0% p.a. on balance transfers for 16 months.
$0 Annual Fee for the first year (save $87).
Overseas travel and medical insurance for up to 6 months.
Promotion

Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Get a balance transfer card to reduce your interest payments, save money and get out of debt faster.

Balance transfers allow you to transfer high-interest debt to another card with a lower interest rate – and sometimes with no interest – during a set promotional period. If you are carrying credit card debt month to month, a balance transfer could therefore mean substantial savings. The RBA, for example, has found that the average Australian carries a balance of $3,000, at an average rate of 17% per annum. Transferring that balance to a credit card with a six-month 0% rate would save over $250. If you have debt on several credit cards, consolidating them into one card has the additional benefit of less paperwork every month.

Australian card users are at a particular advantage: unlike companies in the United Kingdom and United States, Australian banks rarely charge a balance transfer fee. The transaction may incur an administrative fee, but overall this leaves the Australian consumer much more flexibility in moving debt around.

Transferring balances is not without its pitfalls. A high annual fee on a new card, for instance, could cancel potential savings if your debt is relatively minor. Applying for several credit cards in a short amount of time, particularly if you have a large outstanding balance, will lower your credit score, especially if some of the applications are denied. Furthermore, banks typically charge a much higher rate on new purchases, so even though payment allocations have been changed so that payments go towards more expensive debt first, if you are planning on using the new card for purchases your savings could be nulled. Read the FAQ section below for more information.

The cards listed in this section are specifically geared toward balance transfers, and let you initiate a transfer during the application process. If the application is successful, you can usually expect the balance to transfer from the old card within two weeks. Normally, the bank will also give you a window of up to three months after opening an account to take advantage of the promotional interest rate.

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Amount I'd like to transfer: 
$5000
 
My interest rate on purchases: 
17%
 
My annual fee: 
$90
 
 
card features
balance transfer
purchase rate
annual fee
your savings
ANZ Low Rate MasterCard
APPLY BY 27 oct 14
Rated by 30 people
Low 13.49% p.a. ongoing rate on purchases.
0% p.a. interest on balance transfers for 16 months.
Get Up to 55 days on purchases.
0% p.a.
16 months
then 13.49%
13.49% p.a.
ongoing
$58
ongoing
 
saved over 16 months
Application
60 second response
More details
ANZ Platinum Credit Card
APPLY BY 27 oct 14
Rated by 5 people
Balance transfer offer 0% p.a. for 16 months.
No annual fee for the first year (waived if annual spend exceeds $20,000 per year).
Overseas travel and medical insurance for up to 6 months.
0% p.a.
16 months
then 19.74%
19.74% p.a.
ongoing
$0
1st year
then $87
 
saved over 16 months
Application
60 second response
More details
Long 0% p.a. rate on balances transferred plus half price annual fee.
Low ongoing purchase rate of 12.99% p.a..
Free bottle of wine every time you dine with the Citibank Dining Program.
0% p.a.
12 months
then 21.74%
12.99% p.a.
ongoing
$49
1st year
then $99
 
saved over 12 months
Application
More details
St.George Vertigo Visa
Rated by 5 people
Long 0% p.a. balance transfer with no balance transfer fee.
Low ongoing rate on spending and pay faster using Visa Paywave.
Only $15,000 min income required and get a 60 second response to your application.
0% p.a.
14 months
then 13.24%
13.24% p.a.
ongoing
$55
ongoing
 
saved over 14 months
Application
60 second response
More details
Citibank Rewards Credit Card – Platinum
APPLY BY 30 sep 14
Rated by 2 people
0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers. (3% one-off balance transfer fee applies)
Free wine every time you dine with the Citibank Dining Program.
Earn rate of 1.25 pts per $1 spent. Get a 60 second response to your application.
0% p.a.
24 months
then 21.74%
20.99% p.a.
ongoing
$199
ongoing
 
