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Capital One is a financial services company that offers a wide range of consumer financial services including credit cards. It is the third largest credit card issuer with thirteen different credit cards ranging from travel to rewards-based offers. Capital One also offers balance transfer credit cards for new and existing cardholders which can be helpful for anyone currently carrying a credit card balance.
What is a Balance Transfer?
A balance transfer involves opening a new credit card with a presumably lower interest rate and moving the balance from an older, higher-interest credit card to the new low-rate card. It enables a person who may be struggling with high interest payments to start paying down that balance at a much lower interest rate; it also offers consumers a chance to improve their credit scores down the road.
Technically speaking, when debt is transferred to a new card, the new card provider pays off the debt to the old card issuer, leaving the consumer indebted to a new card provider.
In many cases, a balance transfer credit card offers a 0 percent introductory APR for a year or even longer. Transitioning high-interest credit card debt to a card such as this can save a person a significant amount of money.
The main motivation involves paying off debt sooner than usual by taking advantage of the lower APR and lower interest payments.
How Does It Work With Capital One?
To transfer credit card debt to a Capital One credit card, the process is fairly simple and should only take a few minutes. It can be completed over the phone or through Capital One’s website.
To start, you will need some information about the credit card account involved with the balance transfer such as the account number and debt value. The old account is considered the “transfer from” account while the new Capital One account will be the “transfer to” account.
Next, if you choose to call, you can call the customer service number located on the back of a Capital One credit card (it can also be found online). The customer service representative will walk you through the process of signing you up for a new credit card. He or she will also likely verify the “transfer from” account information.
After confirmation, the balance will transfer, but this step can take up to three weeks to process. With that in mind, you may want to send the minimum payment to your credit card company to ensure that you are not charged for missing a payment.
If you complete the balance transfer online, you can log in through the Capital One website, but you must have a pre-existing account to do this. On the “My Accounts” page, choose “Transfer a Balance.” You can then select an offer by choosing from a range of introductory offers.
Next, input the “transfer from” account information including the amount that you want to transfer. Review and accept the terms of the offer, and you can finish submitting the balance transfer request.
Keep in mind that you must have an account of some sort with Capital One to follow these steps, so you may need a bank account or credit card with them already. If you don’t, then you may need to outright apply for a balance transfer credit card from Capital One, then request a transfer after being approved for the card itself.
Transferring Debt Away From Capital One
To transfer a Capital One credit card balance to a different credit card company, you would follow the same process — except that the Capital One card would be the “transfer from” account. Simply call or log into the new credit card company’s website, and provide information about the Capital One account that you want to transfer to the new credit card.
If you don’t have an account with the new company, then you would essentially have to apply for a new credit card, presumably a balance transfer option. After approval for the new card, then you would have to request the balance transfer.
Balance Transfer Fees to Expect
The terms and conditions of each balance transfer offer will vary significantly. Most credit card companies will offer low introductory Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) for balance transfers, and these introductory periods can last anywhere from six months to over 18 months. After the period is over, you would have to deal with a standard balance transfer APR.
Most credit cards change a balance transfer fee on top of the APR. Many options charge a three percent balance transfer fee, but there are other common fees to consider. In many cases, credit cards may charge either three or 5 percent on a balance transfer balance, but they also may charge a flat rate of either $5 or $10. There are two different rates, but the option that generates the most revenue for the card issuer is chosen each time.
If you are contemplating a balance transfer, be sure to carefully examine the terms and conditions, including the APR, length of introductory offers, and the balance transfer fees.
A balance transfer can be a smart way to pay off credit card debt. Make sure that you carefully review the terms and conditions before you sign up, and that you stay on top of your payments to pay off your debt before the introductory period ends.
Author: Andrew Rombach
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