Balance Transfer Calculator for Calculating Credit Card Offers

Balance Transfer Calculator Sign

This calculator will calculate the net consequences of transferring any number of higher rate credit card balances to a card offering a low introductory rate.

The calculator takes into consideration your current monthly interest and fees and compares them before and after the introductory offer -- including any balance transfer fees that may apply.

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Balance Transfer Calculator

Calculate a balance transfer's net consequences to see if it will actually end up saving you money.

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Selected Data Record:

A Data Record is a set of calculator entries that are stored in your web browser's Local Storage. If a Data Record is currently selected in the "Data" tab, this line will list the name you gave to that data record. If no data record is selected, or you have no entries stored for this calculator, the line will display "None".

DataData recordData recordSelected data record: None
Balance Transfer Offer:Balance Transfer Offer Details:Balance Transfer Offer Details:Balance Transfer Offer Details:

Balance Transfer Offer Details:

Enter all the details of the balance transfer offer in this section. This section must be completed before you can begin adding credit card balances to transfer in the next section.

Intro rate:Introductory rate:Introductory interest rate:Introductory interest rate:

Introductory interest rate:

Enter the introductory annual interest rate of the credit card you will be transferring balances to. Enter as a percentage but without the percent sign (for 3.9% or .039, enter 3.9). If the rate is 0%, enter 0.

%
Intro term:Introductory term:Introductory term in months:Introductory term in months:

Introductory term in months:

Enter the number of months the introductory interest rate will last for.

#
Post rate:Post term rate:Post introductory term interest rate:Post introductory term interest rate:

Post introductory term interest rate:

Enter the annual interest rate that will go into effect once the introductory term has ended. If the offer states a range of possibilities (e.g., 10.99% to 18.99%), enter the highest rate listed. Enter as a percentage but without the percent sign (for .1899 or 18.99%, enter 18.99).

%
Annual fee:

Annual fee:

If the card you are transferring balances to has an annual fee, enter the amount here. Otherwise, leave blank or enter a zero.

$
Fee percent:Fee percentage:Balance transfer fee percentage:Balance transfer fee percentage:

Balance transfer fee percentage:

Enter the balance transfer fee percentage (usually 3% to 5%). Enter as a percentage but without the percent sign (for .03 or 3%, enter 3).

%
Fee cap:Transfer fee cap:Balance transfer fee cap:Balance transfer fee cap:

Balance transfer fee cap:

Enter the balance transfer fee cap or maximum (usually $50 to $75), but without the dollar sign or any commas. If there is no balance transfer fee cap, leave this field blank.

$
Enter Cards to Transfer

Enter Cards to Transfer:

To add a card, enter the name, balance, interest rate, and payment amount. When you're satisfied with the entries, tap the + button (may also appear as "Add" or "Add Card" depending on the width of your device).

To edit a card in the list, tap the radio button in the Edit column. This will load the card into the form for editing. When you're satisfied with the changes you've made, tap the S button (may also appear as "Save" or "Save Changes" depending on the width of your device).

To delete a card from the list, tap the radio button in the Edit column. This will load the card into the form for deleting. Tap the button (may also appear as "Delete" depending on the width of your device).

To clear the form to create a new card entry, tap the C button (may also appear as "Clr" or "Clear" depending on the width of your device).

Important! The entered cards are saved in your device's random memory (temporary storage), which means that if you surf to another calculator or close this browser window you will need to re-enter your debts.

Card name:Credit card name:Credit card name:Credit card name:

Credit card name:

Enter the name of the credit card you plan to transfer the balance from.

Balance:Balance owed:Balance owed:Balance owed:

Balance owed:

Enter the balance owed for this credit card, without the dollar sign or any commas. This usually appears on your monthly credit card statement.

$
Rate:Interest rate:Annual interest rate:Annual interest rate:

Annual interest rate:

Enter the annual interest rate that applies to this credit card. Enter as a percentage, but without the percent sign (for .06 or 6%, enter 6). If this credit card has more than one interest rate (1 for purchases and 1 for cash advances), enter the lower of the two so as not to skew the results in favor of a balance transfer.

%
Annual fee:

Annual fee:

Enter the annual fee if the credit card charges one, but without the dollar sign or any commas. If a card does not charge an annual fee, either leave blank or enter a zero.

$
Monthly cost:Monthly cost:Monthly cost:Monthly cost:

Monthly cost:

Based on the balance owed, interest rate, and annual fee entries, this field calculates how much interest and fees you will pay on this card per month if the balance remains unchanged.

Intro cost:Intro term cost:Introductory term cost:Introductory term cost:

Introductory term cost:

This field multiplies the monthly cost by the number of months in the introductory term, giving you your introductory term costs if you decide not to transfer your balances to the new credit card.

Introductory Term Comparison

Introductory term comparison rows:

Current totals (Crnt): This row contains the calculations of your current credit card balances, interest cost and fees.

Transfer totals (Trfr): This row contains the calculations of your current credit card balances if transferred to the card you entered balance transfer terms for. Note that the balance includes the addition of the balance transfer fee, which is also included in the monthly fee result field (transfer fee ÷ introductory months).

Introductory term savings: This row contains the monthly and introductory term savings that will occur if you transfer the entered balances to the new credit card -- assuming all balances remain unchanged for the introductory term. If the results are negative, that means transferring balances will actually end up costing you more money than you are currently paying out.

