You could be paying thousands or hundreds of dollars in interest each year if you have credit card debt that has typical interest rates. You could lower your interest costs by switching to a balance transfer creditcard with a 0% APR period. This will not only save you money but it can also help you […]

You could be paying thousands or hundreds of dollars in interest each year if you have credit card debt that has typical interest rates. You could lower your interest costs by switching to a balance transfer creditcard with a 0% APR period. This will not only save you money but it can also help you get out of debt faster. Every dollar you pay will be used to eliminate your balance, and not to pay interest.

The credit card balance transfer calculator will give you an idea of how much you can save by transferring your balance. We’ll calculate your savings by asking you how much debt you have, what the interest rate is on it, and some details about the balance transfer credit cards you are considering.


Where can I find information about the calculator?

Current debt: Credit card debt to move

The amount you owe on your monthly credit card statement is what you see in your monthly statement. It is also possible to find it online by logging in to your account. You should enter the card’s current balance and not the minimum payment, which is often the most prominent number on your statement span>

Existing debt: Interest rate

Your monthly credit card statement will also show the interest rate or APR that applies to your account. Look out for the section titled “Interest charges” and/or “Interest calculation.” The “purchase APR” is the rate that will be charged for purchases made using the card. ”

Balance transfer credit: Transfer fee

Except for a few cases, all cards will charge a fee to transfer a balance. The Schumer box contains the rate and fees for each credit card. The Schumer box link will be found on the credit card marketing page. It is usually labeled “See rates and charges” or “See terms.” The balance transfer fee is usually a percentage of the amount transferred and there’s usually an annual minimum fee. The fee could be described as “3% of amount transferred or $10, whichever is higher.” Our balance transfer calculator only uses the percentage fee. If you are transferring more than a few hundred dollars of debt, you will be charged more.

Balance transfer card: 0% intro APR period

In the Schumer box, you will also find the number of months that the introductory period at 0% was. Look out for the section titled “Annual percentage rates (or APR), for balance transfers.” This section will show you the number of billing periods that you have at 0% before your APR on balance transfers resets to the regular rates. You’ll be charged the regular rate if a portion of your balance remains unpaid after the intro period.

Understanding the results of the calculator

The credit card balance transfer calculator will give you an estimate of the amount you could save by moving your debt to a card that offers 0% balance transfers. This is in comparison to what you would pay if the debt remained where it is. These results are based upon two assumptions:

1. The balance transfer card has a 0% intro APR so you can pay off your debt in a short time.

Consider the 18-month 0% rate on the card you are looking at. This is the time frame that our balance transfer calculator uses to estimate costs. This means that you will either:

  • Pay off the debt with your credit card over 18 months or

  • Transfer it to the 0% credit card and pay it over 18 months.

The difference between the two is called the calculated savings.


You don’t have to repay the entire 0% period. Alter the length of the calculator to experiment with different repayment plans. You will pay less interest if the debt is paid off faster than if it were not transferred. Your interest savings may not be enough to cover the transfer fee if your repayment term is too short.

2. You would make equal payments to repay the debt over that time.

Your repayment schedule can have a significant impact on how much interest you pay when you are paying off debt. You will pay less interest each month if you pay more. This will help you eliminate your debt faster. Let’s say that you have $3,000 of debt and your card charges 16% interest.

You paid this amount each month…

This amount in total interest would be charged to your account…

You’d be able to pay the debt off in…

There are many ways to reduce your debt. You can pay the same amount each month as in the above chart, or you could pay a variable amount depending on your resources. You can pay one time or several times per month. You can even pay the minimum amount due on your statement. This will maintain your account in good standing, but could also lead to you being in debt for many years.

There are many payment options that can be considered. No calculator is able to account for them all. The balance transfer calculator assumes that the amount of your monthly payment will remain the same each month, and that the exact amount is required to repay the debt in the given timeframe.

The cost to debt without a balance transfer

This calculator will give you an idea of how much it would cost to carry credit card debt and not transfer any.

It’s not as easy as simply dividing your debt by how many months you have left to repay. For example, if you have $1,000 of debt, you won’t be able to pay $100 per month for 10 years. You’ll also be charged interest. To completely eliminate your debt in 10 months, you would need to pay $107.48 per month at 16% interest.

Let us know how much debt you have and what the interest rate is. We’ll also tell you how long it would take to pay it off.

How balance transfers work?

A balance transfer is the solution to a common question: Can I use one credit card for payment of another? The bank that issued the card will send a payment to your old card. This amount is added to the new card’s balance along with the balance transfer fee. Sometimes you can request a transfer when you apply for the card. You can also call the issuer once you have the card or do a convenience check.

What should you look for in a balance card

The majority of balance transfer cards work in the same way. These are the key differences:

  • Transfer fee for balance. The fee is usually 3% to 5% of any amount transferred. This translates into $30 to $50 for every $1,000 transferred. Although the fee is lower, it can be more beneficial. However, even if the fee is high, interest savings could easily offset the cost.

  • The length of the 0% introductory period. Balance transfer credit cards with a good rating will offer a 15-month or longer 0% period. Some cards offer a 0% rate for up to two years. While you might not require that much time, the longer the 0% period the greater your flexibility.


Some credit cards offer a 0% intro period on purchases, but not for balance transfer. Check that the card you are applying for has a 0% grace period for debt transfers before you apply.

  • You cannot transfer debt between cards issued by the same issuer. You can’t transfer your existing debt to another Citi card if it is Citi cards. It is not possible to transfer debt from one Wells Fargo credit card to another.

  • Rewards. After you have paid off your debt, it’s worth considering what you will do with your balance transfer card. Balance transfer cards are not very appealing to continue using after the 0% period ends. They offer no rewards and have low ongoing interest rates. There are a few outstanding rewards credit cards that offer balance transfer promotions for 15-18 months.

How do I find a balance transfer creditcard

NerdWallet’s top balance transfer credit cards will list the cards that our editorial team rated as the best for balance transfers. This list includes balance transfer credit cards that are pure and have a long 0% intro period, as well rewards cards that offer solid balance transfer offers. NerdWallet allows you to apply for many of these cards.

Questions frequently asked

Which balance transfer credit card is the best for me?

The amount of money you save by transferring your balance depends more on the debt you are moving than the card to which it is being moved. It all depends on how much debt it is, what interest rate it has and how long it would take to pay it off.

The balance transfer fee is the most important factor in determining how much you can save on the card that you are moving your debt to. The longer the 0% period, you can eliminate your debt faster and without interest. This can lead to more savings. Compare our top balance transfer cards to see all of your options.

Can a balance transfer save me money?

Balance transfers will only save you money if you are able to save more on interest than you pay for the transfer fee. You might be better off keeping your debt where it is than paying 3% to 5 % to transfer it to another card.

What happens when the 0% balance transfer period ends?

You’ll be charged regular interest rates on any balance that isn’t paid by the end of the introductory 0% rate period. Only the balance of your debt will be subject to interest. A card with an introductory rate of zero percent will not charge you “retroactive” interest. This is only true for promotions that offer “deferred interests”.