Credit Card Canada - Canadian Credit Card Reviews and Applications

Credit Card Articles

Balance Transfer Credit Cards


Balance Transfer credit cards, Balance Transfer credit card reviews and credit card application details.

Balance transfer credit cards are offered with an interest-free period, lower interest, loyalty points or other incentives that aim to attract new customers. The balance transfer process is very quick and takes a couple of hours in some cases.

An important point to consider, however, is the amount that will be transferred. If a cardholder has $15,000 in outstanding balances, holding a couple of high interest credit cards, the credit company of choice may not be willing to transfer the entire amount to a low interest credit card. A portion of it may be transferred and this is still a way of lowering the amount paid in interest.

Another consideration is the fee charged by the new credit card company for completing the process. Unless the issuer has specifically stated that no fees will be charged, balance transfer fees apply. The fee may be 3 percent of the amount to be transferred up to a specified capped amount. Typically, the transfer fee is in the range 1 to 5 percent of the transferred debt. The fine print of the terms and conditions will state the exact amount.

It should be remembered that opening new accounts and transferring money to them on a continuous basis is not a wise idea. Banks and credit card companies favor clients who pay their credit card balances. Those who avoid paying interest charges by transferring debt are considered less-than-ideal borrowers.

The good news for those who need to make a balance transfer is that many credit card issuers in Canada offer balance transfer credit cards. At the MBNA, for example, clients can request balance transfers from up to three accounts. Once the application has been approved, the requested balance transfer is processed. An important requirement is that the amount of the transfer does not exceed the client’s credit line. MBNA sends partial or full payment to all creditors in the order listed by the client. He or she has to be paying all creditors until the transferred amount appears as credit. The processing time is at least 2 weeks.

The clients of Capital One can also apply for a balance transfer credit card. Balances can be transferred from gas cards, store and retail cards, as well as other credit cards. The Bank of Nova Scotia features several options for balance transfers. The No-Fee Scotiabank Value Visa Card, for example, goes with an introductory interest rate of 1.99 percent. The low rate applies over a period of 6 months. As of April 2011, the balance transfer fee, which is normally 1 percent of the amount transferred, is waved.

The customers of TD Canada Trust can take advantage of its no-fee balance transfers. Card balances can be transferred to a TD Canada Trust Credit Card at no added cost in real time. Any card is eligible for transfer, including credit cards from other banks, gas credit cards, retail store credit cards, and others. Balance transfers can be initiated in three ways – with the help of the Specialist at EasyLine, through the Credit Card Customer Service, or at a branch of TD Canada Trust. The minimum amount allowed for balance transfers is $250. There is no limit on the maximum amount given that the sum is not in excess of the available limit on the account. It should be noted that TD Canada Trust processes balance transfers in the same way as cash advances. Because of that, there is no grace period and interest will be charged on the balance transfer.

Many credit card issuers in Canada offer a 0 percent introductory rate to attract new customers. The introductory rate is also called teaser rate. After the introductory period is over, a purchase rate applies to the remaining balance.

Lastly, some borrowers make use of the credit card hopping strategy, i.e. once the teaser rate has expired, they transfer the balance to another credit card. There can be a catch here. The credit card agreement may contain a clause that prevents the cardholder from making another balance transfer within a specified period of time. Ultimately, the strategy works to the disadvantage of other cardholders who pay higher interest rates. This is so because the credit card issuer is deprived of some of its money.



NameTypeInterest RateAnnual Fee
American Express AIR MILES Credit CardAMEX18.5%$0
American Express Canada Platinum Credit CardAMEX19.99%$699
Blue Sky from American ExpressAMEX19.99%$0
Shoppers Optimum Mastercard MasterCard19.99%$0
Capital One Gold MasterCardMasterCard9.99%$49
Capital One Cash Back Gold MasterCardMasterCard19.8%$0
Capital One Guaranteed Secured MasterCardMasterCard19.8%$59
Citi Drivers Edge Platinum MasterCard MasterCard19.99%$59
HSBC MasterCardMasterCard19.9%$0
HSBC Premier MasterCard MasterCard12.9%$0
MBNA Canada Gold MasterCardMasterCard9.99%$0
MBNA Canada Platinum MasterCardMasterCard17.99%$0
MBNA PremierRewards Platinum Plus MasterCardMasterCard19.99%$29
MBNA Canada NHL MasterCardMasterCard17.99%$0
MBNA Canada CFL MasterCardMasterCard17.99%$0
MBNA Travel Rewards MasterCardMasterCard19.99%$29
MBNA University of Toronto PlatinumPlus MasterCardMasterCard16.99%$0
MBNA University of Alberta PlatinumPlus MasterCardMasterCard16.99%$0
MBNA University of Ottawa PlatinumPlus MasterCardMasterCard16.99%$0
MBNA Queens University at Kingston MasterCardMasterCard16.99%$0
National Bank MasterCardMasterCard19.5%$0
National Bank MasterCard Business CardMasterCard19.9%$0
BMO Gold AIR MILES MasterCardMasterCard19.5%$99
President's Choice Financial MasterCardMasterCard19.97%$0
MBNA Brandon University MasterCardMasterCard19.99%$0
Esso Visa Classic cardVisa19.99%$0
CIBC Classic VISAVisa19.99%$0
CIBC Dividend Platinum VISA CardVisa19.9%$79
TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite CardVisa19.99%$120
TD Gold Elite Visa CardVisa19.99%$99
TD Green Visa CardVisa19.99%$0
TD Gold Select Visa CardVisa19.99%$0
TD Emerald Visa CardVisa12.75%$25
TD Business Visa CardVisa19.75%$50
No-Fee ScotiaGold VISA CardVisa19.99%$0
No-Fee Scotiabank Value VISA CardVisa16.99%$0
Laurentian VISA Black Reward MeVisa19.99%$0
Aspire Cash Platinum MasterCardMasterCard16.8%$0
Aspire Cash World MasterCardMasterCard16.8%$120
TD Platinum Travel Visa CardVisa19.99%$99
TD Rebate Rewards Visa CardVisa19.99%$0
Scotia Momentum VISA cardVisa19.99%$39
Scotia Momentum No-Fee VISA cardVisa19.99%$0