Redistributing or Moving Credit Limits Between Credit Cards

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How To Make Money From 0% APR Balance Transfers

When you do one of these 0% balance transfer deals, you want the biggest limit you can get for a couple of reasons.

1) More free money. More borrowed money = more interest earned = more free money.

2) Keep your credit score high. Say you already have a $9,000 balance. A $9,000 balance on a card with a $10,000 limit hurts your credit more than the same balance with a $20,000 limit.

3) Feed your ego. Knowing I could buy that Mini Cooper right now on my credit card gives me the warm fuzzies. 😉

For example, now that I have a new Citi Professional card with a $9,000 limit and a 0% balance transfer that I can take advantage of at any time within the next year, I am going to shift all the limits on my other Citi cards onto this one.

All you have to do to do this is call the number on the back and ask. Some reps may not know exactly what you are talking about, but most will. I’ve done this successfully with MBNA, Citibank, and American Express. They will let you move almost all of the limit, but they usually require you to leave either $500 or $1,000 limit on each card unless you close it. The limit changes show up either instantly or overnight online so you can easily check.

Here’s my plan to get a ~$20,000 limit, complete with pretty graph!

Credit Limit Redistribution

Transfers must be done within the same family – Citi to Citi, MBNA to MBNA, and so on. Sometimes you’ll run into trouble if there are co-branded cards. For example, I couldn’t shift limits between my AT&T Universal Card and my Citi Dividend Card, even though they are both issued by Citibank.

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  1. Thx for the info. I just did this with my Chase cards and got a new credit limit of $58,800 :). They said they had to do a hard check of my credit, but I did it anyway.

  2. I thought the Citi Platinum Dividend was one of your primary cards. Do you also have a Chase 5% cashback card now?

  3. $58k! That’s the largest limit I’ve heard of on a Chase card.

    Dave – It is, but I only really charge groceries, drugstores, and gas on it for the 5%, and I don’t charge more than $1,000 a month to those things. I might keep it at $2,000 since $1,000 might be a little low. I haven’t done any reallocation just yet, this is just my plan.

  4. If your cards all have a rate of 0%, what advantage is there is transfers the balance to the next card?

    As for your credit score, is there a difference with having (1) all your balance is on one card and the other cards have no balance or (2) spreading the balances across multiple cards? In the end, if you add up the balances of all the cards, your utilization is the same.


  5. I’m talking about using the limits from cards NOT at 0% APR, whether the intro period has lapsed or it’s on cards that don’t need a high limit. Sorry should have made that clearer.

    Yes, there is a difference. As an example, having one card at >90% utilization is worse than two at 45% utilization.

  6. If you wanted to, I assume you can re-distribute the money limits after you take advantage of the balance transfer deal (one year later)?

  7. Can you really transfer limits from Citi Professional (a business card) to other Citi cards (personal cards)?

  8. I am trying to understand what it means by “shifting the limit”? So by shifting limits you are basically asking CitiBank to reduce the max credit limit availble on your old cards (from say 2000 to 1000) and in turn increasing the credit limit for the new 0% card you just got approved to? Is this correct?

  9. Yah know I’ve been very interested taking advantage of the 0% credit cards but don’t have time to hunt and do the legwork. CAn I actually pull out the cash, let’s say a 0% credit card with 10K limit, can I pull 10K and put it somewhere?

  10. Just like norman_livla posted above, I too would like to know how to get cash/check for the credit amount if one gets approval? Do they send you check that you can deposit into EmigrantDirect?


  11. Norman — Yes, that’s exactly what he means. Have the credit card company make the balance transfer check out in your name. Check out Jonathan’s articles to see which cards are the best.

  12. Please Read me (first link in post).

    Miller – yep. Bandoba – yep, so I can borrow more.

    Bob – Good question, not sure. On the other hand, if it is a business card, then there is a good chance that the credit line won’t be reported on my personal credit file, and won’t hurt my credit score if I carry a large balance. We’ll have to see. This has worked fine for all my other Citi cards besides the AT&T so far.

  13. I tried reallocating CL from Citi Professional to Citi Dividend but was told by the customer service rep. that it was not possible to move CL between Professional and “Regular” (e.g. Dividend) cards.

    Let us know if you were successful in shifting CL to the Professional card.

  14. Yes, let us know if it works out! I just may follow on your heels…

  15. Matt Hartrich - Buffalo, NY says

    Of course, your 0% balance transfer scheme only works for the meticulous, and those willing to take a hit on their FICO score.

  16. Only if you consider paying your bills on time being meticulous. The only real catch is to remember when the 0% ends. I write it in my card with a Sharpie – 11/06 or whatever, and set multiple reminders.

    True your FICO will drop some, if you want to buy a house soon don’t do this. If you already have balances accruing interest, pay them off first!

  17. I realize this comment comes quite late, but what about credit limits on cards you don’t use anymore? Obviously, people say never to close the card, but keeping open a card with a $10,000 balance that you don’t use anymore doesn’t help you either. Is it best to request to bring those limits down to $500 or $1,000 so that you can increase the limits on the cards that you do use? Obviously you can’t make the quick limit swaps that you could with a Citi to Citi card, but would BofA eventually raise your limit if they see that you brought down your limit on your Capital One card?

  18. This is great!!!

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