How Long Does a Balance Transfer Take? All you need

How Long Does Balance Transfer Take

Depending on your card issuer, a balance transfer could take up to six weeks to appear in the account you’re transferring the balance to.
While many issuers can complete the procedure in a week or less, it is hardly a “set it and forget it” scenario. You can monitor your accounts to see when the transfer is complete. Make sure you continue to make at least the minimum payment on the card from which you moved the balance on time to avoid being charged a late fee.
To help you understand what to expect, we’ve compiled a list of some credit card issuers and how long they say it can take to conduct a balance transfer. We also have some suggestions on what to do if your transfer hasn’t been credited to your old account.

How Long Does It Take to Transfer a Credit Card Balance?

Balance transfers can take as little as two days, but they can potentially take up to six weeks. The time it takes is determined by the credit card company in charge of the balance transfer. Plan on at least two to three weeks, if not more, between applying for a new card and completing a balance transfer. As a result, you may need to make at least one more payment on your old card before the new card provider clears its obligation.

If you want to utilize a new credit card to transfer a balance, you must factor in the time it takes the issuer to accept your application for a new card. Furthermore, although some card issuers allow you to begin the balance transfer procedure as soon as your new card is approved, others may need you to wait a certain number of days from account activation. This could add several days to your balance transfer plan.

Balance transfers involving the mailing of checks typically take longer than those involving electronic funds transfers.

What Is the Process of Balance Transfers?

You’re probably wondering how balance transfers work since you want to transfer part of your high-interest debt to a card with a reduced interest rate. This is a frequent debt consolidation approach that can help you save a lot of money on interest.

Balance transfers are not treated the same way by all credit card companies. Balance transfers are completed online by some firms, while others issue balance transfer checks directly to you, the account holder, which you subsequently mail to the cards you’re paying off. Some credit card companies may also allow you to transfer debt from a school loan, a personal loan, an auto loan, or a home equity line of credit.

According to American Express, a transfer normally takes five to seven days to complete, although the procedure can take up to six weeks. Balance transfer decisions are communicated through letters.

According to Discover, balance transfers are normally processed in seven days, with new accounts taking 14 days. Discover also states that if the creditor requires payment by cheque rather than electronically, the process may take much longer. To expedite the procedure, the business suggests completing a balance transfer application online.

The amount of time for a balance transfer for cards that run on the Visa or Mastercard networks varies depending on the financial institution providing the card. Capital One, for example, claims that transfers typically take three to fourteen days. However, the time period varies depending on whether the transfer is done electronically or by mail.

Furthermore, most credit card companies will charge a balance transfer fee, which is normally 3% to 5% of the transferred amount.

How long does it generally take to transfer a balance?

Balance transfers do not happen instantly. Expect the balance transfer process to take several days if you transfer a balance to a new credit card.

There are no hard and fast regulations governing how long it takes credit card providers to conduct a balance transfer. Balance transfer processing times vary depending on the lender and bank.

For example, Discover informs cardholders that balance transfers on a new credit account typically take seven to ten days. However, transferring a balance to an existing account takes only seven days to complete. Both Chase and Citi warn cardholders that balance transfers might take up to 21 days to complete, with Citi warning that the procedure can take even longer when transferring from certain institutions.

How Long Does Balance Transfer Take With Major Credit Card Companies

Let’s take a look at how long it can take to transfer funds with a few major credit card companies.

IssuerMinimum Estimated Processing TimeMaximum Estimated Processing TimeNotes & Guidelines
American Express5 to 7 business daysUp to 6 weeksIf you’re applying for a new card, American Express won’t process a balance transfer until 10 days after it has sent you your terms.
BarclaysUp to 4 weeks4 weeksIf you’re applying for a new card, Barclays will process your balance transfer 10 days after mailing your new card.
Bank of AmericaAt least 2 weeks2 weeks 
Capital One3 days14 daysYou need to wait 10 days after opening an account to request a balance transfer.
Chase1 week3 weeksIf you’re applying for a new card, Chase will process your balance transfer 10 days after mailing it. But the balance could still take up to three weeks to appear in your account.
Citi2 weeks2 weeks 
DiscoverWithin 4 daysWithin 4 daysIt will take up to two weeks to process a balance transfer on a new card. However, it may take less than a week to transfer a balance onto an existing Discover card.
U.S. BankUp to 2 weeks2 weeks 
Wells Fargo1 to 5 business daysUnknown 
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Check your credit card account to see if your balance transfer has been completed. Some lenders allow you to follow the status of your balance transfer online, making it simple to monitor its progress. To remain on top of a balance transfer, take these steps:

