Your Guide to Carrying Out Balance Transfers With Bank of America

Carrying out a balance transfer with Bank of America is easy and can lead to savings, although you need to qualify for one first.

Last Updated: 6/6/2022
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Transferring a credit card's balance to a Bank of America credit card requires that you submit a balance transfer request. Whether or not Bank of America approves your request depends on various factors. Given the average APR of 14.39% across MoneyGeek's data set of over 2,200 credit cards, transferring a balance to a Bank of America 0% APR credit card might lead to significant savings for readers who are carrying a balance. But if Bank of America denies your request, you still have other options.

On This Page:
MoneyGeek’s Takeaways

noFee

Bank of America provides intro 0% balance transfer APR offers through several of its cards.

lowInterestAPR

The duration of Bank of America balance transfer APR offers ranges from 15 to 18 months.

balanceTransfer

Carrying out a Bank of America balance transfer requires that you pay a 3% balance transfer fee.

How Does a Bank of America Balance Transfer Work?

The first thing you need to do to carry out a balance transfer is select a suitable Bank of America balance transfer card. Bear in mind that the credit limit of your new card will impact the amount you may transfer. You also need to specify which cards you wish to transfer balances from.

Bank of America's balance transfer offers require that you initiate your transfers within a stipulated time frame, so make sure you do so before the deadline. Once you apply, the process might take two to four business days to complete, although it may take up to 14 business days for new cards. If Bank of America approves your request, it sends the approved payment directly to your creditor(s).

Know How Much You Owe

You need to know how much you currently owe on the card you wish to transfer the balance to, as this will affect the amount you may transfer. Bank of America does not let you transfer an amount greater than your available credit limit. You also need to account for the balance transfer fee, which will add to your overall balance transfer amount.

If the amount of your balance transfer request is more than your card's available credit limit, Bank of America might send full or partial payments to your creditors in the order provided by you.

Choose a Balance Transfer Credit Card

Choosing a Bank of America balance transfer credit card requires paying attention to various aspects. For example, do you want your new card to come with an intro 0% APR offer or a low ongoing APR?

  • This is an icon

    0% introductory APR

    Many people take advantage of 0% APR credit cards when transferring balances. These cards charge no interest on transferred balances for a given time period, after which any outstanding balance starts accruing interest at a card's regular APR.

  • This is an icon

    Long introductory APR

    Long introductory APR. How long a 0% balance transfer APR offer lasts is another important factor to consider. The longer the intro APR offer, the more time you get to repay your debt without incurring interest charges. The introductory offers of Bank of America cards vary from 15 months to 18 months.

  • This is an icon

    Low ongoing APR

    Low ongoing APR. If you plan to take longer than 18 months to pay off your transferred balance/s, consider selecting a Bank of America card with a low ongoing APR. The same low APR will apply to your transferred balance until you pay it off in full. The BankAmericard and the BankAmericard for Students are two cards that have lower APRs than most other Bank of America cards. Both these cards come with 0% APR offers on balance transfers.

  • This is an icon

    Low or no balance transfer fees

    No matter which Bank of America credit card you select for your balance transfer(s), you need to pay a balance transfer fee of $10 or 3% of the transferred amount (the higher of the two) each time.

Request a Balance Transfer

Irrespective of whether you wish to transfer a balance to a new or existing Bank of America credit card, you may begin the process online. If you plan to get a new card, you may provide your balance transfer details during the application process. If you have an existing Bank of America card, you’ll need to log in to the bank’s online banking platform. In both cases, you’ll need to provide the card number of the card you wish to transfer the balance from and the amount you wish to transfer.

Submitting a balance transfer request over the phone is also an option for existing Bank of America cardholders. In this case, you need to call the number on the back of your card.

>>More: How Long Does a Balance Transfer Take?
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MONEYGEEK EXPERT TIP

Pay attention to your creditworthiness and payment history before applying for a balance transfer, as Bank of America considers these factors when reviewing your application.

Prepare a Payment Schedule

If you plan to use a 15- or 18-month interest-free credit card from Bank of America, it may be helpful to create a payment schedule. Your payment plan should ensure that you pay off the entire transferred balance before the end of the promotional period. Any outstanding balance starts accruing interest at the card’s regular APR after the intro period ends. Even if you’re unable to pay off the entire balance during the promo period, you should aim to pay off a significant portion of it to make the most of the 0% APR offer.

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MONEYGEEK EXPERT TIP

Take into account the fee you need to pay to transfer a balance. For example, if you plan to transfer $5,000 to a card with a 3% balance transfer fee, the total amount would be $5,150.

Bank of America’s Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Bank of America balance transfer cards come with other benefits. Most of these cards offer cash back as well as spend-based welcome bonuses. None of these cards charge annual fees.


  • Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards

    A great no-annual-fee card for earning high cash back on bonus categories


    • Good-ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $0Annual Fee
    • 1% - 3% Cash BackRewards Rate
    • 15 monthsAPR Offer Duration
    • 15 monthsBalance Transfer Duration

    Terms, rates and fees apply

  • Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards Credit Card

    A good no-annual-fee cash back credit card with an intro 0% APR offer.


    • Good – ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $0Annual Fee
    • 1.5% Cash BackRewards Rate
    • 14.24% – 24.24%APR

  • Bank of America BankAmericard

    A good no-annual-fee credit card with a 0% APR offer on purchases and balance transfers


    • Good-ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $0Annual Fee
    • 18 monthsAPR Offer Duration
    • 18 monthsBalance Transfer Duration

  • Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards for Students

    A good students’ card that offers higher cash back on bonus categories


    • None-FairCredit Needed
    • $0Annual Fee
    • 1-3% Cash BackRewards Rate

  • Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students

    A good student credit card with cash back and no annual fees


    • None – GoodCredit Needed
    • $0Annual Fee
    • 15 monthsBalance Transfer Duration
    • 15 monthsAPR Offer Duration
    • 1.5% Cash BackRewards Rate

  • Bank of America BankAmericard for Students

    A good no-annual-fee students’ credit card for earning cash back


    • Limited-FairCredit Needed
    • $0Annual Fee
    • 18 monthsBalance Transfer Duration
    • 18 monthsAPR Offer Duration

  • Susan G. Komen Customized Cash Rewards Card

    A good no-annual-fee credit card with cash back and an intro APR offer


    • Good-ExcellentCredit Needed
    • $0Annual Fee
    • 1%-3% Cash BackRewards Rate
    • 15 monthsAPR Offer Duration
    • 15 monthsBalance Transfer Duration

Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Card

This card's 0% APR offer stays in place for the first 15 billing cycles. It offers up to 3% cash back on bonus categories. You can earn a $200 online cash rewards bonus if you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days.

Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards Card

The Unlimited Cash Rewards Card comes with a 0% APR offer for the first 15 billing cycles. You can earn 1.5% cash back across all categories. Spending $1,000 on purchases within 90 days from account opening comes with a $200 online cash rewards bonus.

BankAmericard

The duration of this card's 0% APR offer extends to 18 billing cycles. You stand to earn a $100 statement credit by spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days. This card does not offer cash back.

Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards for Students

This Bank of America credit card for students lets you earn up to 3% cash back on select categories. Spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days earns you a $200 cash rewards bonus. This card's 0% APR offer is valid for 15 billing cycles.

Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards for Students

The Unlimited Cash Rewards Card for Students offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases. It offers a $200 cash rewards bonus if you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days. Its 0% APR offer extends to 15 months.

BankAmericard for Students

Like the regular BankAmericard, its variant for students comes with a 0% APR offer for the first 18 billing cycles. It lets you earn a $100 statement credit if you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days.

Susan G. Komen Customized Cash Rewards

Using this card helps you contribute to Susan G. Komen through Bank of America's Pink Ribbon Banking program. It comes with a 0% APR offer for the first 15 billing cycles. You may earn up to 3% cash back through category-based spending. This card also offers a $200 online cash rewards bonus to cardholders who spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.

How Much You Can Save With a Balance Transfer

How much money you may save through a balance transfer depends on multiple factors, including the amount you plan to transfer, the APR of the new card, the length of a promo APR offer and how long you take to repay your debt.

  • How Much You Will Pay With Your Current Credit Card
    How Much You Will Pay When You Transfer Your Balance
  • Current outstanding balance: $6,000
    Regular APR: 17.99%
    Monthly payment: $300
    Time required to pay off the balance: 24 months
    Total amount to pay: $7,186.03

    Balance transfer amount: $6,000
    Balance transfer fee: 3%
    Intro APR: 0% for 18 months
    Regular APR: 17.99%
    Monthly payment: $300
    Time required to pay off the balance: 20 months
    Total amount to pay: $6,201.56

    Total savings: $984.47

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MONEYGEEK EXPERT TIP

Although balance transfer cards charge a 3% to 5% fee, the interest savings is often well worth it. The longer your 0% APR lasts, the lower the effective annual interest rate that you're paying. Ideally, you'll find a low balance transfer fee and a long-term promotional rate. — Lee Huffman, credit card expert at BaldThoughts.com

What to Know Before Requesting a Balance Transfer With Bank of America

While you might benefit from using a Bank of America credit card with an intro balance transfer offer, knowing what the process entails is in your best interest. It can help you avoid surprises down the road.

