Can I balance transfer a personal loan to a credit card?

A handful of credit cards let you balance transfer a personal loan and save with 0% interest - right now for up to 30 months.

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$
% p.a.
Name Product Balance transfer rate Purchase rate Annual fee Amount saved
Citi Rewards Card - Balance Transfer Offer
0% p.a. for 30 months
21.49% p.a.
$49 annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Save with a 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 30 months (with no balance transfer fee). Plus, a $49 first-year annual fee. Ends 30 June 2021.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
0% p.a. for 26 months
20.74% p.a.
$64 annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Get 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 26 months, a reduced 1st year annual fee & $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher yearly.
Qantas Premier Platinum
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1% balance transfer fee
19.99% p.a.
$225 annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter)
Enjoy 80,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend at least $4,000 within the first 3 months, 80 bonus Status Credits on eligible spend, plus a discounted $225 first-year annual fee.
Citi Clear Card
0% p.a. for 15 months
14.99% p.a.
$49 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Get $250 cashback when you spend $3,000 within the first 90 days. Plus, a 0% balance transfer offer and first-year annual fee discount.
Citi Rewards Card - Flybuys Offer
0% p.a. for 15 months with 1% balance transfer fee
21.49% p.a.
$49 annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Get 100,000 bonus Flybuys points (worth $500 Flybuys dollars) when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. Plus, a $49 first-year annual fee.
Citi Premier Card
0% p.a. for 6 months
21.49% p.a.
$150 annual fee for the first year ($300 p.a. thereafter)
Enjoy 130,000 bonus points (worth $450 in eGift cards) when you spend $4,000 within the first 90 days. Plus, a first-year annual fee discount.
Coles Low Rate Mastercard
0% p.a. for 15 months
12.99% p.a.
$58
Enjoy a 0% interest on balance transfers for 15 months, with no BT fee. Plus, earn Flybuys points as you spend. Ends 30 June 2021.
Citi Rewards Card - Velocity Points Offer
0% p.a. for 15 months
21.49% p.a.
$99 annual fee for the first year ($199 p.a. thereafter)
Enjoy 100,000 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. Plus, complimentary travel and purchase insurance.
Coles Rewards Mastercard
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
19.99% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Get 20,000 bonus Flybuys points (worth $100 at Coles), a $0 first-year annual fee and an 18-month balance transfer offer. Ends 30 June 2021.
Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard - Exclusive Offer
0% p.a. for 12 months
0% p.a. for 12 months, reverts to 19.99% p.a.
$0
Finder Exclusive, ends 30 June 2021
Earn 10,000 bonus Flybuys points and save on interest charges with 0% p.a. on balance transfers and purchases for 12 months.
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Which banks allow a personal loan balance transfer?

There are a few credit card providers in Australia that allow you to balance transfer personal loan debt to a credit card – including Citi, Coles, Qantas Money and Virgin Money. Most other credit cards that offer 0% balance transfer rates only let you move debts from other Australian credit cards, store cards or charge cards.

What are the benefits of transferring a personal loan balance to a credit card?

While it does depend on the size of the debt, the balance transfer offer and the card, below are some of the potential benefits you could get with this option.

  • Save money.Balance transfer credit cards give you a chance to save money on interest charges by offering a low or 0% introductory interest rate.
  • Pay off your personal loan debt faster. Paying low or no interest on a balance transfer card means that more of your repayments go directly towards the principal debt (rather than interest charges). This gives you a chance to pay off your debt in a shorter amount of time.
  • Longer balance transfer offers. Balance transfer credit cards offer introductory interest rates for up to 24 months (or sometimes longer). Depending on the amount of debt you owe and the repayments you can afford to make, you may even be able to pay off your personal loan debt before this period ends, avoiding higher interest charges in the process.
  • Pay off all your debts at once. You may be able to consolidate debt onto one credit card so that you only need to make one repayment each month. Plus, you’ll only have to deal with one interest rate for all of your debt.

What should I think about before transferring personal loan debt?

Take a look at the following factors to help you decide if this option will work for you.