  1. Begin the balance transfer by phone or online. In just a few minutes, you may apply for a balance transfer online. Personal information such as your name, residence, Social Security number, and income will be required.
  2. Look for the transferred account’s balance to be deducted. When your balance transfer is authorized and processed, it will display as a debit on the card to which the balance was moved. In other words, if you transfer a $1,000 balance from the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card to the Citi® Double Cash Card, your transfer is complete once the $1,000 is deducted from your Citi Double Cash account (a balance transfer fee applies). Keep in mind that some credit cards may indicate a balance transfer as “pending” before it is completed. In that instance, your balance transfer is underway but not yet completed.
  3. Check the original account for any outstanding balances. You should also double-check your original credit card after your balance transfer has been completed to ensure there is no outstanding balance on the card. Sometimes customers believe they are transferring their full credit card balance without discovering that a few purchases haven’t yet been recorded to the card account, leaving them with an unanticipated balance on their old credit card.

How Long Does It Take Balance Transfers To Show?

Balance transfers can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks, depending on the credit card company, but they are usually completed within five to seven days. Knowing what to expect will help you stay current on your payments.

Why is My Balance Transfer Taking So Long?

Given that a balance transfer can take a few days or more than a month, receive an estimate of the turnaround time from your card provider before you begin the process. Keep in mind that when you apply for a new card, balance transfers typically take longer. This is also true if your card company prefers to send a paper check instead of transferring funds electronically.

While you’re waiting for a balance transfer, make sure you’re paying off your existing credit card debt. This is due to the fact that the balance transfer may be executed after your previous credit card account is billed again. If you do not make regular payments, you may face late fines and a reduction in your credit score.

What To Do If a Balance Transfer Does Not Appear On Your Original Card Account

If you believe the transfer is taking too long based on the time frames specified by the issuer to which you are transferring your balance, please call for an update. You may also need to contact the original card issuer again to find out when the monies will be applied to your balance.

If the transfer is already underway, there may be little you can do to expedite the procedure. In the meantime, keep up with your payments and check in with both issuers to ensure there are no further delays.

What Happens to My Debt After a Balance Transfer Request?

Your debt will remain with your previous lender until the balance transfer is completed. As a result, you’ll be responsible for paying the minimum amount due until your new lender sends a payment and your old lender acknowledges it.

Just because you requested a balance transfer and it is being completed does not imply you can avoid paying your bill for the month.

If your credit card statement is due and your former lender still shows that you owe a balance, you must pay the minimal amount due. If you leave the account unpaid for more than 30 days, you may face late fees from your credit card company or, worse, a delinquency on your credit record. 1 If both lenders are showing a balance and requesting payment, you may need to contact both lenders to resolve the situation.

Maintain vigilance on your old account until the balance has remained at $0 for at least a number of billing periods.

What Happens If I Change My Mind After Requesting a Balance Transfer?

If you change your mind before the transfer, you may be able to reverse it. If it’s a new card, you have 10 days after getting your new terms to rescind your request. However, certain lenders may provide a longer cancellation period.


If you wish to pay off your credit card debt, a balance transfer can assist you. Because balance transfers may not occur instantly, keep a close check on your balance transfer credit card account to track the process. If your balance transfer has not been completed within 21 days, contact your credit card company’s customer service department to find out what’s causing the delay. Continue to make payments on your original credit card until your balance transfer is complete and your original card displays a balance of $0.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do balance transfers hurt credit score?

Balance transfers will not directly influence your credit score, but applying for a new card may have an impact on your credit in both good and bad ways. A balance transfer can be a very wise long-term move as the cornerstone of a debt-reduction plan.

Can a balance transfer be denied?

Yes. If you try to transfer a balance from one credit card to another from the same card issuer, your balance transfer will most likely be refused. Transferring balances between accounts is usually restricted by the issuer.

How many times can you do a balance transfer?

You can normally transfer as many balances as you like to a single 0% APR card, but you must meet certain criteria.

Do balance transfers increase credit limit?

Balance transfers, on the other hand, do not raise your credit limit. You cannot transfer a balance that exceeds your account’s credit limit, and issuers will either reject such a balance transfer request or approve only a partial transfer.

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