If you’re looking for an easy way to pay off excess credit card debt without paying interest, a balance transfer is often a good idea.
Should I transfer a balance to a Capital One card?
You may want to consolidate your credit card debt, or you may have opened a new Capital One credit card and want to move over the balance to help you better keep track of your payments. Regardless of your reasons, you may want to know first whether a balance transfer will hurt your credit score.
Good news: If you transfer a balance to a credit card and then pay that balance off, your credit score is very likely to improve. In fact, if you open a new credit card to take advantage of a 0 percent introductory APR period on balance transfers, your credit score might even start improving right away.
This has to do with what’s called a credit utilization ratio, which is the amount of credit you have available to use compared to the amount of credit you’re actually using. Adding a balance transfer credit card to your wallet increases the amount of credit you have, but it doesn’t change the amount of credit you’re using—your credit utilization ratio could go down, and your credit score could go up.
However, if you open a balance transfer credit card, transfer a balance and charge new debt to your credit cards before paying that balance off, your credit utilization ratio could get worse, and your credit score could go down. Likewise, if you never pay off your balance and keep transferring it from card to card, your credit score is unlikely to improve.
Keep in mind that balance transfers, like most aspects of credit card management, are only worth it when used responsibly.
How do I make a Capital One balance transfer online?
You can’t transfer a balance from one Capital One card to another Capital One card. You can, however, transfer a Chase balance, a Discover balance or a balance from another credit card issuer to a Capital One card.
Here’s how to complete a balance transfer with Capital One:
Step 1: Log in to your Capital One credit card account dashboard.
Step 2: Locate the credit card you want to use for the balance transfer and click “View Account.” Then, look for the menu option “I Want To,” which should be located in the middle right of your screen next to a gear icon.
Step 3: Click “I Want To.” You’ll be taken to a second menu that includes a list of new options. Find and click “Transfer a balance.”
Step 4: You’ll be taken to a screen that outlines your current balance transfer offer, including how much you’ll pay in interest, whether you’ll be charged a balance transfer fee and any time limits associated with either the interest or fees. Click “Select Offer” to get a new menu labeled “Choose an Option.” From there, select “Transfer a Balance.”
Step 5: If you have two-factor authentication set up, you’ll be asked to confirm your identity before you continue. At this point, you’ll see a screen that asks you to enter the account number of the account from which you’re transferring the balance as well as the amount of the transfer.
How long does it take Capital One to process a balance transfer?
According to Capital One, balance transfers take about 10 business days to process.
It’s important to remember that until your requested balance transfer processes, it may continue to accrue interest on the original credit card. After your balance transfer is finished, check the account from which you transferred the balance to see if there is any outstanding interest that needs to be paid off. It could take up to 30 days for the interest to appear on your account.
Likewise, unless the balance transfer process completes before your next credit card payment is due, the card issuer will still expect payment from you—and it can penalize you with late fees if you miss it.
What are the best cards for a Capital One balance transfer?
Credit card providers frequently update their balance transfer offers, with many eliminating these offers throughout the year and then reinstating them later. As of fall 2021, Capital One has updated its balance transfer offers for several cards.
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card offers an introductory 0 percent APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (14.99 percent to 24.99 percent variable APR after that) and includes a balance transfer fee of 3 percent.
The card does come with some perks: You’ll earn unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on each purchase you make. Additionally, if you charge $500 in purchases within three months of opening your account, you’ll earn a one-time $200 cash bonus.
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card features a 0 percent intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (14.99 percent to 24.99 percent variable APR after that). It has also updated its balance transfer fee to 3 percent.
It’s possible to earn a steady stream of cash back with this card. The SavorOne is a bonus category cash back card that earns an unlimited 3 percent cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target), plus 1 percent back on all other purchases. You can also earn 8 percent cash back on tickets purchased at Vivid Seats through January 2023. Additionally, like the Quicksilver card, you can earn a one-time cash bonus of $200 after spending $500 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account.
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card offers a 0 percent intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (14.99 percent to 24.99 percent variable APR after that). It also includes a balance transfer fee of 3 percent.
This is another rewards card, offering 1.25X miles on every purchase you make. You’ll also be able to earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within the first three months of opening an account (equal to $200 in travel).
The bottom line
If you’re ready to pay down your high-interest credit card debt, transferring your balance to a new card that offers a 0 percent introductory interest rate makes sense. The problem? Not all credit card providers provide these 0 percent offers at all times, so be sure to check periodically for new offers or changes to offers.
As of fall 2021, Capital One has reintroduced its 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers with three of its cards, making the issuer a good choice for people who want to transfer their balance to a new card.
See related: How to do a balance transfer with Citi