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Balance Transfers

How to transfer a balance to a Bank of America credit card

Bank of America places some restrictions on its 0% intro APR offers – here's what you need to know

Summary

Considering a balance transfer to a Bank of America 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 Bank of America content was last updated on May 3, 2021.

Is your credit card debt growing faster than you can pay it off each month? Transferring this debt to a Bank of America credit card that offers 0% interest can give you a chance to catch up.

Be careful, though. Bank of America requires you to pay off the debt on a balance transfer within 12 to 18 billing cycles – or 12 to 18 months – before your new card’s permanent interest rate kicks in.

Bank of America will charge you, too, for transferring a balance, so that can eat into the savings you earn from the 0% offer.

Here’s everything you need to know, from the balance transfer cards Bank of America offers to fees and restrictions, to your chances of approval.

See related: Best balance transfer credit cards

Bank of America balance transfer offers

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

  • Balance transfer fee: $10 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • 0% promotional period: 15 billing cycles (for balance transfers made within the first 60 days)
  • Regular variable APR: 13.99% – 23.99%
  • Worth noting: Earn $200 online cash rewards sign-up offer if you charge $1,000 within first 90 days of account opening; 3% cash back on a category of your choice (gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drugstores or home improvements and furnishings), 2% back on purchases at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 1% back on all other purchases; you will only earn cash back on the first $2,500 worth of grocery, wholesale club and choice category purchases each quarter.

BankAmericard® credit card

  • Balance transfer fee: $10 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • 0% promotional period: 18 billing cycles (for balance transfers made within the first 60 days)
  • Regular variable APR: 12.99% – 22.99%
  • Worth noting: The BankAmericard is not a rewards card, but it does offer 0% interest for new purchases during the first 18 billing cycles. It also charges no annual fee and does not charge a penalty APR for those who pay their bills late.

Bank of America Cash Rewards for Students

  • Balance transfer fee: 3% or $10, whichever figure is greater
  • 0% promotional period: 12 billing cycles (for balance transfers made within the first 60 days)
  • Regular variable APR: 13.99% – 23.99%
  • Worth noting: Earn 3% cash back on a category of your choice (gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drugstores or home improvements and furnishings), 2% back on purchases at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 1% back on all other purchases; you will only earn cash back on the first $2,500 worth of grocery, wholesale club and choice category purchases each quarter.

BankAmericard for Students

  • Balance transfer fee: $10 or 3% of the amount transferred, whichever figure is higher
  • 0% introductory offer: 12 billing cycles (for balance transfers made within the first 60 days)
  • Regular variable APR: 12.99% – 22.99%
  • Worth noting: This is a basic card that students can use to build a credit history. It charges no annual fee.

What you should know before applying

There are limits to balance transfers with Bank of America credit cards, according to the company.

  • You can only qualify for a 0% balance transfer offer if you transfer your debt within 60 days of opening your new Bank of America credit card account.
  • You can’t transfer a balance from one Bank of America credit card to another one.
  • Bank of America will look at your credit to determine if you qualify for a balance transfer.
  • Don’t stop making payments on your old credit card until your Bank of America balance transfer closes. A Bank of America balance transfer could take up to 14 days to close.
  • Your balance transfer amount will be limited by the credit limit on your new card.

How to improve your chances of approval

Ash Exantus, head of financial education and financial empowerment coach in the New York City office of BankMobile, said that banks will look at both your credit score and debt-to-income ratio when determining whether you qualify for a balance transfer.

Exantus said that your credit score is especially important. Your score might be high enough to qualify for a balance transfer. But if your score isn’t a strong one, you might take a hit with a higher APR rate when that 0% offer expires, he said.

“What will your interest rate be after your introductory offer is up?” Exantus asked. The higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate should be, but that’s not always the case.

See related: How does a balance transfer affect your credit score?

How to initiate a balance transfer to a Bank of America credit card

If you are applying for a new Bank of America credit card:

  • Start a credit card application for one of the balance transfer cards that Bank of America offers.
  • During your application, you will be given the option to transfer a balance from an existing card. Select this option to proceed.
  • Provide basic information about your existing card and state how much you want to transfer.

If you already have a Bank of America credit card:

  • Go online to your account and select the “Transfers” option. Then select “For credit card balance transfers.”
  • Once you see your balance transfer offer, fill in the online form, providing information about the debt you want to transfer and the card from which you want to transfer it.

How to make a balance transfer work

A balance transfer makes the most sense if you pay down your debt before that 0% offer expires.

Kevin Gallegos, senior vice president of client enrollment with Phoenix-based financial services company Freedom Debt Relief, says that you should always craft a household budget before you initiate a balance transfer.

This budget can help you determine how many dollars you have each month to devote to paying down your debt. Once you know this figure, you can determine if you will be able to pay down that credit card debt before the 0% offer ends.

See related: Don’t become addicted to balance transfer offers.

“It all goes back to budgeting,” Gallegos said. “It’s about being honest about how much you can apply to your debt. The best solution is to always put as much toward that debt as you possibly can.”

BankMobile’s Exantus said it’s important, too, to determine how much money you’ll really save by transferring your debt.

Bank of America often charges a balance transfer fee. Depending on how much debt you are transferring that fee might negate much of the money you’d save by transferring your balance. And if you can’t pay your balance off before the 0% offer ends, you will rack up more interest expenses.

“Everyone likes the sound of ‘0% interest,'” Exantus said. “But it’s important to really look at the numbers and what you’ll be saving before you jump into a balance transfer.”

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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