saved over 24 months
Application
60 second response
More details
Citibank Rewards Credit Card – Classic
APPLY BY 05 jan 15
Rated by 2 people
0% p.a. for 16 months with no balance transfer fee.
Earn up to 60,000 points per year with no expiry.
Complimentary purchase cover insurance and guaranteed pricing.
0% p.a.
16 months
then 21.74%
20.99% p.a.
ongoing
$89
ongoing
 
saved over 16 months
Application
More details
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Credit Card
APPLY BY 31 jul 14
Rated by 5 people
Save money with 0% p.a. for 14 months on balance transfers.
Reduced Virgin Australia Domestic Saver flights up to 4 x per year for you and a friend.
Earn triple Velocity Points for your first 3 months when you spend on your card.
0% p.a.
14 months
then 20.99%
20.99% p.a.
ongoing
$129
ongoing
 
saved over 14 months
Application
60 second response
More details
HSBC Credit Card
APPLY BY 31 aug 14
Rated by 6 people
No annual fee to pay for as long as you have the card.
Enjoy 0% for 6 months on balances transferred to your new card.
No extra fee for additional cardholder.
0% p.a.
6 months
then 21.99%
17.99% p.a.
ongoing
$0
ongoing
 
saved over 6 months
Application
More details
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Platinum Credit Card
0% p.a. on balance transfers for 14 months.
Low ongoing rate on purchases and use Visa Paywave on purchases of $100 or less.
Complimentary overseas travel insurance and extended warranty on purchases.
0% p.a.
14 months
then 12.74%
12.74% p.a.
ongoing
$99
ongoing
 
saved over 14 months
Application
More details
NAB Premium Credit Card
APPLY BY 31 jul 14
Rated by 4 people
Money saving 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for up to 15 months.
7 types of complimentary insurances including overseas travel insurance.
Fast 60 second instant approval response.
0% p.a.
15 months
then 19.74%
19.74% p.a.
ongoing
$90
ongoing
 
saved over 15 months
Application
60 second response
More details
Show more cards

Q&A's about Balance Transfer Credit Cards from Customers

Q: What is a balance transfer?

A balance transfer is when one bank pays off the outstanding debt at your old bank and transfers it to a new account with them. Typically, banks offer promotional deals with low interest rates for a period of time to attract new customers. The promotional offer can save a significant amount of money; many people use it repay their debt faster. See our FAQ below for questions about how balance transfers work, how they affect your credit score and more.

Q: What are the most popular credit cards in this category?

The most popular balance transfer credit cards with the visitors of this comparison site are the cards that offer the lowest rates on balance transfers with which will save people the most money. Typically this means 0% balance transfer rates for 12 months or more. If you’re like most people you’ll appreciate longer periods of time to pay off old card debt and start to move forward again with your personal finances.

Q: How much money can I save?

Say you currently have a balance of $3,000 – about average for Australia, according to research by the RBA – that is charged an interest rate of 15% per annum. This means approximately 1.25% in interest per month, which works out to be $37.50. If you were to switch to a card with 0% for 6 months, you would save around $225.

Or, let’s imagine you have a balance of $10,000 and paying 15% p.a., which works out to an interest bill of $125 per month. Switching to one of the long-term balance transfer deals offering 2% for the year would reduce your total interest payments on a $10,000 balance to $17 per month, saving you around $1,250 during the first year.

To see how this would affect your debt repayment, you can use one of the calculators below (but remember to account for transfer fees as well as annual fees):

Q: What is a balance transfer fee?

Unlike in the United Kingdom or United States, in Australia balance transfer fees are rarely charged. A balance transfer fee is a one-off fee charged to you by a new bank to establish a credit plan for the amount you transfer onto your new credit card. If there is a balance transfer fee charged our comparison tables will show it and the savings calculation will factor it in. Generally a balance transfer fee is only charged on credit cards with higher credit limits.

Q: What are the best balance transfer rates?

