It looks like you're using an outdated browser.
For a better experience, we recommend switching to a more modern browser like Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge. Learn more.
Online Banking Login

News & Tips

How Do Credit Card Balance Transfers Help Slash Debt?

If you carry a large outstanding debt, especially with a credit card that has a high interest rate, then transferring your balance to a different credit card may help you cut down on debt. Before moving forward with a balance transfer, take your time shopping for a new card, consider the pros and cons, and have a plan in place to pay off the debt. Read on to learn all that and more! 

What is a credit card balance transfer?

A credit card balance transfer is a transaction where your new credit card issuer moves outstanding debt to a different credit card. In most cases, credit card providers will only transfer debt from a credit card, but sometimes, they’ll transfer debt from loans too.  

Ideally, you’d move the debt to a credit card with an interest-free introductory period, allowing time for you to pay off the debt without accruing more interest. 

Some credit cards require a balance transfer fee, which is typically 3%-5% of the transfer amount or a flat amount, but Space Coast Credit Union (SCCU) doesn’t have any credit card balance transfer fees. 

Benefits of Transferring a Credit Card Balance 

Let’s take a look at the pros of transferring a credit card balance:

  • Transferring a credit card balance to a card with 0% APR* can allow you to time avoid accruing more interest on an outstanding amount and give you time to pay off debt faster. 
  • By paying off your debt and making payments on time, you have a better chance of improving your credit score. 
  • With some credit cards, you can transfer balances from multiple credit cards to help you pay off the outstanding debt with one monthly payment. 

Disadvantages of Transferring a Credit Card Balance

Here are some potential cons of a credit card balance transfer:

  • Your credit takes a hard hit when you apply for a new credit card. Learn more about getting a good credit score here
  • If you choose a credit card with a balance transfer fee, you may be paying more with the transfer than what you could be saving by staying with your current credit card’s rate. 
  • You may be unable to pay off the debt before the APR* returns to a new rate, which could be higher than the rate you had with your old credit card. Note – be sure to mark your calendar the date of the end of the interest-free introductory period.

Should you close your old credit card?

It’s not a good idea to close out a credit card, even if you’ve paid it off. Credit history makes up 15% of your overall credit score, and closing an old credit card could drop your score. Additionally, closing a credit card would reduce your overall credit limit and could impact your credit utilization score.

How to Know if Transferring a Credit Card Balance is for You

Whether or not a balance transfer is right for you depends on a number of factors, such as interest rates, length of the interest-free introductory period, any balance transfer fees, and the outstanding debt amount. Thankfully, this balance transfer calculator can help!

Let’s take a look at an example to see how much you can save on interest by transferring to a credit card with an interest-free introductory period. 

Current credit card:

  • Current credit card balance: $2,500
  • Interest rate: 22%
  • Monthly payment: $450

New credit card:

  • Balance transfer fee: 0%
  • Intro period: 6 months
  • Introductory rate: 0%
  • Standard rate: 17% APR*

Total interest saved: $161.09

See more financial calculators for debt consolidation, loans, budgeting, saving, and more!

How to Select the Best Credit Card for a Balance Transfer

As you’re shopping for the best credit card for a balance transfer, here are some key features to look for:

  • No balance transfer fee
  • 0% introductory APR* (at least 6 months is ideal) specifically for balance transfers
  • A low standard interest rate (after the interest-free introductory period ends)

Additionally, as this is a credit card you’ll likely want to keep for years to come, be sure to look for:

  • Any other fees, such as annual fees or cash advance fees
  • Fraud prevention features
  • Rewards programs

Here’s more information about choosing the best credit card to fit your needs.

How to Do a Credit Card Balance Transfer

Ready to get started with a credit card balance transfer? Here are the steps you’ll need to take:

1. Check your credit score. You can check your FICO® Score at SCCU for free in your Online or Mobile Banking account and your credit reports for free once a year at The higher your credit score, the better chance you’ll have for a lower interest rate for your credit card after the interest-free introductory period ends. 

2. Shop for a credit card. In most cases, you can’t transfer a balance to a new credit card under the same credit card provider. Talk to the credit card provider about their minimum credit score and balance transfer requirements. 

