What is a balance transfer?

When you move an existing credit card or store card balance, to a single credit card with a different provider, that’s a balance transfer.

How is a balance transfer useful?

  • A single balance to manage and one payment to make each month could make life easier.
  • You could reduce your overall borrowing costs by transferring higher interest balances to a credit card offering lower interest rates.

For a quick run through, watch our short video.

 

Watch our video to understand what a balance transfer credit card is, and how it works.

Can I transfer?

You can’t transfer from all cards – it’s not possible to transfer balances between cards issued by the same provider. For example, you can’t transfer between Halifax credit cards. You can only transfer balances from credit or store cards which feature the Mastercard®, American Express® or Visa® logo.

£100 is the minimum transfer amount. The maximum balance transfer amount is 93% of your credit limit, allowing for potential fees and any in-flight transactions which haven’t reached your account yet.

Important to know

Check the transfer rate – most people transfer balances while there are introductory or promotional interest rates available, although you can transfer a balance at a standard interest rate too.

Transfer fees might apply – balance transfer fees are usually a percentage of the transfer amount, and apply to each individual transfer. Remember to account for these when weighing up your options.

Transfers are subject to security checks, so they’re not guaranteed.

Here's a simple example of how a balance transfer works
 

Imagine you’ve got a credit card offering 0% on balance transfers for 12 months, with no other balances on the card.

Your cards

On an old credit card you have a balance of £2,000, with an interest rate of 20%.

Your second credit card offers 0% interest for 12 months on balance transfers made within the first 60 days, with a 1% transfer fee.

Making a transfer

After completing your transfer, your outstanding balance on your second credit card, including fees, is £2,020.

Paying it back

If you pay £202 on time every month, and you don’t use your card to make any other purchases, you could clear your balance within 10 months, without paying any interest.

It’s useful to know that the standard interest rate will apply to any remaining balance when the promotional interest rate expires.

Things to consider before you transfer

  • Remember to check all fees and interest rates, just to make sure a balance transfer is the right option for you.
  • Continue to make any required payments to your existing provider, just until your transfer shows as complete on both accounts.
  • Be realistic about how long it’ll take to repay your balance. After any introductory or promotional interest rates expire, it’s important to know that your standard interest rates are likely to be higher.
  • You could lose any promotional interest rates if you break the terms and conditions of your credit card account, for example, by missing a payment or going over your credit limit.
  • Promotional interest rates won’t apply to all transactions, so you need to understand how using a balance transfer credit card for other things could affect the cost of borrowing and time to repay.

How to request a balance transfer

Existing Halifax customer?

You can request a balance transfer in a few ways:
 

What you’ll need:

  • The details of the credit card you want to transfer from, including the total balance.
  • If you’re applying online, you’ll need your Online Banking sign in details.
  • Your phone – we’ll contact you to complete a security check.

Not a customer?

If you’re looking for a new Halifax credit card to transfer balances to, use our eligibility checker to find credit cards you’re likely to be accepted for, with no impact to your credit score.

Frequently asked  transfer questions
 

A summary on balance transfers

With a balance transfer, move existing credit or store card balances to single credit card.

 

  • With all of your borrowing in one place, your balances could be easier to manage.
  • You could take advantage of an introductory or promotional interest rate for a set period of time.
  • The minimum balance you can transfer is £100, the maximum is dependent on your credit limit.
  • Other ways to use a credit card include card purchases, money transfers and cash transactions.

Halifax is a division of Bank of Scotland plc. Registered in Scotland No. SC327000. Registered Office: The Mound, Edinburgh EH1 1YZ. Bank of Scotland plc is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority under registration number 169628.