The majority of banks offer new customers a balance transfer deal in the region of 1-4% for a period of 6-18 months. The 0% rate offers are the exception rather than the rule in Australia. But you can compare 0% balance transfer cards in this comparison site and find out how much you stand to save.

Q: What interest rate will my transferred amount revert to after the balance transfer period ends?

When the low balance transfer rate expires, the amount that you transferred over will be subject to either the ongoing purchase rate or the cash advance rate. Our comparison tables will show which rate the balance transfer rate reverts to.

Q: When does the debt need to be transferred?

Most people take immediate advantage of a balance transfer offer and include the details of their debts in their application. However, banks may give you up to 3 months leeway. Failing to use the promotional offer when applying for a new card means your outstanding balance, which will still be on your old card, will be charged the standard interest rate. Therefore, you would unnecessarily be paying interest instead of saving money.

Q: What types of balance transfers are there?

In addition to the comparison table above, you can compare credit cards which offer balance transfers with:

Q: I'm a loyal customer. Why doesn't my bank offer me a balance transfer rate?

Even if you have been with your bank for years, you’ll have to transfer your balance to an account with a different bank in order to take advantage of the introductory offer on interest. Most banks in Australia do not permit their customers to transfer a balance from one account held with them to another. This may sound like a lot of hassle, but in reality it isn’t, especially because most banks do not charge a fee for doing this.

h2.

Q&A's about Applying for a Balance Transfer Credit Card

Q: How do I initiate a balance transfer?

You have two choices when switching to a new card. Either you fill in the details of the balance you would like to transfer on the application form, or you wait until the account has been opened and then initiate the process. You’ll typically get the same interest rate regardless, but you should be wary about delaying because most banks insist that you start the balance transfer within a set window of time if you want to get the introductory deal. Failing to do so may mean that you’ll have to pay a higher rate of interest on any debt transferred across to your new account.

Q: How closely will the banks look at my credit card application?

All banks and credit card issuers look at your personal financials in order to figure out if you should be approved or declined. The bank will want to verify your age to make sure you are over 18 years old, look at your income, check your residency status and also check your credit rating to calculate how trustable and capable you are to repay your credit card.

Q: How long does it take the new bank to process my application and transfer over my old balance?

Assuming that your credit card application has been successful, your balance will usually be transferred inside two weeks.

Q: Can the outstanding debt of store cards be transferred?

Yes, you can transfer what you owe on your store card (e.g. your David Jones credit card).

Q: How does a balance transfer impact my credit score?

In short, it depends. If you apply for multiple credit cards in a short period of time, and want to consolidate a large outstanding debt, your credit score will be lowered. This is further compounded if some of your applications have been declined and you continue to apply for more offers. It is best to spread out your applications for new accounts as much as you can while keeping your existing accounts in good order by not missing payments or spending too much.

Q: How does my credit limit affect the amount I can transfer?

Your credit limit, or the amount of money you are allowed to borrow, does come into play. If you intend to consolidate debt from multiple accounts onto a single card using a promotional offer, you may not be able to transfer the entire outstanding amount because your credit limit is not high enough. Should this happen to you, you can still transfer as much of your outstanding balance as possible to take advantage of the low interest rate and work towards paying it off. If you manage to pay off some of what you owe on your new card and essentially free up some space on it, you could move some of the amount still owed from your old card to your new card, but most likely at a rate that is higher than the promotional rate. As long as you space out your applications adequately, you could apply for another credit card and move the rest of your outstanding debt to it.

Q: Should I transfer a balance to a card with an annual fee?

Assuming that you want to apply for a balance transfer credit card and use the low interest rate to pay back your debt faster, you’ll also want to avoid other fees as much as possible. An annual fee is one such charge you would rather avoid. However, if you are planning to move a very large balance at a low rate, the impact of the annual fee is diminished because of the amount of money saved per month on interest alone. Conversely, if you are moving a relatively small debt, the annual fee may practically wipe out any potential savings. Ideally, you are looking for a really cheap and prolonged balance transfer deal without an annual fee.

