Edited by: Jessica Merritt
& Kellie Jez
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If you’re trying to consolidate debt from high-interest credit cards or figuring out how to structure your personal finances, you might wonder whether you can pay a credit card with another credit card.
In theory, it sounds like a great way to shift balances from your credit cards to avoid incurring credit card interest charges.
Unfortunately, paying a credit card with another credit card isn’t simple. In this guide, we’ll walk you through why it’s generally not possible to pay a credit card with another credit card — and some workarounds that could achieve the same goal!
We’ll cut to the chase — the answer is almost always no.
Credit card issuers almost always require you to make credit card payments with a bank account. This involves providing routing and account numbers. You can either write checks or make online payments.
Alternatively, you can use a different credit card to perform a cash advance at an ATM and then get a cashier’s check to mail for a bill payment (or deposit the cash into your bank account). But a cash advance is an extremely costly way to pay a credit card, incurring fees that accrue interest daily. We’d only recommend it as an absolute last resort.
You can also pay a credit card with another credit card by performing a balance transfer, but this can result in additional fees and interest accrued.
For example, if you’ve got a credit card that’s accumulating 30% interest, but you have another credit card with a lower interest rate of 15%, it makes sense to utilize balance transfers. Even without a 0% APR promotion, this still makes sense as long as you’re saving more than any additional fees you’d be paying.
Also, by moving all your balances onto a single credit card, it’s easier to juggle making regular payments to just 1 card instead of 2 or 3.
By doing a balance transfer, you can temporarily defer accruing interest while you make payments. We’ll walk you through what this process involves.
Some credit cards have balance transfer offers whereby you can move balances from existing cards to a card with a low (or no) APR. There are 3 characteristics of a balance transfer offer:
Let’s say you have $50,000 in high-interest credit card debt and find a credit card with a 0% introductory balance transfer APR for 12 months. It has a limited-time 3% balance transfer fee (instead of the usual 5%), so you’ll pay a one-time balance transfer fee of $1,500 to transfer the whole balance. The balance will stop accruing interest for the first 12 months, as long as you make the minimum payment every month.
This could be huge because if that $50,000 in existing credit card debt accrues interest at a rate of 25% every year, you’d rack up a whopping $12,500 in interest charges annually!
Here’s how a balance transfer usually works:
Usually, you cannot transfer balances between 2 credit cards with the same credit card issuer or bank. For example, you can’t use a Citi balance transfer credit card offer to pay off an existing Citi credit card balance.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the best credit cards for balance transfers, starting with personal cards!
This all-purpose cash-back card offers great bonus categories, including bonus points for every purchase you make!
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is easily one of the best cash-back credit cards on the market. There aren’t many no-annual-fee credit cards that offer multiple great bonus categories like 5% back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% back on all other purchases.
When paired with other Chase cards in the Ultimate Rewards family, you can transfer that cash back into points if you wish – making it one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet.
Our top personal credit card for balance transfers is the Freedom Unlimited card. If you happen to have excellent credit and want a credit card that’ll take you the furthest in terms of rewards while enjoying balance transfer offers, this is the best choice.
Currently, the Freedom Unlimited card has a 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%..
This credit card offers up to 5% cash-back on purchases:
This cash-back card offers a capped 3% at U.S. supermarkets, 3% at U.S. gas stations, and 3% on U.S. online retail purchases!
When it comes to cash-back credit cards, there are dozens of options to choose from. So what sets the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express apart from the rest?
This card is excellent at earning cash-back on your everyday purchases at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and on U.S. online retail purchases. So if you regularly spend money on everyday purchases, this could be the perfect card to add to your wallet.
The Amex Blue Cash Everyday card is a leading cash-back credit card, and it just so happens to offer a balance transfer promotion as part of its welcome bonus.
Currently, the card offers a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months from the date of account opening. After that, 19.24% - 29.99% variable APR.. There’s a 3% or $5 balance transfer fee, whichever is greater.
Expect to earn up to 3% cash-back:
There’s also a statement credit for $7 back per month after spending $9.99 or more per month on an eligible subscription to The Disney Bundle.
Get an extra $15 per month in statement credits when you purchase eligible Home Chef meal solutions online with this card.
Ancillary benefits consist of purchase protection, fraud protection, secondary car rental coverage, 24/7 Global Assist, and authorized users for no additional annual fees (rates & fees).
Great card for the average spender with no specific focus category; worry-free cash-back earning on everything!
The Citi Double Cash® Card has long been one of the top cash-back credit cards on the market, and the card now has the ability to earn Citi ThankYou Points!
This means that cardholders of the Double Cash card will now earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. Cash back is earned in the form of ThankYou Points. This means each billing cycle, you will earn 1 ThankYou point per $1 spent on purchases and an additional ThankYou point for every $1 paid on your purchase balance as long as there is a corresponding balance in your Purchase Tracker.
Citi has turned the Double Cash card into a top choice for those who are looking for an everyday, no-fuss credit card.
