Can I Earn Points on Credit Card Balance Transfers?

Feb 1, 2015

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TPG reader Michelle sent me a message on Facebook to ask:

“Do balance transfers between credit cards give you points, and if yes, which do you recommend?”

Carrying credit card balances can be precarious, because any amount you pay in fees or interest can negate the value of the points and miles you earn, and it can damage your credit store as well. One of the biggest factors in your FICO score is the ratio of how much debt you carry each month to your total available credit.

First off, you can’t earn any points or miles on balance transfers with any reputable bank, at least not that I’m aware of. Of course if anyone else is aware of a card or bank that does allow this, please let us know in the comments section below.

If you’re transferring balances, I recommend the Chase Slate card, because it offers a 0% balance transfer APR and initially charges no balance transfer fees, which are typically around 3%. There are plenty of balance transfer cards that offer one or the other, but Slate is the only one I’m aware of that offers both.

You’re not going to earn points or miles with this card, but 15 months of 0% APR and no balance transfer fees is almost unheard of. If you’ve got the balances, put the debt there and try to pay it down. The more you can reduce your balance, the higher your score will go.

Using the Chase Slate you can pay off your balances and be closer to ending that debt. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Once you’re out of debt and are no longer carrying big balances—and have learned your lesson! No judgement here though, I’ve been there—your score will be up and you can get in on some of the great sign-up bonuses 2015 has to offer.

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook, or send me an email at info@thepointsguy.com.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card

This card from Bank of America gets really interesting if you have a BofA checking, savings or investment account. Depending on the value of your combined accounts you can potentially get as much as 3.5x points on travel/dining and 2.625x points on other purchases making it the richest consumer banking bonus out there.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Receive 50,000 bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase
  • No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire
  • Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center
  • Get up to $200 in combined airline incidental and airport expedited screening statement credits + valuable travel insurance protections
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Low $95 annual fee
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.74% - 24.74% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.