How Long Does A Balance Transfer Take (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Up to 6 weeks

A balance transfer is the transfer of one’s account balance to another account of the same kind or different. The term is most commonly used to describe a credit card balance transfer. In simple words, balance transfer can be described as the movement of balance from one credit card to another.

Balance transfers are initiated for similar accounts or different ones and based on that, the transfer can be further classified into different types. In some cases, companies trying to hire new consumers, facilitate balance transfers. Balance transfers are certainly not instantaneous and the time needed to process transfers varies based on several factors such as the card issuer, type of account, etc.

How Long Does A Balance Transfer Take

How Long Does A Balance Transfer Take?

A balance transfer can take several days to process depending on the lender and bank. It takes anything between 7 to 21 days on average for a balance transfer to happen. In some cases, the balance transfer may also take up to 6 weeks to reflect on one’s bank account.

There is no set of rules arranged to determine the time needed to complete a balance transfer. For new credit card users, the time needed for balance transfer is 7 to 10 days on average. On the other hand, the time needed for a balance transfer to an already existing credit account is only 7 days.

Balance transfer processing time varies with credit card issuers. For example, American Express credit cards require 5 to 7 working days for a balance transfer, but in some cases, it may also take up to 6 weeks. Capital One takes up to 3 to 14 business days for a balance transfer, whereas Chase takes up to 21 days.

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Wells Fargo needs 7 to 21 days to transfer a balance from one account to the other. Discover, on the other hand, requires only a week for a balance transfer. Since every credit card issuer has a different balance transfer processing time, new credit card accounts take longer than the existing accounts.

The credit card, as well as the credit score determines the total amount and the type of balances that can be transferred from an account to the other. It is recommended to initiate balance transfers only at a specific time frame as suggested by the card issuer. Many credit card companies also charge a transfer fee ranging up to 5% interest rate, however, some credit card issuers offer a 0% transfer fee rate.

In summary:

Credit Card IssuerTime Frame
American ExpressUp to 6 weeks
Capital OneUp to 14 days
ChaseUp to 21 days
Wells FargoUp to 21 days
DiscoverUp to 7 days

Why Does Balance Transfer Take So Long?

The balance transfer processing period varies based on many factors. The time needed is different for the new and existing customers. Existing customers enjoy shorter processing times than new ones because of mandatory background checks and other additional checks.

The time and day of balance transfer requests also play a very important role in determining the processing time. Credit card companies mainly work only on business days till 7 pm. One may be asked to transfer a balance only at an allocated time if the balance transfer credit card is offered 0% intro APR to enjoy its advantages.

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Holidays are not a good day for a balance transfer as the transfer will not be processed until the festivities are over. As the balance transfer request gets processed, the bank or credit card issuer receives the money the next day. Some of the factors that one must know before completing a balance transfer include:

  • Credit score requirements
  • Effect on credit score
  • Balance transfer limits
  • The time needed for transfer
  • Fees and savings


A balance transfer is a transfer of balance from one account to another either of the same or similar kind. It is of several types, however, the term is mostly used to describe credit card balance transfer. Credit balance transfer provides an easy way to pay off debts such as personal loans, education loans, etc, and helps bring new customers to credit card companies.

The balance transfer processing time varies based on the lender and the credit card issuer. The average time needed for a balance transfer is 7 to 21 days, however, the time frame may extend up to 6 weeks.



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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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