The last personal credit card is an absolute juggernaut for balance transfers and cash-back rewards. The Double Cash card currently has a cash-back welcome bonus, as well as 2 balance transfer benefits:
The Double Cash card earns a total of 2% cash-back (1% when you buy and 1% when you pay your bill) and has benefits including digital wallets, access to Citi Entertainment, contactless payments, zero liability on unauthorized charges, and 24/7 customer service.
You can also add no-additional-fee authorized user cards.
Hot Tip: For more suggestions, check out our guide to the best personal credit cards for 0% balance transfers.
If your credit card balances are on business credit cards, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting a business balance transfer credit card as rather than a personal credit card.
One of the most famous balance transfer credit cards is the U.S. Bank Business Platinum card. This card is a fantastic choice if you’re looking to focus only on balance transfers without worrying about cash-back or rewards.
There’s no welcome bonus, but the biggest reason to sign up for this card is to access a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 18 months. After that, a variable APR of currently 15.74% to 24.74% applies
To qualify for the 0% introductory APR on balance transfers, any balances must be transferred within 30 days of account opening. There’s a 3% balance transfer fee or $5 minimum, whichever is higher.
The card offers access to expense tracking tools, 24/7 customer service, contactless payments, zero fraud liability, and U.S. Bank ExtendPay Plan, which helps divide large purchases into monthly payments.
The main reason why you absolutely want this card is to take advantage of the ultra-long 18-month promotional balance transfer period.
Our runner-up credit card combines a balance transfer offer with the ability to earn respectable cash-back rewards, which is rare for a business credit card.
To be specific, with the U.S. Bank Business Triple Cash Mastercard, your 0% intro APR introductory rate applies to purchases and balance transfers. After 15 billing cycles, it adjusts to a variable APR, currently ranging from 19.24% – 28.24%.
Balance transfers must be completed within 30 days of account opening to qualify for the introductory APR — and there’s a 3% balance transfer fee ($5 minimum).
You can also earn up to 5% cash-back on purchases as shown here:
Also, there’s a $100 annual software credit for recurring software subscription expenses such as FreshBooks or QuickBooks.
And with this credit card, you can make contactless payments, access 24/7 customer service, and utilize the U.S. Bank ExtendPay Plan feature to divide large purchases into fixed monthly payments.
There are also no additional annual fees for employee cards.
Here’s how the rewards structure is broken down:
We’re major fans of this credit card because you can also get zero fraud liability, enhanced ID theft protection, purchase assurance coverage, extended warranty, free credit score access, and no foreign transaction fees.
Lastly, there are no additional annual fees for employee cards.
Hot Tip: Our guide to the best business credit cards for balance transfers has even more options to choose from.
Paying a credit card with another credit card can be accomplished — but it’s only worthwhile to do so if the savings realized outweigh the costs incurred in doing so.
Most people think about paying a credit card with another credit card by taking a cash advance or performing a balance transfer from another credit card they have open already.
However, this is a losing game because of the additional fees and interest you’d accrue.
The best course of action would be to open a new credit card that has an attractive balance transfer promotion, ideally with 0% APR.
There are a variety of 0% balance transfer APR credit cards out there, and we walked you through a few of our favorite personal and business credit cards that currently offer balance transfer promotions.
Just keep in mind that you can’t perform balance transfers from personal cards to business cards (and vice versa). You also are only allowed to transfer balances between credit cards from different issuers. For example, you can’t transfer a Capital One credit card balance to another Capital One credit card.
Try to opt for credit cards that offer rewards and attractive balance transfer terms. That way, you’re getting the best of both worlds!
The information regarding the U.S. Bank Business Platinum Card, U.S. Bank Business Triple Cash Rewards World Elite™ Mastercard®, and Edward Jones Business Plus Mastercard® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
For the global assist benefit of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, eligibility and benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Card Members are responsible for the costs charged by third-party service providers.
The information regarding the U.S. Bank Business Platinum Card, U.S. Bank Business Triple Cash Rewards World Elite™ Mastercard® and Edward Jones Business Plus Mastercard® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® from American Express, click here.
You can’t do this directly — usually, credit card bill payments must be made with a bank account, which requires an account number and routing number.
However, you can use balance transfer credit cards to pay off your credit card bill and move the balance from one card to another.
If this were allowed, it would essentially be a massive, circular payment loop of debt. The banks don’t allow this because it doesn’t lead to any positive outcomes. You can, however, use balance transfer credit cards in your favor to defer credit card interest, when used properly.
Most of the time, it is not smart to do so. However, if you use balance transfer credit card promotions intelligently, you can defer interest from accruing on credit card balances.
You can’t directly do that — you need to make direct bill payments through a bank account. However, if you get a balance transfer credit card from another issuer such as Citi or Chase, you can use that card to transfer your Capital One card’s balance onto your other card. That way, you can reduce or delay credit card interest from accumulating.
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UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.