Editorial Policy

How to Make a Credit Card Transfer Online

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By Eva Norlyk Smith, Ph.D.
May 22, 2009

When it comes to making credit card transfers, it’s important to have as many options available as possible. Firstly, it’s a way to make sure that you get the very best offer available. Secondly, different offers suit different purposes.

For example, if you’re looking for a short-term cash infusion, the best offer for credit card transfers are those with the lowest APR. On the other hand, if you’re trying to permanently lower the APR on outstanding credit card debt, you’re better off looking for a credit card transfer offer with a low APR for”the life of the balance.”

Checking for balance transfer offers online gives you a quick overview of every offer from all the companies you have credit cards with. Sometimes the very best credit card transfers are the ones offered online; although it varies from time to time and from card issuer to card issuer.

To find out which credit card transfer options are available to you online, you must first sign up for your card issuer’s online account services, if you haven’t already done so. Signing up for online account services provides you with a number of advantages, such as the ability to track your credit card balance online, download past statements automatically to your personal accounting software, and even pay your bills online.

Most online account services also feature a list of credit card transfer offers available. Balance transfer offers are usually listed under the pull-down menu for Customer Service or Tools and Services menus. In some cases, the website has a dedicated Balance Transfer option on the menu. If you have difficulty finding the section with balance transfer offers, simply do a search on “balance transfers” in the site’s search function.

Once you click the Transfer a Balance link, you’ll typically be taken to a page, which displays a list of any special credit card transfer offers for which you’re eligible. If one of the offers appeals to you, choose that offer, and then follow the online instructions to complete the balance transfer. Once you’ve requested the balance transfer online, you can check back regularly to monitor its progress online-most transfers take a couple of weeks to complete.

Quick Tip. Avoid credit card transfers with a low APR for only six months and without a cap on the transaction fee. Often you are charged a 3% or 4% transaction fee for a six-month credit card transfer. That cost has to be added to the APR you’re paying on the credit card transfer. In most cases, you’ll find that a six-month transfer with an uncapped fee really isn’t such a great deal.