3. Apply for the credit card. It’s best to apply for only one credit card for your balance transfer, as an application is a hard hit to your credit score. Also, too many applications in a short period of time can also negatively impact your score. You can get started applying for a credit card at SCCU here

4. Begin the balance transfer. You’ll need to request the amount you want to transfer and provide existing credit card account information. It can take a couple of weeks to for the payment to process. Keep making payments on the old account balance while the transfer is in process. 

Then, it’s time to put every penny you can towards slashing that credit card debt! Be sure to continue making credit card payments on time to have the best chance to improve your credit score. 

Why Apply for a Credit Card at Space Coast Credit Union?

While banks usually have higher credit card interest rates and fees, you won’t have to worry so much about those with a credit union because they’re not-for-profit co-operatives. 

Here are some of the highlights of credit cards at SCCU:

  • No balance transfer fees and no annual fees with any of our credit cards. 
  • Credit card rates at SCCU do not exceed 18% APR*.
  • Visa Signature®45, Visa® Platinum13, and Visa® Low Rate44 credit cards have a 0% APR* for 6 months. 
  • Visa Signature® offers a points program43 and Visa® Platinum offers a cashback program33, so you can earn rewards on every purchase!
  • Fraud prevention features: Card Controls companion app, ID Navigator powered by NortonLifeLock46, free 2Way Text Fraud Alerts, and Visa®  Zero Liability Protection14
  • Digital wallet mobile payment options

If you live or work in any of these 34 counties in Florida or you have a family member at SCCU, you can become a member of SCCU and consider getting a credit card with us for your balance transfer. 

Additional Debt Consolidation Strategies

If you believe you need more time to pay off debt or have other outstanding debt you’d like to pay off at a lower interest rate, feel rest assured that you have options! 

You may be able to refinance your home or car loan or bundle outstanding debts into a personal loan or a home equity loan at a lower interest rate. 

Keep in mind that before moving forward with consolidating debt, you may want to consider meeting with a credit counselor to help you come up with a game plan. 

Learn more about how to consolidate debt here.

More About Space Coast Credit Union

SCCU is the third-largest credit union in Florida, serving 34 counties throughout Florida with Online and Mobile Banking and more than 60 branches. We offer a financial suite of credit cards, checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), home loans, auto loans, small business accounts and loans, digital banking options, and personal loans. We also offer helpful resources for financial wellness and fraud prevention

Apply for a credit card at SCCU today!

