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.
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The Bank of America content was last updated on March 1, 2023.
Credit card balance transfers give consumers the chance to consolidate high-interest debts they have at a much lower interest rate. In the meantime, balance transfer cards make it possible to reduce the number of bills you pay each month, and you can even go from paying several credit card bills to just one.
That said, performing a balance transfer may not be that helpful if you’re only able to move a small portion of your outstanding debts. If you’re considering a balance transfer but you’re wondering if limits or caps might make it hard to accomplish your goal, read on to learn how much debt you can transfer to most credit cards and other rules that could apply.
How much debt can you transfer to a credit card?
Generally speaking, you can transfer as many existing balances as you want, up to the new card’s credit limit, as long as the card issuer doesn’t have any balance transfer caps in place. If you have a $30,000 limit on a new balance transfer card you applied for, for example, you can typically transfer up to $30,000 in debt to that card right away.
However, there are some card issuers that set limits on how much debt you can transfer to their cards, including Chase. In fact, the fine print on the Chase website lays this out very clearly:
“Balance transfer request(s) made online and/or with a Customer Service Specialist cannot exceed $15,000 within any 30-day period.”
Either way, it’s important to be aware that there’s no guarantee you’ll get as high a credit limit as you’d like on your balance transfer card. Your credit limit will be set based on a variety of factors, some of which you can’t control in the short term.
For example, credit card issuers typically set your credit limit based on your income, your credit score and your credit history — all factors you can’t just change on a dime.
What type of debt can you transfer to a credit card?
The type of debt you can transfer to a balance transfer card depends on the issuer. For example, Chase only lets customers transfer debts from other credit cards, while Capital One lets their cardholders transfer debt from personal, student and auto loans as well.
However, cardholders who receive balance transfer checks in the mail can usually use them however they want, whether they decide to pay down a loan balance or write themselves a check to access cash.
Also, be aware that you typically cannot transfer debts from one card to another from the same issuer. If you have credit card debt with Chase, for example, you would have to pick a different balance transfer credit card from an issuer like Capital One, Citi or Wells Fargo.
What is the highest credit card limit?
While credit card issuers don’t typically advertise their credit card limits, it may be possible to get one as high as $100,000 with a luxury credit card. Keep in mind that high credit limits are reserved for consumers with little debt, amazing credit, near-perfect payment history and plenty of disposable income.
High credit card limits also come with high stakes, because you need to have strict discipline to not abuse them.
What to do if your balance transfer card’s credit limit isn’t high enough
If the credit limit on the balance transfer card you were approved for isn’t high enough to transfer all your debt, you have several options available:
- Call your issuer and ask for a higher limit. Tell the issuer the credit limit you were approved for, the limit you’d like and your reason for needing more available credit.
- Apply for another balance transfer card. Keep in mind that each time you apply for a credit card, you’ll be subject to a hard inquiry. This could temporarily drop your credit score, though your second balance transfer card’s credit limit might ultimately help your score improve by lowering your credit utilization ratio.
- Consider a personal loan for your remaining debt. With a personal loan, you can pay off whatever amount you weren’t able to transfer to your new credit card. You most likely won’t get a 0 percent APR for a personal loan, but your interest rate will almost certainly be lower than that of a typical credit card. Note that applying for a personal loan would also trigger a hard inquiry, but your credit score would likely benefit from paying off a card balance and adding an installment loan to your credit report.
Best high-limit balance transfer cards
Remember: The credit limit you’re assigned will depend on an array of factors like your income, employment status, credit score and even your housing payment. However, the balance transfer cards highlighted below tend to offer the highest limits to applicants who can qualify:
Citi Double Cash Card
The Citi® Double Cash Card is one option that might afford you a high credit limit, along with other benefits, such as 18 months of 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers (followed by a 18.49 percent to 28.49 percent variable APR), with an introductory 3 percent balance transfer fee (or $5, whichever is higher). Note: You must complete balance transfers within the first four months of account opening to take advantage of the introductory APR.
You also earn 1 percent cash back on purchases when you buy, then another 1 percent cash back when you pay your card for a total of up to 2 percent cash back on all purchases. There is no limit on cash back and no annual fee, either.
Citi Diamond Preferred Card
Like the Citi Double Cash, the Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card features introductory interest-free financing on balance transfers. New cardholders can qualify for 21 months of 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers (17.49 percent to 28.24 percent variable APR thereafter) with a 5 percent balance transfer fee (or $5, whichever is higher). In the meantime, cardholders can enjoy 12 months of 0 percent intro APR on new purchases, followed by a variable APR of 17.49 percent to 28.24 percent. Again, you must complete your balance transfers within four months of opening your account to get the promotional rate.
BankAmericard credit card
The BankAmericard® credit card comes standard with 21 billing cycles of 0 percent APR financing on both new purchases and balance transfers (followed by a variable APR of 15.49 percent to 25.49 percent), with a 3 percent balance transfer fee. Just note that you have to transfer your balance within 60 days of opening your account to qualify for the promotional rate. The card offers no rewards, but it doesn’t charge an annual fee.
Wells Fargo Reflect Card
Also consider the Wells Fargo Reflect® Card, which gives you a 18 months from account opening with 0 percent intro APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers. However, you can qualify for three additional months with an intro 0 percent APR if you make on-time minimum payments during the introductory period. That means you could ultimately enjoy an intro 0 percent APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers for up to 21 months from account opening, followed by the standard variable APR of 17.74 percent to 29.74 percent.
There’s no annual fee, but you do have to transfer balances within 120 days of account opening to qualify for the introductory rate. An intro balance transfer fee of 3 percent (minimum $5) also applies to balances transferred in the first 120 days (then a balance transfer fee of up to 5 percent, minimum $5).
Watch out for the balance transfer fee
Perhaps the greatest drawback to high-limit balance transfer credit cards is the balance transfer fee. Most cards have a fee of 3 percent and many can be as high as 5 percent, plus they come with minimum fee amounts (usually $5 or $10).
This fee is added to your new balance, so be sure you’re saving enough in interest for it to be worth it. If you transfer $15,000 to a high-limit balance transfer card with a 3 percent fee, for example, expect to see an extra $450 tacked on your new balance as you begin repayment.
Receiving multiple credit card statements every month is never very fun, and that’s especially true if you’re paying a high APR on all your debts. By opening up a high-limit balance transfer credit card, you can consolidate your balances, pay less in interest and potentially even raise your credit score, all at the same time.
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