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Balance Transfer Calculator: How much can you save?
How to use the Balance Transfer Calculator
To use the Balance Transfer Calculator, you will need to first gather some information about your current credit card and the new balance transfer card that you’re considering. You’ll need to know:
- Your total balance
- Interest rates on both cards
- Monthly payment estimates
- Details about the introductory interest rate on the new card
Here’s how to fill out each of these details in the calculator:
- Balance transfer amount. This is the total amount that you are transferring from your old credit card to the new one. You can find the current balance on your latest credit card statement.
- Interest rates. You will need to input your current credit card interest (should be listed on your statement), as well as the rate on the new credit card. Most balance transfer credit cards have an introductory rate, and a regular rate (look at the card terms and conditions to find this). Input the introductory rate, as well as how many months the introductory period is.
- Monthly payment. Enter the monthly payment amount you are currently paying on your card, whether it’s the minimum payment or another amount. Then input your new expected monthly payment on the new card. This may be the same amount, but paying more will help you pay off your debt faster (and avoid additional interest charges after the intro rate period ends).
Once you input the information, hit calculate to see the results.
How much can you save with a balance transfer?
The Balance Transfer Calculator will take the monthly payment you entered and compare your existing credit card to popular balance transfer credit card offers. We’ll look at two things:
- How much you will pay in interest and fees until the balance is paid off in full.
- How long it will take you to pay off your balance in full, assuming a fixed monthly payment and that you do not make new charges on the card.
Here’s how the results will display on the calculator:
- Current credit card results. This shows how long it would take to pay off your current credit card, as well as the total interest you would expect to pay.
- New credit card results. This shows the details of your new card, including how long it will take to pay off, as well as the total interest. The balance transfer fee is included (estimated at 3% of the total balance).
- Total balance transfer savings. Comparing the total interest paid on the old credit card versus the new one, this is the amount of money you could save in interest by using the balance transfer credit card.
Using this calculator is a quick way to determine if it is worth it to sign up for a balance transfer card.
A quick note on balance transfer fees: Most balance transfer cards have a 3% to 5% fee on all balance transfers. The fee is a percentage of the total balance you are transferring from your old card. We are using a 3% balance transfer fee in our calculator, which is the most common. If the card you are signing up for has a higher fee, you will need to deduct the difference from your overall savings.
Why does it say I’ll pay more?
If the “total balance transfer savings” section shows a negative number, it means you might actually pay more money if you transfer a balance to that card.
Why would this happen? Well, there are two common reasons:
- You will repay your debt so quickly that the interest you’ll pay on your existing card will be less than the balance transfer fee.
- The new card’s regular APR is significantly higher than your existing APR and it will take you many years to repay the debt in full. The new card’s higher regular APR will negate any savings during the promotional period.
Can I transfer balances from more than one card?
Yes, you can. But to keep things simple, we only let you calculate the savings for one card at a time. You can use the same details for the balance transfer card to calculate the savings on each card you plan on transferring to the new one.
Our Balance Transfer Calculator can help you estimate how much you might save by transferring your existing credit card debt to a new card with an introductory low-interest rate on balance transfers.
We estimate potential savings based on how much you tell us you can pay each month. As you consider whether you can save money with a balance transfer, keep in mind that you’ll need very good credit to get approved for these offers and that your actual savings may vary based on your payment schedule and the regular APR offered on the new card (these may be higher than used in our calculator, depending on your creditworthiness).