How balance transfers work


Man online shopping on his couch next to a Christmas tree
Interested in a balance transfer?

We’ve got a special offer for a lifetime rate of 6.99% APR on balances transferred within 45 days of account opening. And what’s better, no balance transfer fee will apply!

Learn more

Consolidate debt and reduce interest costs with a credit card balance transfer.

If you’re feeling the squeeze of high interest rates on credit card debt, now is a good time to explore a balance transfer in order to save money. Let’s take a look at how balance transfers work and what you need to know to make a smart choice.

What are credit card balance transfers?

A balance transfer means moving what you owe on one or more credit cards to a different one. Usually, but not always, this means opening a new account.

Balance transfers are one of the simplest ways to consolidate debt and reduce interest costs on credit card debt. However, you need to do your homework before taking advantage of a balance transfer offer.

Carefully read credit card offers

At first glance, 0% interest on balance transfers looks like a good deal. If you see such an offer, read the details carefully. All of them. The no- or low-interest period will apply only for the introductory period; it could be a few months or even 1½ years.

It’s very important to know what the interest rate will be after the introductory period. The rate could be very attractive or it might be more than what you’re paying now. Check details before you apply for a new card.

How much will a balance transfer save?

The only way to determine if a balance transfer will save money for you is to run the numbers. To compare offers against your current credit card, use our credit card repayment calculator.

Some, but not all card issuers charge a balance transfer fee, which can be 3% to 5% of the amount you transfer. Take this into account when doing your calculations.

How long will a credit card balance transfer take?

According to Experian, most balance transfers are complete within five to seven days, but some card issuers take up to 21 days.

Balance transfers are handled differently from lender to lender. Some transfer funds electronically while others issue checks.

Questions to ask before you make a balance transfer

  • What’s the interest rate and how long will will it apply?
  • What’s the interest rate after the introductory period is over?
  • Is there an annual fee for the credit card? If so, how much?
  • Is there a time limit on balance transfers in order to get the introductory rate?
  • Will the credit limit cover the amount you want to transfer?
  • Is there a limit on the balance transfer amount?
  • Is there a fee to make a balance transfer? If so, how much is it?
  • How are transfers handled and how long do they take?

Pay very close attention to your payments

After you make a balance transfer, make sure payments are made on time. Missing a payment due date by even a day could mean the loss of your zero- or low-interest introductory rate and late fees.

Also, if you make purchases on your new card and don’t pay them off in full each month, you’ll start racking up interest charges. Interest charged on new purchases will almost certainly be higher than the introductory rate for balance transfers.

Make a balance to transfer to a Consumers account

At Consumers right now, when you transfer your high-rate credit card balances to a NEW Consumers personal Mastercard®, you’ll enjoy a lifetime rate of 6.99% APR* on balances transferred within 45 days of account opening. And what’s better, no balance transfer fee will apply! Learn more. (Our cards also have no annual fees.)

Apply online for a Consumers Mastercard credit card today.

Consumers provides banking services for more than 100,000 members. If you have banking questions, call us at 800-991-2221. We make it easy to bank how you want, when you want.


*Introductory 6.99% APR is available for balance transfers on new personal credit cards processed within 45 days of account opening. The 6.99% APR balance transfer rate will apply to the balance transferred until it is paid in full. Balance transfers submitted after 45 days of account opening will receive your regular balance transfer rate (9.24% – 22.99% APR) and a fee of 4% of the amount of each transfer with a minimum of $5.00. Your regular card rate (5.24% – 22.99% APR) will apply to any other purchases made. Balance transfers will be processed as cash transactions and will incur finance charges immediately. The minimum payment will be applied to lowest rate balances first while all payments exceeding the minimum payment due each billing period will be applied to balances with higher APRs prior to balances with lower APRs. Balance Transfers may not be used to pay off credit cards or other loan accounts held with Consumers. Balance transfers do not earn Reward Points. For more information, please refer to your Truth-in-Lending statement or the Card Member Agreement accompanying your card. Approval subject to credit review. Rates, fees, and terms are subject to change and may be terminated at any time. Federally insured by NCUA

Interested in a balance transfer?

We’ve got a special offer for a lifetime rate of 6.99% APR on balances transferred within 45 days of account opening. And what’s better, no balance transfer fee will apply!

Learn more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Joshua Pavlos says:

    Im a member and have debt. What would be a better option. A personal loan or transfer my credit cards to a consumers card. My credit score has taken a hit because of my credit card debt. Can you help me?

    • ConsumersCU says:

      Hey Joshua, please give us a call at 800.991.2221 so we can talk through possible options with you.

  2. taneka fields says:

    Hi. For Andigo members with existing credit cards, are there any balance transfer introductory rates offered via Consumers? Thank you.

Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.
Get awesome new content delivered straight to your inbox.