Credit Card Balance Transfer - How Long Does it Take?

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The facility of balance transfer on credit cards can prove to be an amazing strategy to reduce your debt. You do not just consolidate various credit cards (and their payments) into one account; however, you are generally receiving the benefit of a 0% introductory offer.

Typically, balance transfer facility on a credit card takes around 5-7 days, but some of the credit card providers ask their customers to allow around 14 days or even 21 days for completing the transaction. In case you are considering going for a new balance transfer card and wanting to ensure that you are aware of how long would the transfer takes and whether or not you should make the transfer of the balance in the first place, keep reading.

The time taken for the transfer takes is dependent on the credit card company and various other factors that include whether you are opening a fresh or new account with the issuer, how are you applying for the balance transfer, and the mode of payment accepted by your existing creditor. 

How do Balance Transfer Credit Cards work?

Usually, balance transfer needs credit ranging from good to excellent; however, once you have qualified, the procedure is pretty simple. You only need to give the new creditor your account number that holds the existing balance and the total amount you are looking forward to transferring. After the transfer goes through, you will be making payments to the new creditor.

Now, that said, every card provider handles the balance transfers in his or her own way. Some of them will send the payments to your old creditor directly. On the other hand, some will provide you with the balance transfer cheques, which you should fill and send yourself. Some of the providers only handle balance transfers via mail. On the other hand, some will let you complete the procedure online.  Moreover, the new creditor might approve the entire transfer amount or just a part of it, based on your available credit limit and their transfer limits.

Simply put, that issuer you use and the way your issuer handles balance transfers have a considerable effect on the time the procedure will take. 

How long does Credit Card Balance Transfer usually take?

Most of the credit card issuers will offer you an idea of what you should expect before applying. However, there is no way of knowing in advance the exact time balance transfer process will take. Therefore, you must be ready to wait for a couple of weeks at least for the transfer to get approved and finished.  

Can I Speed up the Balance Transfer Process?

As mentioned above, each card issuer handles balance transfers in a slightly different manner, and most of the procedure is not in your control. Although you cannot exactly know how long would it take for the balance transfer to finish, there are some measures that you can take for making sure that the procedure is completed as smoothly as it is possible.

Here are a few tips for you.

  1. Balance transfer to new credit card account may take longer: In case you go for balance transfer to a new card account, you must expect that it will take slightly longer as opposed to when you transfer balance to an existing card account.
  1. Save time by applying online: Submitting the balance transfer credit card application online rather than sending an application physically via the mail would shave a few days off the waiting time. Moreover, many card issuers provide online tools, which will help you in tracking the status of the balance transfer.
  1. Apply for the facility of balance transfer while applying for a new credit card: Most of the issuers will allow you to request balance transfer at the time of applying for a new credit card. In case you have a huge balance to be transferred and wish to see what credit limit will be offered to you before you begin with the transfer process, you can choose to wait until you get approved for this card. In such a case, just make sure that you start the transfer as soon as you receive the information required. 

The Bottom Line!

Balance transfers can prove to be a good strategy; however, you must always pay close attention to the details. Your application procedure for the credit card balance transfer can take around a month to be completed. Any misstep in the process may lead to invalidation of the 0% APR as promised by the credit card provider.

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