Which banks will let you transfer a balance at the promotional rate of interest after you've applied for the card?
A balance transfer is one of the most popular ways of reducing credit card interest repayments. Thousands of Australians transfer a balance to another credit card every month.
It's a feature included with most credit cards designed to get you to switch card providers. You transfer your credit card debit to a credit card with a different banking institution, and in return for your business, the new card provider offers a promotional interest rate for a set period of time. You can use this time to pay down your credit card balance.
Because this is a feature aimed at attracting new customers to a bank, some lenders will only allow you to elect to transfer a balance at the promotional rate of interest when you first sign up for the card.
Some offer a grace period after applying—say a month—where you apply for the balance transfer and still get the promotional rate, and others give you the entire promotional period to transfer a balance.
But not everybody wants to transfer a balance when they apply for a credit card. Impending purchases may mean that you need to transfer a balance weeks or months after you apply for a credit card.
The following institutions will allow you to transfer a balance at the promotional rate of interest after you've applied for the card:
Cards that offer the promotional balance transfer after application:
Any balance transfer promotional interest rates are available for a period of up to 30 days after you apply for the card and are approved for the card.
Citi will allow you to transfer a balance at the promotional rate of interest for a period of up to three months after you're approved for the card.
BoM allows you to transfer a balance at the promotional rate of interest provided that you transfer the balance within ten to fourteen days after you apply.
NAB allows you to transfer a balance to a NAB credit card under the promotional rate of interest provided that it is within a 30-day period of activating the card. If you elect to transfer a balance after this 30-day period, you will receive NAB's standard balance transfer rate for existing customers, which is 4.99% for 6 months.
Bankwest are a little different. The balance transfer introductory period starts from when you activate the card. Say if you had an introductory rate of 12 months, if you waited for a month after you activated the card before you transferred a balance, you would then only have 11 months at the introductory rate of interest. The introductory balance transfer period begins when you're approved for the account.
Coles are the same as Bankwest when it comes to transferring a balance after the account has been opened—the balance transfer period starts at the time you're approved for the account.
If you apply for the balance transfer at the time of application, you will get the advertised promotional rate of interest for balance transfers. If you apply for a balance transfer after you're approved for the account, the balance transfer will be subject to the rate ANZ offer to existing customers for that particular product. The balance transfer period begins when you've received and activated the card.
What is a balance transfer? Michelle Hutchison - finder.com.au
If you're looking at transferring a balance, money expert at finder.com.au, Michelle Hutchison, explains what a balance transfer is, and some of the traps to look out when transferring a balance.
If you would like to read more about some of the common balance transfer traps, have a look at our page on some of the key considerations you need to be aware of when you're transferring a balance.
What you need to know when transferring a balance
If you're looking to cut down on interest repayments through a balance transfer facility, it pays to know the product's terms and conditions. If you have any questions about balance transfers, please let us know by asking a question below, and we will get back to you with an answer.