Learn About Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Balance transfers

can add up to big savings

How balance transfers work

A balance transfer moves a credit card or loan balance from one company to another, generally to get a lower interest rate. You can only transfer as much as your credit limit allows, but within that limit, the amount that you transfer is up to you.

Why they can be beneficial

Balance transfers can help you avoid paying higher interest rates on your existing balances with other lenders. This can add up to big savings. You can even pay off other loans—like an auto loan, for instance—at a lower rate.


What to look for in a balance transfer offer


Promotional rate

This special interest rate is usually lower than the regular rate you’re charged on purchases and applies only to the amount you’re transferring. The lower that number is, the better.

Promotional period

This is the amount of time the special interest rate applies. After that, the interest rate will go up on any remaining balance. Longer promotional periods give you more time to make payments at lower interest rates. Of course, paying off the entire balance before the interest rate goes up saves you the most money.


Many offers include a fee, sometimes called a “transaction fee,” for transferring a balance. It’s usually a percentage of the balance you’re transferring.

Capital One® balance transfer questions


Want to learn more? See if transferring a balance may be right for you.