What is a balance transfer?

With all your balances in one place, your outgoings could be easier to manage.

Why is a balance transfer useful?

With a balance transfer, you’re moving existing credit or store card balances to another credit card with a different provider. That could help you to:

  • Keep track of your borrowing
    Moving credit and selected store card balances onto a single credit card could make life easier, with one balance to manage and one payment to make each month.
  • Benefit from introductory or promotional interest rates
    By transferring higher interest balances to a credit card offering lower interest rates, you could reduce the overall cost of your borrowing.

 

For a quick summary, watch our short video

Watch our video to understand what a balance transfer credit card is, and how it works.

Balance transfers in more detail


  

 

Can I transfer?

  • You can’t transfer from all cards – it’s not possible to transfer balances between cards issued by the same provider, for example, you can’t move balances between two Bank of Scotland credit cards. You can only transfer balance from store cards featuring the Mastercard®, American Express® or Visa® logo.
  • £100 is the minimum transfer amount. The maximum balance transfer amount is 93% of your credit limit, which allows for potential fees and any in-flight transactions which have yet to reach your account.

Things to check

  • Check the transfer rate – there may be an introductory or promotional interest rate available on your account. If not, the standard money transfer interest rate and fees will apply. Either way, the sooner you repay your balance, the less interest you’re likely to pay.
  • Transfer fees may apply – balance transfer fees are usually a percentage of the transfer amount and apply to each individual transfer. Remember to account for any fees when working out any potential savings on interest.

Here’s an example of a transfer in action

Just for the purposes of this example, imagine you have a credit card offering 0% on balance transfers for 12 months, and you have no other balances on the card.

  1. You have a balance of £2,000 on one credit card, with an interest rate of 20%.
  2. You have another credit card offering 0% interest for 12 months on balance transfers, with a 1% transfer fee.
  3. You make a transfer request for £2,000, which is approved. That increases the outstanding balance on the credit card you’re transferring to by £2,020, which includes the 1% transfer fee.
  4. If you pay £202 on time every month, and you don’t use your card to make any other purchases, you could clear your balance within 10 months without paying any interest. Bear in mind, if you only make the minimum payment shown on your statement each month, it’ll take longer and cost more to repay anything you borrow.
  5. Just bear in mind that the standard interest rate will apply to any remaining balance when the promotional period ends.

Making the most of a balance transfer

Before you transfer, remember to check all fees and interest rates, just to make sure a balance transfer is the right option for you.

  • Continue to make required payments to your existing provider until your transfer is showing as complete on both accounts.
  • Be realistic about how long it will take to repay your balance. Remember that standard interest rates, which will apply after any introductory or promotional interest rates expire, are usually higher.
  • You could lose any promotional interest rates if you break the terms and conditions of your credit card account, for example, by missing a payment or going over your credit limit.
  • If you use a balance transfer credit card for other types of transaction, such as purchases, you’re likely to pay a higher interest rate for those. It’s also useful to know that balances with the highest interest rates are repaid first, increasing the potential cost and time it’ll take to repay anything you borrow.

To request a balance transfer

Existing Bank of Scotland customers

You can request a balance transfer in a number of ways:

 

What you’ll need:

  • The details of the card you want to transfer from, including the total balance.
  • If applying online, you’ll need your Internet Banking login details.
  • A phone – you might need to complete a quick automated security check .

Make sure we’ve got your up-to-date contact details in case we need to get in touch.

Not a customer

If you’re looking for a new Bank of Scotland credit card to transfer balances to, use One Check to find cards you’re eligible to apply for, and to see your estimated credit limit.

 

Check your eligibility

 

Balance transfer cards

Frequently asked transfer questions