  • You need good or excellent credit to qualify for most Bank of America balance transfer cards.
  • Bank of America might approve your credit card application but reject your balance transfer request.
  • You may transfer debt only from other credit cards.
  • You cannot transfer a balance between two Bank of America credit cards.
  • You need to carry out your balance transfer(s) within 60 days of opening your account to take advantage of the card’s 0% APR offer.
  • The promo APR period begins from the time Bank of America approves your request and not from the date the balance transfer commences.
  • Not all Bank of America credit cards with intro balance transfer offers will let you earn cash back.
  • Once the introductory period ends, the unpaid balance starts accruing interest charges at the card’s regular APR.
  • A penalty APR might apply on new transactions if you make a late payment.

Following a few simple steps when going through with a balance transfer can help you succeed in paying off your credit card debt.

  • Select a balance transfer card after comparing the top options based on intro APR offers, duration of promo APRs, balance transfer fees and annual fees.
  • Formulate a payment plan to pay off the entire transferred balance before the promo period ends.
  • Pay your bill in advance to ensure that delayed payments don’t lead to late fees or penalty APRs.
  • Avoid making new purchases until you pay off your existing debt.
>>More: What Happens to an Old Credit Card After a Balance Transfer?

Pros and Cons of Doing a Balance Transfer

While using Bank of America interest-free balance transfer credit cards might work in your favor, you also need to be aware of the potential drawbacks.

Key Takeaways

plusSign
Pros
  • Save money on interest charges.
  • Consolidate debt from multiple cards.
  • Receive better perks/features.
  • Possibility to improve credit score.
minusSign
Cons
  • Need good or excellent credit to qualify.
  • Must pay balance transfer fees.
  • 0% APR offers are time-based.
  • Late/returned payments may lead to the termination of an offer.
  • Late/returned payments may result in a penalty APR.
  • Possibility of building more debt.
  • Might hurt your credit score.

What if My Balance Transfer Request Is Denied?

If Bank of America denies your balance transfer request, you still have other options. For instance, you may consider getting a personal loan to consolidate all or part of your credit card debt. While getting a cash advance might be possible, it’s typically not recommended. Getting on a debt management plan might work well for people facing financial hardship.

  • Personal loan. When it comes to regular ongoing APRs, personal loans fare better than credit cards. Besides, personal loans tend to come with higher credit limits and let you more easily consolidate debt from multiple cards.
  • Cash advance. Getting a cash advance to make a credit card payment is not the best way forward because your transaction starts accruing interest from the word go. Besides, most cards charge cash advance fees. One scenario in which you may consider doing this is to avoid a late payment fee, provided you’re sure you’ll be able to quickly pay off the entire cash advance amount. Debt management plan. To get on a debt management plan, you should ideally work with a nonprofit credit counseling agency accredited by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. If you tread this path, you may look forward to lower interest rates and the possibility of waived late fees.
  • Balance Transfer
    Personal Loan
    Cash Advance
    Debt Management Program
  • When to
    Use

    When you plan to
    pay off your debt in
    12 to 20 months
    through an intro 0%
    APR offer

    If you need a
    longer duration to
    repay your debt

    Only in
    emergencies

    If you're going
    through
    financial
    problems

  • How to
    Request

    Online or over the
    phone

    Online or over the
    phone

    Online, over the
    phone, at an ATM
    or at a branch

    Online or over
    the phone

  • Repayment
    Terms

    Requires at least
    minimum monthly
    payments

    Requires fixed
    monthly payments
    till you pay off the
    entire balance

    Requires at least
    minimum monthly
    payments

    Requires a
    combined
    monthly
    payment

  • APR
    Ranges

    In the absence of or
    at the end of a 0%
    APR offer, typically
    the same as
    purchase APRs

    4.99% to 35.99%

    17.99% to
    29.99%

    7.04% to
    35.89%

  • Credit/Loan
    Limits

    Up to the card's
    credit limit

    Up to $100,000

    Usually a
    percentage of a
    credit card's
    overall limit

    No minimum or
    maximum limits

  • Fees

    0% to 5% of the
    amount you
    transfer

    Application fee:
    $25 to $50
    Loan origination
    fee:
    1% to 6% of
    loan amount

    3% to 5% of the
    transaction
    amount

    One-time set-up
    fee:
    Up to $75
    Monthly fee:
    $20 to $75

Other Questions About BofA Balance Transfer

Next Steps

Compare Bank of America Credit Cards

Learn More About Credit Card Balance Transfer Pages

About the Author


Rajiv Baniwal has been writing about different financial topics for over 15 years. Meticulous in his research, he makes sure he provides accurate and up-to-date information. His areas of expertise include mortgages, personal loans, credit cards, insurance and international money transfers.


sources
*Rates, fees or bonuses may vary or include specific stipulations. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. We recommend visiting the card issuer’s website for the most up-to-date information available.
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