available to you.
  • To start the process, provide some basic information about the card from which you want to transfer a balance.

If you are applying for a new Chase credit card:

  • Start a credit card application for a Chase balance transfer card.
  • During the application process, you will be given the option to transfer a balance from an existing card.
  • Provide basic information about the existing card and state how much you want to transfer.

How to make a balance transfer work

It’s important to be aware of the interest rate you’ll face on a new balance transfer card and make a plan to pay it off before any 0-percent offer expires.

Steps you can take to ensure you will able to pay off your debt include creating a budget, choosing a payoff strategy and stashing your card to avoid making any extra charges.

“Zero percent offers are an amazing deal if you plan to pay it off by the end of a promotional period,” said Aris Jerahian, AVP of card services at Anaheim, California-based Orange County’s Credit Union. “Unfortunately, most consumers focus on short-term goals, taking advantage of such deals while never paying off their balance in time.”

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Published: October 26, 2018

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