What are balance transfers?

A balance transfer is just what it sounds like. It is a transfer of funds or credit in some cases from one account with an institution to another account. The second account could be at the same institution or at a different institution or bank. Some types of balance transfers accounts include:

  • Credit card accounts
  • Bank savings accounts
  • Bank checking accounts
  • Trading accounts at financial institutions

This article will outline the differences between these types of transfers along with several others.

Intra Bank Transfers

This is a rather common type of balance transfer because it comes up rather often if you have both a checking and savings account with your bank. An intra bank transfer is a balance transfer within your personal bank. For instance, if you were a customer with both a checking and savings account with a national bank, like Bank of America and wanted to make a balance transfer, the process would work similar to the following example. Let’s say you have a dilemma. You have a bill due this coming Friday and to avoid late fees you must pay it immediately. You also receive you paycheck this coming Friday, but unfortunately your funds don’t clear until Monday, the following business day. To avoid late fees you decide to pay for the bill using funds from your savings account. If you have an online account the process of making a balance transfer is simple enough. You would simply click on the link that enables you to make transfers within your bank. With Bank of America after clicking this link you are prompted with a screen asking which account you would like to make a balance transfer from and which account you want to make a transfer to. You will also be asked the amount of the balance transfer. After you have decided this information you would click on the confirmation link. You will now be able to pay off your balance with funds in your checking account. This process is almost identical with any online transfer with virtually any national bank. This process is also similar if you make the transfer from your phone as well. You will most likely be asked to confirm your account information along with the information listed above that detail your transfer.

Inter Bank Balance Transfers

Interbank balance transfers are transfers that occur between two financial institutions. These transfers are rather common as well, seeing as many Americans have multiple accounts from different sources. These transfers are a bit more complex than intra bank transfers. The accounts you can make transfers vary by bank. For example, with Bank of America you can make interbank transfers with Merrill Lynch brokerage accounts and some others accounts1. Refer to your bank’s information page on transfers for more information.

This article just briefly covers two types of balance transfers: intra and inter -bank transfers.


Sybria White

Sybria White

Sybria White is a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Upon graduation in May 2010, she will leave Carolina with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology, a Certificate in Career Development and will be awarded a Public Service Scholar. She plans to attend graduate school to pursue a Master’s Degree in Public Health following taking a year off to contribute to a National Service Program, such as AmeriCorps. Her undergraduate career has taught her the value of a sociological perspective, which has influenced her dedication to public service. She is a volunteer for W.D. Hill Recreation center, Peer mentor for minority students and has served as an active member of several campus organizations such as Sociology club, North Carolina Health Careers and Access Program, Community Government, and Minority Advising just to name a few.

Apart from contributing public service and active involvement on campus, Sybria is very passionate about creative writing and writing in general and hopes to bring a sociological point of view to her articles. Her interests outside of writing and public service include reading books concerning fashion and spending time with her family.

A well rounded curriculum involving Business and English academics in addition to sociology, have helped shaped this young writers’ unique voice. She is eager to share her newly acquired skills and looks forward to helping others approach every day problems from a new, and perhaps, sociological outlook.
Sybria White

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