By opening up a high-limit balance transfer credit card, you can consolidate your balances, pay less interest and potentially even raise your credit score, all at the same time.
Credit card balance transfers can be a great way to consolidate your debts and can possibly allow you to enjoy a lower interest rate. But performing a balance transfer isn’t very useful if you’re only able to move a small portion of your outstanding debts.
That’s why it’s important to understand what the limit is for balance transfer credit cards and how you can make the most of these offers.
Examples of high-limit balance transfer cards
When looking for a balance transfer credit card with a high limit, you’ll find two distinct types of cards. First, there are offers that include 0% APR promotional financing for balance transfers. While these cards allow you to avoid interest charges for a limited time, many of these cards aren’t specifically designed to offer very high credit limits. Nevertheless, those with excellent credit and sufficient income are often able to receive a high credit limit.The other type of balance transfer credit card that you’ll find is premium cards that specifically offer higher credit limits but rarely offer 0% APR financing. According to personal finance expert Miranda Marquit, “For the most part, you’re going to see high-limit balance transfer cards from the likes of premium cards like Citi Prestige® and Chase Sapphire Reserve.”
While these premium cards might give you the option to consolidate your debt and possibly offer you a lower interest rate than your current balances are subject to, you won’t receive a break from interest charges. And you need to consider the fact that these cards might still charge you a balance transfer fee but not offer zero-interest promotional periods. Balance transfer cards that feature promotional financing will usually have a fee of 3% or even 5% of the amount transferred.
Here are some balance transfer cards with promotional financing that could offer you a high limit based on your creditworthiness:
- Citi® Double Cash Card – It’s possible to receive a high credit limit with this card that offers you 18 months of 0% APR on balance transfers (followed by a 13.99%-23.99% variable APR), with a 3% balance transfer fee (or $5, whichever is higher). You also earn 1% cash back at the time of purchase, and another 1% cash back when you pay for your purchases, for a total of up to 2% cash back on all purchases, with no limits and no annual fee.
- Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card–Like the Citi Double Cash, this relatively simple card also features 18 months of interest-free financing on balance transfers, with a 3% balance transfer fee (or $5, whichever is higher); but it also includes 18 months of 0% intro APR on new purchases, followed by a variable APR of 13.74%-23.74%.
- BankAmericard® credit card – This card also features 18 months of 0% APR financing on both new purchases and balance transfers (followed by a variable APR of 12.99%-22.99%), with a 3% balance transfer fee (or $10, whichever is greater). Just note that you have to transfer your balance within 60 days of opening your account for it to qualify for the promotional rate. The card offers no rewards, but it has no annual fee.
High-limit credit cards without financing that offer a balance transfer option:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve – This premium travel rewards card comes with a minimum $10,000 line of credit and offers balance transfers, but with a high 5% balance transfer fee. There’s also a $550 annual fee for this card.
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card – This more affordable travel rewards card comes with a minimum $5,000 line of credit and offers balance transfers, but also with a high 5% balance transfer fee. There’s a $95 annual fee for this card.
- Citi Prestige Card – Here’s another premium credit card that often comes with a high credit limit. It has a 3% balance transfer fee and a $495 annual fee.
How much debt can you transfer to a credit card?
You can transfer as many existing balances as you want, up to the card’s credit limit.
According to personal finance expert Eric Rosenberg, “There’s no limit to how much debt you can transfer to a credit card. If you have five existing cards with a $20,000 balance and somehow get a new card with a $100,000 limit, you could transfer all $100,000 if you wanted to. The limit you can transfer is typically up to your credit limit for the card you’re looking at using for the transfer.”
Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get as high a credit limit as you’d like.
How a high-limit balance transfer card can help your credit score
One of the benefits of opening a high-limit balance transfer card is that it can have a positive effect on your credit score. According to Holly Johnson, credit card and rewards expert at Club Thrifty, “There are some instances where transferring balances from one card to a new card with a high limit could help your credit score. If you have one card that’s maxed out and you transfer your balance to a new card with a higher credit limit, for example, then your overall credit utilization rate will go down. This factor makes up 30% of your FICO credit score, so the transfer could have a big impact.”
And by transferring several small outstanding balances to a high-limit balance transfer card, you’ll also reduce the number of outstanding balances on your credit report, which can also help to improve your credit score. Note, these factors are most effective if you’re not transferring a very high balance.
Watch out for the balance transfer fee, especially if your transferred balance is high
Perhaps the greatest drawback to balance transfer credit cards is the balance transfer fee. Most cards have a fee of 3% and many can be as high as 5%. This amount of this fee is added to your new balance, and you should make sure you’re saving enough in interest for it to be worth it.
It’s no fun to receive credit card statements each month that remind you of multiple outstanding balances. By opening up a high-limit balance transfer credit card, you can consolidate your balances, pay less interest and potentially even raise your credit score, all at the same time.