Q: Can I transfer my credit card balance from overseas to a credit card in Australia?

No. It is not possible to do that.

h2.

Q&A's about Using a Balance Transfer Credit Card

Q: Is it OK to use a balance transfer credit card to make purchases?

This really depends on your financial situation. If you want to open a new account in order to pay less interest and use the money saved to pay off your debt, then no, it’s best not to spend with the card. If your new card has a combined promotional interest rate on balance transfers and purchases, and you can afford to pay for what you buy plus make a repayment on the debt, then you can use the card to buy with. However, in general it’s best to live within your means, pay off your debt first and only buy things with your credit card that you can pay off fully each month.

Q: How much should I pay off each month?

Beyond the minimum, it’s totally up to what works best for your personal financial circumstances. Be aware that paying off only the minimum each month will translate into a long time paying off your balance.

Q: Do banks charge any fees if I pay off my card before the balance transfer period ends?

No – balance transfers credit cards are different to fixed schedule personal loans and home loans. There are no early payment penalties for clearing your credit card debt on time or ahead of time.

Q: In what order are repayments allocated?

Many people don’t realise that a bank doesn’t treat the amount owed as one single account. In other words, if you have transferred a balance at a low interest rate and use your new card to spend with, the bank will allocate payments to the cheapest debt first. So if you are not disciplined in your spending, you’ll not only be adding to your outstanding debt, but you won’t even be paying off the amount of money that was transferred. If you want to get rid of your debt, then don’t use your new balance transfer card to buy stuff!

However, there is an exception to this rule. Banks are now offering cards with a combined low interest rate on both balance transfers and purchases. Therefore, you would pay the same level of interest on any new purchases as you would on the amount of money that was transferred across. Still, the best thing to do is to avoid spending on your card until you are no longer in debt and can afford to pay off your monthly spend in full.

Q: Can I do a 2nd balance transfer onto another card at a different bank?

Yes – you are free to do a follow up balance transfer to another card with a different bank. If you have a bigger debt and you should look for cards with longer balance transfer periods.

Q: Will I still need to pay the minimum repayment each month on the transferred balance?

Yes – you’ll need to pay the minimum each month. Typically it’s about 2-3% of your balance. But, given the debt-busting potential of a well managed balance transfer you should try to pay back as much as you can afford each month while the interest rate is low. Once the rate reverts to the higher level, if you still have some debt, you can transfer the balance to yet another card, with a better rate. You can calculate what your minimum be paying using our minimum repayments calculator

Q: If I move cards, will I need to move my automatic direct debits and bills?

Yes – your credit card number and expiry dates will change so if you have set up automatic direct debits and monthly bills with companies (telco’s) then you’ll need to contact them to change these. There no automated way to do this. Just think, it’s a small inconvenience compared to the money you’ll save.

Q: What should I do with the old cards?

That is up to you. Once you’ve been approved for your new credit card and you’ve had confirmation that the balance has been transferred over, unless you plan on keeping your old card to continue spending on it then you should probably cancel the old card(s). The new bank will not make you close your old card.

Q: I'm unsure. Is there a tool that can help me choose the best balance transfer credit card?

Yes. The comparison tables are your first place to look for the best credit cards. You can adjust the slider controls above the comparison table to calculate how much you’ll save on each balance transfer credit card. If you’re still unsure about which card to go for then you should use the Smart Search tool – it’s able to filter all the credit cards on this comparison site down to the cards that best match your interests and your basic financial profile (age, location, minimum income). The Smart Search tool is designed to save you time and make it easier to eliminate the unsuitable cards.

Still need help? Ask us a question

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We welcome your questions but we cannot help if you need personal financial advice or if have lost your card or need to resolve a dispute with your bank.
 
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