  • The length of the introductory period. To get the most out of a balance transfer offer, you need to pay off the entire debt before the end of the low or 0% balance transfer period. Otherwise, the card's standard rate will apply to any remaining debt. You can divide your debt by the number of months in the introductory period to get an idea of the repayments required to clear your debt within the offer period. If you think it will take longer than that to pay off the balance, you could think about sticking with your current personal loan or compare other debt consolidation loans to find an option that's affordable for you.
  • Balance transfer fees. Some credit cards charge a one-time fee for processing balance transfers. This fee depends on the balance transfer offer and the card and is usually around 1% to 3% of the total debt you transfer. If you still owe a lot on your personal loan, you may want to compare credit cards with no balance transfer fee to avoid the added cost.
  • Fees and charges on your old account. As the balance transfer process can take a couple of weeks to complete, you'll need to continue making payments on your existing account/s until the debt is transferred. Some personal loans may also apply early exit fees or other charges when your debt is transferred. Make sure you check with your loan provider before doing a balance transfer so that you know exactly how much it will cost.
  • The revert rate. At the end of the introductory period, the low promotional interest rate for balance transfers will revert to a standard variable rate. This is usually the purchase or cash advance rate for your card, so aim to pay off your balance before this rate applies.
  • Keeping your old account open. Once the debt is transferred to your new credit card, make sure you close the personal loan account to avoid any additional fees or charges.
  • Making purchases during the introductory balance transfer period. If you use your new balance transfer credit card to make purchases, the standard purchase rate will apply to those charges, and any repayments you make will be allocated to these debts before your balance transfer debt. If that happens, you could end up carrying the balance until after the introductory period ends, so try to focus on paying off your existing debt before using your card for spending.

How can I make sure I'm eligible to transfer my personal loan to a credit card?

Each card has different requirements that you need to meet, but generally they will include the following:

  • Meet the credit card application criteria. You’ll need to meet the eligibility criteria for the specific credit card you’re applying for, including the minimum age, Australian residency status, credit score requirements, as well as the minimum income requirements.
  • Request a balance transfer from eligible accounts. You are only eligible to balance transfer existing debts if they are from a different Australian financial institution to the one you’re applying with. For example, you can’t transfer a Citi personal loan debt to a Citi credit card. Citi may also refuse to process a balance transfer request when it is from another Citigroup account.
  • Make sure the debt is in your name. The name for your credit card and balance transfer debt must match. This means you cannot request a balance transfer from an account held by someone else, such as your partner. Check out this guide for options that allow balance transfers from a spouse or partner.
  • Check the balance transfer limits. There may be minimum and maximum limits for your balance transfer. For example, Citi, Coles and Virgin Money state that you must balance transfer at least $500 per request, and you can transfer up to 80% of your credit limit. This means if you were approved for a credit card with a $10,000 limit, you could balance transfer up to $8,000 to the account.

How to request a balance transfer from a personal loan to a credit card

When you apply for your balance transfer credit card, there will be a section asking for details of the debt or debts you want to move onto the card. Here, you'll need to provide details of the personal loan debt you want to transfer, including:

  • The name on the account
  • The type of card or account (i.e. personal loan)
  • The account number
  • The amount of debt you want to transfer
  • The name of the issuing organisation
  • The Biller Code and Reference Number

If your application is approved, you should get your new credit card in around 10 working days. Depending on the issuer, you may need to activate the card so that the credit card company can begin the balance transfer process. This could take another 10 working days to be complete. Once that's done, you can close your old account and start paying off the debt on your new credit card.

Frequently asked questions about balance transferring a personal loan to a credit card

I want to consolidate my debts. Is it better to use a debt consolidation loan or a balance transfer credit card?

This depends on how much debt you have and what you're eligible for. Typically, balance transfer credit cards will allow you to transfer a smaller amount than that debt consolidation loan. Balance transfer cards might also be harder to get approved for since the lender can't change your rate. If you're tossing up between the two, remember that loans generally provide a fixed interest rate that is applied from the time the loan is approved. Whereas balance transfer credit cards provide a low or 0% introductory interest rate before standard rates are applied, which can give you an interest-free period.

