What Is a Balance Transfer APR?

If you have ever called your credit card company and done a balance transfer, then you were probably quoted an annual percentage rate, (APR). The APR you receive can vary from bank to bank. Sometimes there are specials available that will limit the amount of finance charges you receive. The lower your APR the less you pay in interest charges.

Promotional Rate

Your APR is the annual cost you pay for doing a balance transfer. You can receive a promotional rate which can be good for a specific period of time such as six months or a year. Sometimes this promotional rate can be zero.


When your promotional rate expires you receive a regular APR which will be higher. You may be able to transfer your balance to another credit card company after your promotional APR expires to get another promotional rate.


Most credit card companies will charge you a balance transfer fee. A fee could be 3% of the balance transfer amount. When you receive a fee it can offset the low APR you receive.

Late Payment

If your payment is late you will lose your promotional rate and the new rate could be as high as 20% or more depending on the credit card company.

Finance Charges

Credit card companies have several ways they use to calculate finance charges. Your finance charges will vary depending on how which formula is used.