Balance transfers

What is a balance transfer?

A balance transfer is when you move the balance from a credit or store card to another credit card.

Watch this short video if you want to know more.

Watch our video, for a quick summary on what a balance transfer credit card is, and how it works.
  • If you want to keep all of your credit card borrowing in one easily manageable place, if you need more time to repay what you owe on existing credit cards or if you're currently paying a high interest rate on store cards or other credit cards, a balance transfer could help.

    A balance transfer moves your balance from an existing credit or store card to another card with a different provider.

    With a balance transfer you can move multiple credit card balances onto a single credit card giving you one monthly payment to manage; or move your balance to a card with a lower interest rate potentially reducing your borrowing costs and giving you more time to pay off your balance.

    The minimum balance you can transfer is usually a £100, and to leave room for any potential interest or fees, the maximum amount is usually 93% of your credit limit.

    There are two main costs you'll pay:  your transfer fee -  a percentage of the amount you're moving added on to your balance when you make the transfer;  and interest - based on your balance transfer interest rate which you'll pay over time until you clear your balance. 

    You can find balance transfer credit cards with interest rates as low as 0% for a set period of time as part of an introductory or promotional offer but once the offer runs out your remaining balance will be charged at your standard balance transfer interest rate until repaid.

    At Bank of Scotland, we will always tell you your balance transfer fee and interest rate upfront.

    Now let's look at a practical example of how a balanced transfer with an introductory or promotional offer works. Jamie has just got a brand new credit card with a 0% balance transfer interest rate for 12 months on all transactions made in the first 90 days. 

    His balance transfer fee is 3%. Jamie also has £2000 of existing balances spread over two cards both with annual interest rates of 20% per annum. If Jamie keeps his balances on his current cards paying £200 per month every month it will take him 11 months to clear them and he'll pay £187 in interest.

    But if he moves his balances to his new card with a 0% percent introductory balance transfer interest rate,  paying his 3% transfer fee he could clear his balances faster by paying £206 pounds per month,  he could clear his full balance in 10 months paying a £60 transfer fee with no interest charges at all.

    In total, Jaime could save around £127 using his 0% interest rate offer on balance transfers. This is based on a few key assumptions firstly that… Jamie starts with a balance of £0; that Jamie never breaks his card terms and conditions; that he makes no other transactions on his new card during this time, and finally that he clears his full balance before his 0% interest rate offer ends.  In the right circumstances, a balance transfer can help you manage your borrowing all in one place but first always consider your options to make sure it's the right choice.

    Thanks for watching.  Visit cards for more information.

Why would I make a balance transfer?

Some customers want to keep all their credit card balances in one place. A balance transfer can let you do this. Also, a balance transfer could help you save on interest as they often come with a promotional offer.

Find out more below

How do I make a balance transfer?

If you’re eligible, you’ll find your balance transfer offers when you log in to Internet Banking. Then, just follow the simple on-screen instructions.

Make sure you have the card details of all the balances you want to transfer and you understand the terms and conditions (PDF, 773KB).

If your available credit limit isn’t sufficient to complete the transfer, you can apply for a credit limit increase online. Simply select the ‘More actions’ button on your credit card account and then the ‘Manage credit limit’ button.

What else do I need to know?

How long does a balance transfer take?

After we approve it, the transfer will normally arrive by the next working day.

Do balance transfers affect my credit score?

Balance transfer applications are subject to eligibility and security checks but these are unlikely to affect your credit score.

How much can I transfer?

The minimum balance you can transfer is £100. The maximum will need to be less than your available credit limit. This is to allow for any balance transfer fee plus any other fees or transactions. You cannot transfer a balance from other Bank of Scotland credit cards, loan companies or bank accounts.

What’s the difference between a balance transfer and a money transfer?

Balance transfers are about moving credit or store card balances to a different credit card. A money transfer lets you transfer money from your credit card to any of your own UK-based current accounts. To find out more, visit our money transfer page.

Ready to make a balance transfer?

We generally offer two types of promotional offers on balance transfers

  1. 0% interest rate for a set period of time 
    Subject to a transfer fee. No interest is charged during this period and the fee is added to your total balance.
  2. Low interest rate for a set period of time 
    This offer typically has no fee (0%). Low interest offers could provide a cheaper way to borrow for a longer period, potentially reducing the need to regularly switch offers.

Please note

  • To keep any promotional rate, you must stay within your credit limit and pay at least the minimum payment on time each month. 
  • If you only make your minimum payment each month, it will take you longer to pay back what you owe and it could cost you more in interest. 
  • Interest on purchases: Purchases will only be interest free if you pay off your entire credit card balance each month including any balance or money transfers, unless you have a promotional rate for purchases.

View your balance transfer offers

Log in to Internet Banking to see if you have a balance transfer offer waiting.

Register for Interest Banking

Your balance transfer offers
    • We do not accept balance transfers from other Bank of Scotland credit cards, loan companies or bank accounts
    • Balance Transfer applications are subject to eligibility and security checks but these will not leave a footprint on your credit file
    • Keeping promotional rates - To keep any promotional rates that go with your balance transfer, you must always stay within your credit limit, and make your payments on time each month
    • After your promotional offer ends, you will be charged the standard interest rate, which can be confirmed on your statements
    • Low interest offers charge interest daily, we add together all the daily interest amounts in each statement period and add the total to your balance on your statement date
    • Payment allocation - we use your payments to pay off the balances charged at the highest interest rate first, so your more expensive balances are paid sooner. Your payment will include any interest or charges incurred as a result of those balances
    • Other borrowing options - Before you apply for a balance transfer it's worth considering other ways to borrow, as well as any savings you may have, as these could be better options for you. Read more about other ways to borrow.

Making sure you get a fair deal

We want you to find a product that's right for your circumstances, which is why we adhere to the Standards of Lending Practice, which are monitored and enforced by the Lending Standards Board.

To find out more you can read the statement of responsibilities, which details what's expected of us, the lender and you the borrower.

Download the statement of responsibilities (PDF 60KB)

Bank of Scotland plc. Registered in Scotland No. SC327000. Registered Office: The Mound, Edinburgh EH1 1YZ. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority under registration number 169628.