How to Help Kids and Teens Save More Money
June 20, 2024 By Space Coast Credit Union
This article will cover a variety of tips to help kids and teens learn practical hands-on ways to build essential money management skills.
Definitive Guide to Student Credit Cards
May 28, 2024 By Space Coast Credit Union
High school students can practice financial responsibility through a student credit card!
How to Open a CD in Florida with Space Coast Credit Union
April 26, 2024 By Space Coast Credit Union
See all the steps to open a CD in Florida with Space Coast Credit Union.
Does Paying Off Loans Early Hurt Your Credit?
April 5, 2024 By Space Coast Credit Union
Are you worried about what will happen to your credit score if you pay a loan off early? Learn more here.
Why Visa Signature is the Best Points Credit Card (With No Annual Fee!)
February 23, 2024 By Space Coast Credit Union
Looking to get a credit card? Here are numerous reasons why Visa Signature is the best points-based credit card (with no annual fee!).
How Do Credit Card Balance Transfers Help Slash Debt?
January 22, 2024 By Space Coast Credit Union
Learn more about what a balance transfer is and how it can help you cut down on debt and save more money.
Secured Credit Cards vs. Secured Loans
December 15, 2023 By Space Coast Credit Union
Secured lending refers to loans requiring collateral for loan approval. Types of collateral loans include secured credit cards & loans secured by bank accounts.
10 Easy Ways to Save Money in College
August 31, 2023 By Space Coast Credit Union
Here are 10 ways to save money while in college, allowing you to spend less time staring at an empty bank account and more time living the fun college life.
Alternative Ways to Save for Retirement Beyond 401(k)s
August 18, 2023 By Space Coast Credit Union
Perhaps your employer doesn’t offer a 401(k) or you’re self-employed. See some of the best alternative ways to save for retirement.
How Many Credit Cards Should I Have?
July 27, 2023 By Members' Watchdog
You might receive offers in the mail or at stores to apply for a credit card. But you might be concerned that having too many credit cards may negatively impact your credit.
How to Choose the Best Student Checking Account for Teens
June 2, 2023 By Members' Watchdog
We break down how to find the best student checking account for teens in just five steps. See them here!
Money Market Accounts: Everything You Need to Know
March 10, 2023 By Members' Watchdog
Money market accounts offer a plethora of savings benefits. Explore them all here.
How CD Laddering Works and Benefits of this Savings Strategy
February 13, 2023 By Space Coast Credit Union
Laddering CDs involves opening multiple CDs with staggered maturities. Let’s break down CD ladders so you can divide and conquer! 
Debit Card vs. Credit Card: Which One is Better?
February 3, 2023 By Space Coast Credit Union
We’ll go over the advantages and disadvantages of debit cards vs. credit cards. Plus, we’ll answer when’s the best time to use each card.
How to Make a Budget
December 28, 2022 By Space Coast Credit Union
In this article, we’ll break down how to make a budget for beginners and how to stick to a budget once you’ve created one.
Certificates of Deposit (CDs): What You Need to Know
December 19, 2022 By Space Coast Credit Union
Certificates of deposit (CDs) are a special type of savings account with a guaranteed rate of return over a certain timeframe so you can give your savings a raise even while you sleep!
10 Tips to Improve Your Financial Wellness
December 9, 2022 By Space Coast Credit Union
We’re sharing our top financial tips, with words of wisdom from SCCU Team Members, to help you improve your overall financial wellness.
Building Credit with a Secured Credit Card
November 25, 2022 By Space Coast Credit Union
When you’re seeking a Visa card and all its conveniences—but facing a roadblock with a lack of credit history—a secured credit card can help.
Benefits of a Visa Signature® Credit Card at SCCU
October 19, 2022 By Space Coast Credit Union
Visa Signature offers a rewards program, travel perks, low variable rates, security features, and more. We’ll give you the 360-degree view of why this card is worth having in your pocket.
The Ultimate Guide on High-Yield Savings Accounts & Saving Money
October 4, 2022 By Space Coast Credit Union
By regularly depositing your hard-earned money into a high-yield savings account, you could be on a faster path to achieving your dreams.
Florida Credit Unions: Why Choose Space Coast Credit Union (SCCU)?
September 23, 2022 By Space Coast Credit Union
We offer a full financial suite of products and services. Let’s dive into all of them!
How to Consolidate Debt
September 16, 2022 By Space Coast Credit Union
Perhaps unexpected expenses are piling up, and you’re scrambling to figure out how to pay them all. We’ll cover how to consolidate debt in this article, which could be a light at the end of the tunnel for you. 
Why Visa Platinum is the Best Cash Back Credit Card
September 9, 2022 By Space Coast Credit Union
Who doesn’t love earning money while spending money? Space Coast Credit Union’s (SCCU)’s Visa® Platinum—the star of the best cash back credit cards—gives you the power to do just that.
How a Good Credit Score Can Impact Purchasing Power
August 26, 2022 By Space Coast Credit Union
You’re probably well aware of what a credit score is, but what exactly determines your overall credit, and how does it benefit you?
Money Market vs. CD: Which is Better?
August 19, 2022 By Space Coast Credit Union
Both CDs and money market accounts offer low-risk ways to earn more interest on your savings. Find out which one's for you here.
Comparing the Differences: Visa Platinum vs. Visa Signature
July 21, 2022 By Space Coast Credit Union
