Can You Do Multiple Balance Transfers?

September 23, 2019
Can You Do Multiple Balance Transfers?

Similar to applying for multiple credit cards, you might be wondering if it’s possible to execute multiple balance transfers in a short window of time.

The good news is that yes, you can do multiple transfers in a small span of time, or even several in a single transaction if needed.

In fact, when you apply for a credit card balance transfer, there will typically be several slots to list multiple credit cards in need of transfer.

For example, if you’ve got outstanding balances on a Discover card and a Chase card that you’d like to move to a new 0% APR credit card with American Express, it should be something you can do in one go.

Assuming your new credit line with the Amex balance transfer card is large enough, both balances can be moved at the time of application.

So you might move $1,500 from Discover and another $2,500 from Chase to your Amex, which would then have a total outstanding balance of $4,000, plus any applicable balance transfer fees.

As noted, it’s also possible to do several balance transfers over time, though like credit card applications, it’s probably best to space them apart several months at minimum.

Applying for too much new credit in a short span of time isn’t a great idea, at least in terms of your credit score health.

However, saving money generally trumps a little credit score ding, so personally I’d opt to do whatever had to be done to reduce finance charges, and worry about the credit score impact second.

Tip: You need good credit to get approved for balance transfers, so be sure to practice healthy credit habits if you want to take advantage of the best offers.

Can You Do a Balance Transfer from the Same Card Twice?

  • It’s possible to transfer balances from the same card twice
  • So you can run up the balance and transfer it to a different card
  • Then do the same thing several months or years later
  • But ask yourself why you keep overspending if that’s the case

Again, the answer is yes. As I’ve indicated before, a balance transfer is essentially a payment, so doing it twice is akin to making two payments.

It’s just that the payment is coming from the credit card issuer via the balance transfer, instead of out of your own pocket. But it doesn’t really matter much.

For example, say you ran up $4,000 on a Citi credit card, and Discover is offering 0% APR for 15 months with just a 3% fee.

You could transfer that $4,000 (plus $120 fee) to Discover and pay it off over those 15 months, while continuing to use your Citi card.

Now let’s fast forward to a year later and your Citi credit card balance is back up to $3,000. How’d that happen? Oops.

Don’t fret, it’s possible to balance transfer from the same card twice. It might even be possible to move the balance to Discover again, without having to open up a new balance transfer credit card.

You’d just mosey on over to Discover’s website to see if they had any available balance transfer offers. If so, you could have the Citi card paid off a second time via balance transfer.

It doesn’t have to be Discover the second time though – it could be another existing credit card you have, a balance transfer check, and so on.

And it’s not a big deal, though you may want to keep an eye on your spending if you continuously run up large balances you’re unable to pay off in full.

Can I Have Two Balance Transfer Cards?

  • There’s nothing special about a balance transfer credit card
  • Most credit cards come with a balance transfer option
  • And there’s no limit to how many credit cards you can have across issuers
  • But if you open too many cards it may get more difficult to get approved for subsequent ones

Once again, yes, you can have two balance transfer credit cards, or even three or more.

It’s really no different than holding half a dozen credit cards in your wallet at any given time. Again, you want to limit how many of these cards and offers you take advantage of, but there’s no hard limit.

And it doesn’t matter if it’s a balance transfer card versus any other credit card.

As noted above, you might have multiple credit cards in your possession that allow balance transfers.

Or you may apply for two separate balance transfer cards over the span of a month or two if you can’t transfer the entire balance onto just one card.

There are lots of possibilities here, and no reason to worry if you need more than one balance transfer to get the job done.

Just pay attention to the fees and be sure not to get in over your head. And again, check your spending habits if you consistently need to transfer balances.

How Often Can You Transfer Credit Card Balances?

  • There’s no specific time limit imposed by credit card issuers
  • But some credit card companies limit how many new cards you can apply for
  • So you could run into roadblocks if you open too many credit cards in a short period of time
  • And the offers might dry up if you apply repeatedly

There isn’t a hard and fast rule when it comes to how often you can transfer balances.

While credit card issuers probably don’t impose any specific limits, your own credit history and credit scores will dictate the limits.

For example, if you’ve applied for a ton of new credit cards in the past year, an issuer may decline your subsequent balance transfer application.

Or you may find that the balance transfer offers attached to your existing cards have dried up if you keep going to that well.

Conversely, you may have no trouble transferring balances over and over again if you’ve got good credit and you’re spacing your applications out at a reasonable clip.

Again, if you have to ask this question, it might time to take a hard look at your spending to determine why you need to keep transferring balances, as opposed to paying them off in full.

Can I Keep Transferring Credit Card Balances?

  • It might be possible to run up a bunch of credit card debt
  • Then shuffle it from credit card to credit card while making just minimum payments
  • But you’ll likely be hit with balance transfer fees along the way and the offers might disappear
  • At which point you could be stuck with some expensive debt and no options other than paying it off in full

Yes, assuming a credit card issuer is willing to take on your debt.

For example, say you charge $2,500 on an Amex card and don’t want to pay it off. It might be possible to move that money to Chase, and then onto Discover and so on.

But there’s a good chance you’ll have to pay balance transfer fees along the way, which makes doing so less attractive.

Additionally, you might run out of options if you do it too much.

There’s also your credit score to worry about, which may drop if you continue to carry large credit card balances month after month.

Ultimately, balance transfers are a good tool to pay down debt or provide cheap short-term liquidity if you need to make a large purchase and pay it back slowly.

They shouldn’t be abused and used excessively, just like anything else.

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