Bal
Owed
Bal
Owed
Balance
Owed
Balance
Owed
Mon
Int
Mon
Int
Monthly
Interest
Monthly
Interest
Mon
Fees
Mon
Fees
Monthly
Fees
Monthly
Fees
Mon
Tot
Mon
Tot
Monthly
Totals
Monthly
Totals
Term
Tot
Term
Tot
Term
Totals
Term
Totals
Crnt:Crnt:Current:Current totals:
Trfr:Trfr:Transfer:Transfer totals:
Introductory term savings:Introductory term savings:Introductory term transfer savings:Introductory term balance transfer savings:
Post Introductory Term Comparison

Post introductory term comparison rows:

Current totals (Crnt): This row contains the calculations of your current credit card balances, interest cost and fees.

Transfer totals (Trfr): This row contains the calculations of your current credit card balances if transferred to the card you entered balance transfer terms for -- but does not include the introductory period.

Post intro term savings: This row contains the monthly and annual savings that will occur after the introductory term expires -- assuming the transferred balance remains unchanged. If the results are negative, that means transferring balances will actually end up costing you more money than you are currently paying out once the introductory period expires.

Bal
Owed
Bal
Owed
Balance
Owed
Balance
Owed
Mon
Int
Mon
Int
Monthly
Interest
Monthly
Interest
Mon
Fees
Mon
Fees
Monthly
Fees
Monthly
Fees
Mon
Tot
Mon
Tot
Monthly
Totals
Monthly
Totals
Ann
Tot
Ann
Tot
Annual
Totals
Annual
Totals
Crnt:Crnt:Current:Current totals:
Trfr:Trfr:Transfer:Transfer totals:
Post intro term savings:Post introductory term savings:Post introductory term transfer savings:Post introductory term balance transfer savings:

If you would like to save the current entries to the secure online database, tap or click on the Data tab, select "New Data Record", give the data record a name, then tap or click the Save button. To save changes to previously saved entries, simply tap the Save button. Please select and "Clear" any data records you no longer need.

Help and Tools

Learn

What a balance transfer is, factors to consider, and why a credit card company is not your friend.

What is a Balance Transfer?

A balance transfer is what usually happens when we allow the balance on a high-interest rate card to creep up to the point we are forced to take on a part-time job just to pay the interest charges on the credit card.

About that time we get a balance transfer offer in the mail stating that they will allow us to transfer our higher rate balances to their card and they will charge us little or no interest for a period of 6-months to a year. Sounds good, right?

It is a good deal, but only if you cut up the cards and close the accounts you transfer the balances from. Otherwise, guess what typically happens? That's right, because you have little or no available credit on the new card, you end up charging purchases to the cards that now have plenty of available credit.

In other words, if you have not learned your lesson about carrying balances on credit cards before you make a balance transfer, you will most likely end up with two, three, or four times the amount of credit card debt as you had before the balance transfer. Why do you think credit card companies make those generous balance transfer offers?

What Are the Factors to Consider?

When considering a credit card balance transfer offer, here are some factors you need to be aware of before making your decision.

Penalty APR Supersedes Introductory Rate

If you read the fine print on the credit card offer you will likely "discover" that if you're late making just one of your payments, your "introductory rate" will permanently skyrocket to a Penalty APR of up to 29.99%! Now, if you have a working crystal ball that says you will never experience a sudden loss or drop in income, then feel free to totally disregard this warning.

Balance Transfer Fees

In most cases, you can expect to pay a 3% to 5% fee on the total of transferred balances. In other words, the 0% APR being advertised is true only if you consider the balance transfer fee to not be a sly way to charge you interest anyway. What's more, the balance transfer fee is usually added to your transferred balance, which could result in you exceeding your credit limit, and voila! You're the proud owner of a brand new Penalty APR!

Post Introductory Period Rate?

Typically the credit card company will state something like, "After that (introductory period), your APR will be 10.99% to 18.99% based on your creditworthiness and will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate."

If you think your post-introductory rate will be 10.99% after they just spent 6-months to a year collecting little or no interest from you, then the phone is for you -- it's reality calling.

No Rewards or Grace Periods

In the fine print of most offers, you will "discover" that transferred balances do not earn rewards and there is no grace period for avoiding interest charges.

Friend or Foe?

The balance transfer sales pitches all have that "We're Your Friend and We've Come to Your Rescue!" type of revelation on them, but would a true friend make the following kinds of statements when making an offer to assist you?

  • "We use the highest prime rate listed in the Wall Street Journal ..."
  • "Each time you fail to make a payment when due, we may add up to five percentage points to your APR."
  • "We will apply payments at our discretion, including a manner most favorable or convenient for us."

The defense rests.

Adjust Calculator Width:

Move the slider to left and right to adjust the calculator width. Note that the Help and Tools panel will be hidden when the calculator is too wide to fit both on the screen. Moving the slider to the left will bring the instructions and tools panel back into view.

Also note that some calculators will reformat to accommodate the screen size as you make the calculator wider or narrower. If the calculator is narrow, columns of entry rows will be converted to a vertical entry form, whereas a wider calculator will display columns of entry rows, and the entry fields will be smaller in size ... since they will not need to be "thumb friendly".

Show/Hide Popup Keypads:

Select Show or Hide to show or hide the popup keypad icons located next to numeric entry fields. These are generally only needed for mobile devices that don't have decimal points in their numeric keypads. So if you are on a desktop, you may find the calculator to be more user-friendly and less cluttered without them.

Stick/Unstick Tools:

Select Stick or Unstick to stick or unstick the help and tools panel. Selecting "Stick" will keep the panel in view while scrolling the calculator vertically. If you find that annoying, select "Unstick" to keep the panel in a stationary position.

If the tools panel becomes "Unstuck" on its own, try clicking "Unstick" and then "Stick" to re-stick the panel.