With everything from rates to perks, you may find yourself on the fence as you're making your decision between Visa® Platinum or Visa Signature®. This article provides a comparison between the two to help you decide.
Hurricane Preparation Checklist
July 13, 2022 By Space Coast Credit Union
It's always a good idea to prepare for a hurricane before it's even on the radar. Here's a checklist to help you get started.
What is the Difference Between an IRA and a 401(k)?
June 29, 2022 By Space Coast Credit Union
Not sure if it's better to get an IRA or a 401(k)? Learn more about their differences here and how they can help you save for retirement.
How to Switch to a Free Checking Account in 5 Steps
June 22, 2022 By Space Coast Credit Union
From depositing checks to paying bills, your checking account should work FOR you and not against you with unnecessary extra monthly fees. See why it's worth switching to a Free Checking account at SCCU.
Unleash the Hidden Benefits of Digital Wallet
February 23, 2022 By Space Coast Credit Union
You’re walking along the beach and begin to feel thirsty. Your heart sinks once you realize your wallet is over a mile away. But then you realize that you have your phone with you, which means you can still access all of your cards through your digital wallet app! Learn more about all of its benefits here.
Which Credit Card Benefits are Better: Cash Back or Points?
February 15, 2022 By Space Coast Credit Union
Credit cards offer several benefits from covering emergencies to earning rewards. But with so many card options available (and vying for your attention) with cash back or points, it can be overwhelming to choose a rewards program that’s best for you. In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of each type to help you score rewards in no time! 
A Beginner’s Guide to Free Checking (What It Is & Why You Need It)
January 28, 2022 By Space Coast Credit Union
Checking accounts are like a Grand Central Station for your money—flowing in and out with deposits and withdrawals. Many banks and credit unions offer free checking accounts, but what exactly is a free checking account and why should you get one?
The Beginner's Guide to a Good Credit Score (& How to Get One)
January 7, 2022 By Space Coast Credit Union
When you want to borrow money—perhaps for a mortgage or a car loan—or to get approved for a credit card, lenders typically require a decent credit score. But, what is a good credit score, and how can you make sure you have one?
Visa® Platinum Benefits: A Guide to Receiving Credit Card Rewards
December 21, 2021 By Space Coast Credit Union
Today, strategically selecting whether or not to use a credit card and which one to use can be part of savvy financial management. We're taking a look at why the Visa® Platinum credit card at SCCU may be the one for you.
10 Creative Ways to Save Money
December 10, 2021 By Space Coast Credit Union
Saving money can be challenging. But after the holiday season, it’s often a top New Year’s resolution. From joining special savings accounts to making some daily item switches, we’ve rounded up 10 ways that could save you thousands of dollars a year! 
Holiday Shopping with Credit Cards Do’s and Don’ts
November 12, 2021 By Space Coast Credit Union
Here are our top do’s and don’ts to keep in mind while holiday shopping with credit cards. 
What are Secured Credit Cards?
September 28, 2021 By Space Coast Credit Union
Maybe you’ve run into the following paradox: How do I get a credit card with less-than-perfect credit (or no credit) if I need a credit card to build my credit? You’re in luck because secured credit cards break this cycle!
7 Savvy Skills Teens Gain from a Student Checking Account
September 21, 2021 By Carmen Tapanes
While teens can watch hundreds of videos on the Internet about finances, experience is often the best teacher when it comes to managing money. But it can feel overwhelming for them to know where to start learning the fiscal ropes. Opening a checking account gives them a learner’s permit to handling financial matters with the peace of mind of having an adult as the co-owner. 
How to Choose the Best Free Checking Account
September 14, 2021 By Space Coast Credit Union
When searching for the right checking account, most people would prefer one that’s “free” — and rightly so. But it can be hard to know what exactly “free” means today when we know that fees and terms are often the name of the game. The reality is that financial institutions will define "free" in different ways.
Choosing the Best Credit Card to Fit Your Needs (+ Where to Get It)
July 23, 2021 By Space Coast Credit Union
Credit cards can be an excellent tool for building credit when you’re financing purchases both big and small. Most credit cards today deliver some form of benefit with membership—accumulating points, cash back, airline miles, or other deals, consumers have a wealth of choices.
Financial Peace: Pay Your Dues & Your Debts + Restore Hope in 5 Simple Steps
February 3, 2021 By Space Coast Credit Union
Discover how to obtain financial peace in 5 simple steps. Learn how to pay off your debts the right way and educate yourself on how to live financially free.
The Definitive Guide to Achieving Financial Freedom
January 29, 2021 By Space Coast Credit Union
This guide offers steps that you can put into practice immediately as you work towards financial freedom.
4 Perfect Times to Consider a Personal Loan
February 16, 2017 By Space Coast Credit Union
Virtually everything costs money, and it’s often more than you’d expect it to be.
Common Mistakes During Open Enrollment
November 3, 2016 By Space Coast Credit Union
Be sure to watch out for these three common pitfalls when enrolling in workplace benefits.
Was this helpful?
Thank you for your feedback!