How to Work a Balance Transfer

By Contributing Writer

  • Overview

    There are several types of account balance transfers that people often make. These include bank account balance transfers and credit card account balance transfers. It is possible to make these transactions immediately, remotely and securely. Whether the method is in online, in person or by phone, it is not difficult to make an account balance transfer. There may be fees associated with some types of transfers, and remember to protect your personal information at all times.
    Piggy Bank
  • How to Work a Bank Account Transfer

    • Step 1

      Make sure you have two bank accounts. If you already have more than one bank account, skip to step two. If you do not already have multiple bank accounts, then you cannot transfer money between them. If this is the case, then you have to open another account to be able to transfer funds. In many cases, only a small initial deposit and a photo ID are required to open another account. I will cover three methods for performing a bank account transfer.


    • Step 2

      Log into your online banking account, find the account that you would like to transfer to/from, and look for a link that says, "Transfer." Because every bank account is different, it is difficult to say exactly what you should look for. When you get to the transfer screen, enter the information for the account that you would like to link. Choose the amount to transfer. Approve the transaction. Performing a balance transfer online can take as few as five minutes; however, the flexibility can come with a price. Some funds are not available immediately after transfer online.
    • Step 3

      Find a teller and ask to make a balance transfer between your accounts. You will need to know at least one account number. Photo ID may be required, but the entire process should take less than five minutes to complete. Performing a balance transfer in person takes longer than the other two methods, but it ensures that your privacy is secure. The confirmation is also immediate, and the transfer is done instantly. The only drawback is that this is often limited to making transfers between accounts that are with the same institution. For example, Bank ABC will only make transfers in person from accounts that you hold with Bank ABC.
    • Step 4

      Call the bank. Identify yourself and ask to be routed to a teller. Let the teller know that you would like to make a balance transfer and give the teller the two account numbers and the amount of money to be transferred. The teller should offer a verbal confirmation of the transfer of funds. Performing a balance transfer by phone is a flexible way to move money while you are away from a bank or computer.
  • How to Work a Credit Card Account Balance Transfer

    • Step 1

      Make sure you have at least two credit cards. There must be a card to surf the balance from and a card to surf the balance in. Moving a credit card balance to a different card is also referred to as "surfing" the balance. This is often done to move a balance from a high interest card to a low interest card to save money in interest payments.
    • Step 2

      Log into your credit card account online. Find and click the link to pay the card. When the payment options are presented, choose to pay the credit card balance with another credit card. Enter the second credit card's information. After approving the transaction, the balance should be moved from the first to the second card.
    • Step 3

      Pay the card like you normally would, but instead of including a check in the envelope, use your second credit card number as the type of payment. When the credit card statement comes in the mail, there is a section for the type of payment. Check the "credit card" box and write in the necessary account information to make the transfer.
    • Step 4

      Call the company that offers the credit card you are currently using. Follow the automated prompts until you get to the one that allows you to pay your balance by phone. Be sure to have the second credit card readily available when making the phone call. There is often a fee associated with this type of payment, because the transfer is made immediately. This is often referred to as an "express payment."
    • Skill: Easy
    • Ingredients:
    • Multiple bank accounts or credit card accounts
    • Bank routing numbers
    • Account numbers
    • Photo ID
    • Tip: Have your photo ID if you go in person to a physical bank.
    • Tip: When moving the credit card balance, try calling the credit card company first. Sometimes you can get a lower interest rate if you tell them you are going to move the balance and close the account.
    • Warning:
    • Do not use a bank online that you are unfamiliar with. Do your research before opening an account.
    • Some bank accounts allow limited numbers of transfers before incurring fees for each subsequent transfer.
    • Read the fine print before moving the balance from one credit card to another to avoid penalties and fees.

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