If I transfer my personal loan to a credit card, would the debt be considered a personal loan debt or a credit card debt?

After you successfully balance transfer your personal loan to a credit card, that debt will be considered as a credit card debt.

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    20 Responses

      Default Gravatar
      JovankuOctober 13, 2018

      Can I do a balance transfer from a Bankwest Credit Card to a Commonwealth Bank Personal Loan?

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        JeniOctober 13, 2018Staff

        Hi VW,

        Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

        Currently, you are not able to do that. As per Bankwest’s balance transfer T&Cs, you may at any time request them, and they may agree to transfer any debit balance of a credit card, store card, or charge card account held with another Australian financial institution by you or an additional cardholder to the card account.

        I hope this helps.

        Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any other enquiries.

        Thank you and have a wonderful day!

        Cheers,
        Jeni

      Default Gravatar
      JoJune 22, 2017

      I applied for a Virgin Flyer Card with balance transfer 18 months interest free to clear a personal loan.

      Upon activation and calling to arrange the BT, I was advised by the call centre that they are unable to transfer to a personal loan (even after I supplied the Biller Code and Ref No).

      Instead they’re sending me a cheque for the BT amount!

        Default Gravatar
        JonathanJune 22, 2017

        Hello Jo!

        That sounds a surprise for you! But don’t be! :)

        Some credit card companies use “convenience checks” that will let you do balance transfer. If you sign and use that check to pay off your loan, the check amount gets drawn from the credit limit you have in your card, then the agreed rates and fees ensue.

        You may want to talk with your credit card company to confirm if this is a valid alternative instead of transferring your loan to your card themselves.

        Hope this helps.

        Cheers,
        Jonathan

      Default Gravatar
      BenJune 21, 2017

      Hi! When applying for a card for balance transfer (24 months interest free), can I specify that it’s for a balance transfer and the amount, such as $20,000 personal loan. Also, can I be notified of the card’s maximum before actually going ahead? Or is it more-so that once I have applied, if they approve it I need to pay the fee for the card and have it regardless of the maximum amount? My fear is that they may give a low maximum when the point of applying might have been to balance transfer close to a $20,000 personal loan figure. Thanks.

        Default Gravatar
        JonathanJune 21, 2017

        Hi Ben!

        Thanks for your inquiry.

        Usually, during the application process, it is not necessary for you to declare the purpose why and how much you need when you’re applying for a card. The approval will depend on the bank’s internal criteria and this will determine your credit limit and how much you can transfer (most only allow 80% of your approved limit to ensure you don’t go over).

        We understand it concerns you that you might be approved for a card with inadequate credit line and you need to bear with the fees, but take note that whatever balances you successfully transferred and get a 0% offer, would still translate to some savings on your wallet.

        Another solution is you might consider talking with your existing lender to give you more friendly repayment plan for your personal loan, that way you don’t need to be concerned about transferring debt.

        Hope this helps.

        Cheers,
        Jonathan

      Default Gravatar
      JoanApril 27, 2017

      Hi,

      Can you please advise if there is any fee charged if you pay off the balance transfer amount prior to the allocated period expires?

      Thank you

        Default Gravatar
        LiezlApril 28, 2017

        Hi Joan,

        Thanks for your question.

        There is no fee for paying off your bill before the end of the promotional period. It’s ideal to pay off the debt before the end of the introductory period so that you can avoid higher interest charges.

        Best regards,
        Liezl

      Default Gravatar
      moeJune 1, 2016

      Hi,

      Once I transfer my personal loan to the credit card with Citibank, would this new credit debt, would it be considered a personal loan or a credit card debt? if it considered a credit card debt, after the 24 months period end, can I balance transfer this remaining amount to another credit card with another bank institution, to still keep going with the balance transfer with no interest?

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        MayJune 1, 2016Staff

        Hi Moe,

        Thanks for your inquiry.

        Yes, once you have successfully transferred your personal loans to a balance transfer credit card with Citibank, that debt will be considered as a credit card debt. So if you want to transfer the remaining balance to another credit card from a different card issuer after 24 months, you may do so.

        Cheers,
        May

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