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If you are saddled with high-interest credit card debt, transferring your balance to a lower interest credit card can save you hundreds of dollars a month. With a strategic balance transfer, you can make a dent in your debt faster than you might imagine.
Chase Bank provides some of the best credit cards available today, including some of the best credit cards for a balance transfer.
But how do you do a balance transfer with Chase? How long does it take? And what should you know before you take the leap? Whether you opt to make your balance transfer online or by phone, saving money with a balance transfer is easy once you know the steps and the potential pitfalls.
See if you are eligible for special offers
If you’re already a Chase customer, you can find a balance transfer credit card by logging into the Chase customer portal and searching for exclusive balance transfer offers. This is one easy way to find some of the best deals — the longest introductory rates and the lowest balance transfer fees.
Consider these Chase cards for balance transfers
Chase is known for its straightforward rewards, generous introductory offers, and member perks and benefits. But which is the best Chase card for a balance transfer?
Chase Slate® credit card
Chase Slate® credit card has no interest on balance transfers for 15 months, and no fees for balance transfers completed within the first 60 days of owning the card, making it an excellent value for new cardholders. There is also no annual fee. If you miss that 60-day window, though, your balance transfer will have the same APR as purchases, which can range from 16.99% to 25.74%, variable. You’ll also get hit with a 5% balance transfer fee. Another drawback? No rewards.
Chase Freedom® credit card
Chase Freedom has been one of Chase’s most popular credit cards for years – and with good reason. Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in bonus categories each quarter, and 1% on other purchases. As with the Slate card, transfer balances at 0% APR for the first 15 months of owning the card (regular variable APR of 17.24% – 25.99% after that). If you aren’t ready to transfer a balance yet, this card is a good choice, because you have 15 months, instead of two months, to take action. Just keep in mind you’ll pay a 3% balance transfer fee when you do and the earlier you transfer your balance, the longer you will have at the 0% introductory rate to avoid accruing interest.
Chase Freedom Unlimited® credit card
Chase Freedom Unlimited is another good card to carry if you intend to use the card for everyday purchases as well as for your balance transfer. But you won’t have to keep track of categories. Chase Freedom offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases. Chase Freedom Unlimited also has zero interest on balance transfers for the first 15 months (regular variable APR of 17.24% – 25.99% after that), and there’s no pressure to complete the transfer within 60 days to take advantage of the offer. The downside? You will pay a 3% balance transfer fee ($5 minimum), so do the math to determine if this is the best card for you.
Completing your balance transfer
Understand the terms
It’s important to read the fine print before you schedule your balance transfer. You should know that you cannot transfer balances from one Chase credit card to another. Also, balance transfers do not qualify for Chase Freedom® or Freedom Unlimited® rewards, so the rewards won’t offset the balance transfer fee. Finally, you cannot transfer a balance greater than your credit limit or $15,000, including interest charges and fees.
Make sure to make a note of all the important dates. Set a calendar reminder to ensure you complete your balance transfer within the 60-day $0 fee period for the Slate card. Also, note down when the introductory period is over so you know when you will start incurring interest and you can use that as a goal to clear as much of your balance as you can before that date.
Transfer your balance
Once you’ve identified the card that is best for you, complete the online application for a new card. Once you have been approved for, and received, your new card you have two options: Call the number on the back of your Chase card to make your balance by phone or follow the online prompts to complete your transfer online.
For over-the-phone transfers make sure to have all the important information you will need to hand. Both card account details, the address details that the cards are registered to, and the amount you want to transfer.
Keep making payments
It can take up to three weeks for Chase to process your balance transfer. If you are transferring the entire balance of a credit card onto a Chase card, continue to make at least the minimum payments on your existing card until your statement shows a zero balance. It’s important to check the account you transferred the balance from to make sure that the account shows $0 balance and to follow up with the credit card company if it doesn’t.
If you overpay or the balance transfer processes faster, you may receive a statement with a negative balance or a statement credit. You can make a purchase with your card to use that credit. Or you can send a written request to your credit card issuer to refund your overpayment. If you do nothing, you’ll get a check for the statement credit after six months.
Make a plan to pay off your new credit card
Taking advantage of a zero-percent balance transfer offer can be a great way to reduce your credit card debt – but only if you pay off the card before the introductory rate expires. Use Bankrate’s balance transfer calculator to determine how much you should pay per month to eliminate your debt before those interest charges ruin all your hard work. Make a budget and allocate as much as you can to reducing your balance each month.
Recap: How to successfully transfer a balance to a Chase credit card
Chase makes it easy to transfer balances online. After choosing the card that’s right for you, apply for the balance transfer as part of your new credit card application or schedule a balance transfer on an existing card.
Make sure to stay current on payments on your old card until the balance transfer is processed. Then, start making payments on your new Chase card as you watch your debt disappear.
Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.