How to do a balance transfer with Capital One – Forbes Advisor

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Balance transfers can help cardholders receive lower or zero interest rates on existing balances or consolidate multiple balances into one. Existing credit card balances or personal, car or student loans may also be eligible for balance transfers. Current Capital One cardholders can request a balance transfer through their online account. Prospective cardholders can apply for a new Capital One card offering an introductory APR period of 0% to be followed by the card’s standard APR rate.

Find the best Capital One credit cards of 2022

How to do a balance transfer with Capital One

Capital One allows balance transfers on new or existing cards. Keep in mind that the total transfer amount (including fees) cannot exceed the card’s credit limit. This means that if you have a credit limit of $10,000 and a 3% balance transfer fee, you can only transfer $9,700.

Balance transfers are not eligible for rewards and can take three to 14 days depending on whether requested online or by mail.

Use an existing Capital One card

Capital One cardholders can transfer a balance to an existing account from a non-Capital One credit card or loan. Log in to your online account to see if you are eligible.

Cardholders must have certain information before making a request, such as the amount they wish to transfer and the name, account number (i.e. credit card number) and address payment from the other card issuer.

Capital One may approve an application immediately, or it may take a few days to come back with a decision.

Apply for a new Capital One card

Capital One offers a few 0% APR introductory offers specifically for balance transfers. Fees may still apply, which cardholders should consider when determining if a balance transfer is worth it.

Applicants with excellent credit are more likely to qualify for the best balance transfer cards offered by Capital One.

Applying for a new credit card almost always results in a thorough investigation of the applicant’s credit report. Expect a short-term drop in your credit score following a thorough investigation. Try submitting a pre-approval request to see if you qualify for the Capital One card you’re interested in.

Capital OneVentureOne

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card offers 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 14.99% – 24.99% variable APR after that. There is a 3% fee on each amount transferred.

Other benefits include:

  • 20,000 miles after spending $500 on purchases within 3 months of account opening, or $200 on travel
  • 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 1.25 miles per dollar on all other purchases
  • $0 annual fee

Capital One Quicksilver

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card offers 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 14.99% to 24.99% variable APR after that. Cardholders must pay a 3% fee on each amount transferred.

Other benefits include:

  • $200 cash bonus after spending $500 on purchases within 3 months of account opening
  • 1.5% cash back on every purchase
  • $0 annual fee

CapitalOne

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards credit card offers 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 14.99% – 24.99% variable APR after that. Cardholders must pay a 3% fee on any balance transferred.

Other benefits include:

  • $200 cash bonus after spending $500 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • 3% cash back on restaurants, entertainment, popular streaming services and groceries (excluding supermarkets like Walmart and Target) and 1% on all other purchases. Plus, Earn 8% Cash Back On Tickets At Vivid Seats Through January 2023
  • $0 annual fee

What to do after requesting a balance transfer

If a balance transfer is approved, the transfer will begin immediately. It may take up to 10 business days for the other card issuer or loan provider to process and receive the information. Online transfers are generally the fastest, while receiving balance transfer checks by mail can take longer.

Check the old account regularly and keep making payments until the transfer is complete (when you see a zero balance). Make sure the entire approved amount is transferred to your Capital One card. Cardholders can check the status of a transfer on the Capital One website.

Cardholders can decide what to do with old accounts after transfers are complete. Even if a credit account is inactive, it could benefit credit scores by lengthening credit history and decreasing credit utilization, two crucial factors considered by credit bureaus when evaluating credit ratings.

Best Practices for Balance Transfers

While balance transfers can be useful for paying off debt or taking advantage of lower interest rates, cardholders should be careful before committing to transfers.

Find the best card

The best cards offer an initial APR of 0% for 12-24 months, allowing people in debt to enjoy no interest payments while paying off a large balance. Capital One offers several lucrative offers including those of Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card and Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Cards.

Calculate monthly payments

Before you bite the bullet and apply for a new interest-free card, figure out how much each monthly payment will be to fully pay off the balance. Divide the total balance by the number of months offered interest-free to find the optimal amount. (Minimum monthly payments assigned by the card issuer are often not enough to pay off a balance.)

If the ideal monthly payment is affordable, transferring a balance to a new card may be worth it. If that’s not reasonable, consider other options like a personal loan or negotiate with the existing card issuer.

Find a free balance transfer fee offer

Although rare, some credit cards offer free balance transfers. The fee is usually a small percentage of the balance transfer amount, which can run into the hundreds of dollars depending on the size of the transfer.

The best balance transfer cards offer an introductory APR of 0% for a set period and do not charge transfer fees. Cardholders could save money in the long run with this type of offer, but likely need an exceptionally high credit score to qualify. Try filling out a pre-approval request first.

Read the terms and conditions

When applying for a new credit card, applicants should read the terms of the card carefully, regardless of the situation. Terms can be confusing and difficult to understand. If you’re still unclear, call the card issuer directly to ask questions until you’re completely sure what you’re getting into.

Consider the following before applying for a new credit card with a balance transfer offer:

  • Buy APRs
  • Balance transfer APR after the end of the introductory period
  • Whether grace periods for new purchases still apply
  • How interest is applied to new purchases made with the same card
  • Whether interest will accrue retroactively for the remaining balance after the end of the introductory period

Find the best Capital One credit cards of 2022

Conclusion

Capital One offers tempting balance transfer cards with 0% introductory APRs. Consider the options carefully and take advantage of Capital One’s pre-approval request before committing. Remember that new purchases may still earn interest even if the balance transfer does not. Make sure you can repay the entire balance before the end of the introductory period. Contact the card issuer with any specific questions to understand the card agreement if in doubt.

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