In the process of reestablishing your credit, a balance transfer card should be considered when trying to get your credit into as good standing as possible. If your credit is not too bad, you may still be able to open a balance transfer credit card account.

Benefits of a balance transfer credit card

Most transfer cards offer zero interest for a specified amount of time — usually the first four months to a year after opening the line of credit. These credit cards are not as easy to obtain as a secured credit card, but offer more benefits.

The biggest upside to a balance transfer card is that you can pay down your debt faster than with a secured credit card. Instead of paying high interest on your debt, you can put more money towards your actual balance.

While there are some balance transfer credit cards that don’t charge a fee for transferring your balance, most companies charge a fee anywhere from one to four percent of the balance. While a secured credit card can help you rebuild your credit, balance transfer cards help solidify the transition by giving you more breathing room to pay down even more debt.

When to apply

Based on balance transfer credit cards available on our website, the lowest credit score needed to open a balance transfer credit card is 634. This is for one that provides instant value after being opened. You may be able to open a balance transfer credit card with a lower credit score elsewhere, but the interest rate and transfer fee may be moderately high. Pay close attention to the terms and conditions of a new balance transfer credit card before you apply for one.

You should start looking into balance transfer credit cards when your credit score goes above 600. You want to open an account with a card that offers the best balance transfer fee and interest rate. Contact credit card companies directly with the latest copy of your credit score in hand and ask a representative if you are eligible to open an account based on your credit score and recent history. This is a good way to learn if you are ready for a balance transfer credit card, while at the same time preventing unnecessary credit inquiries on your credit history.

Gerald Morales

Gerald is a staff writer at He is an expert in real estate, mortgages and credit.