Can I transfer my credit card debt to another bank?
It's usually simple to transfer your credit card balance to another bank, unless it’s the same lender – here’s what you need to know.
Balance transfer credit cards let you move debt from one card to another to save money on interest and fees. You typically won't be able to get a balance transfer between cards from the same bank or lender.
For example, if you had a NAB Rewards credit card, you couldn't get a balance transfer to a NAB Low Rate card. This also affects transfers between credit card brands with financial ties to one another. For example, a balance transfer from St.George to Bank of Melbourne is not allowed because both brands are part of the St.George Banking Group.
How to transfer a credit card balance to another bank or lender
- Choose a new credit card. You can get 0% interest on balance transfers for up to 34 months with some credit card offers on the market, which can help you save on charges when you switch.
- Check the eligibility requirements. As well as any income and residency requirements, check what details are needed for the balance transfer. For example, it usually needs to be from an account in your name with a different bank.
- Apply and provide the balance transfer request details. When you apply for a balance transfer, some financial institutions will ask for the account number and BSB. Others may ask for the card number, BPAY biller code or a cheque mailing address so that they can process the balance transfer.
- Activate the new card. If you're approved, you'll typically need to activate the new card to complete the balance transfer process.
If a repayment is due on your existing account before the process is complete, make sure you pay it by the due date. When the balance transfer is finalised, you'll see details on your new account and can cancel the old card.
Credit card balance transfer restrictions
If you want to transfer card debt to another bank or brand, you can use this table to see when it is and isn't possible with major Australian banks and lenders.
|Credit card brand||Balance transfer brand restrictions|
|American Express||Balance transfers are not currently available on new American Express cards.|
|ANZ||You can't balance transfer between 2 accounts issued by ANZ. You can transfer debts from other Australian store or credit card issuers, as long as they accept BPAY or cheque payments. The transferred balance must be between $100 and up to 95% of your available credit limit.|
|Bank of Melbourne||Balance transfer requests will not be accepted from another Bank of Melbourne, St.George or BankSA credit card. But you can transfer balances from Westpac cards, even though Bank of Melbourne is a division of the Westpac Banking Corporation.|
|BOQ||You can't transfer balances between 2 BOQ branded accounts.|
|BankSA||Balance transfers are not allowed from BankSA, St.George or Bank of Melbourne credit cards, which are all part of Westpac Banking Corporation. But you can transfer balances from Westpac cards.|
|Bankwest||Balance transfers are not allowed from an existing Bankwest account to a new Bankwest account.|
|Citi||You can't transfer balances from other Citi accounts.|
|Coles||You can't request a balance transfer between 2 Coles credit cards.|
|IMB||Balance transfers are not allowed between IMB accounts, Card Services accounts or other NAB accounts. (NAB is the issuer and credit provider of Card Services Cards, including IMB credit cards).|
|Kogan Money||Balance transfers are not allowed between Kogan Money accounts. Kogan Money credit cards are issued by NAB, and you can request a balance transfer from accounts with other financial institutions and stores.|
|Latitude Financial||Balance transfers will not be accepted from other Latitude Financial credit or loan accounts.|
|Macquarie Bank||Balance transfers are not allowed from any account issued by Macquarie Bank. This includes other Macquarie or Card Services accounts.|
|NAB||You can't transfer a balance from one NAB account to another.|
|Qantas Money||Balance transfers are not allowed between Qantas Money cards.|
|St.George||You can only transfer balances from non-St.George, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA Australian credit, charge or store cards. You can request a balance transfer from Westpac cards, even though St.George is a division of the Westpac Banking Corporation.|
|Suncorp Bank||If you have a Suncorp credit card, you can't request a balance transfer from Suncorp or other Citigroup accounts (issued by NAB since 1 June 2022). This includes cards from Citi, IMB and Virgin Money.|
|Virgin Money||Virgin Money may refuse to process a balance transfer request when it is from another Virgin Money account. Virgin Money credit cards are issued by NAB. You can request a balance transfer from accounts with other financial institutions and stores.|
|Westpac||Balance transfers are only allowed from non-Westpac Australian issued credit, charge or store cards. While Westpac is affiliated with St.George, Bank of Melbourne and BankSA, you can request balance transfers from any of these brands to Westpac.|
What happens if I apply for a balance transfer with the same credit card issuer?
It varies between cards and different situations, but here are some of the most common outcomes:
- Your application may be declined. The reason your application gets denied usually has more to do with other factors, including your credit score and credit history. Even if a balance transfer isn't possible, you could still be approved for the card.
- It could lower your credit score. If you apply for a lot of balance transfer credit cards in a small amount of time, your credit score might temporarily drop. See Finder's guide to good and bad credit ratings for more details.
- You could get an offer for the new card without the balance transfer. If everything else in your application meets the lender's criteria, you could be approved for the card with a note that your balance transfer request can't be processed.
Tip: Check the balance transfer terms and conditions or ask the credit card brand about the balance you want to transfer before applying. This can help you avoid the scenarios we've mentioned here.
Can I get a balance transfer to my existing card?
Some banks and brands let you consolidate existing debts onto a card you already have, as long as the balances are held with a different issuer. For example, both NAB and Westpac let you request a balance transfer to an existing card through their mobile banking apps.
Just keep in mind that balance transfer offers for existing accounts usually aren't as competitive as the 0% introductory offers available to new cardholders.
What’s the difference between a credit card issuer and a credit card brand?
A credit card issuer is legally the financial service provider for the account, while a credit card brand is the main point of contact for customers.
In really simple terms, this means credit cards could have branding for a supermarket or airline (e.g. Coles or Qantas Money) and be issued by larger financial institutions that have the required Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) and Australian credit licence.
Why are balance transfers not allowed between cards by the same issuer?
This comes down to the structure of a balance transfer. This process lets you shift debt from one creditor to another with the aim of refinancing your debt at a lower interest rate.
Since balance transfer offers are typically promotions to entice new customers, card issuers rarely allow existing customers the opportunity to refinance within their own umbrella of issued cards.
Comparison of balance transfer credit cards
- Australian Securities and Investments Commission AFS licences page accessed online 30 March 2022
- Australian Securities and Investments Commission credit licence FAQ page accessed online 30 March 2022
- Card Services My Offers "Important information" on balance transfers (accessed 30 January 2023)
- Westpac balance transfer information for existing customers accessed online 30 March 2022
- American Express balance transfer webpage (accessed 17 January 2023)
- Kogan Money balance transfer FAQs (accessed 30 January 2023)
More guides on Finder
Can I transfer Zip Money or Zip Pay funds to other accounts?
Find out what balance transfer credit card options you can use to consolidate debts from Zip Money, Zip Pay and other interest-free accounts.
Can I balance transfer a personal loan to a credit card?
Use this guide to see which providers accept balance transfers from a personal loan to a credit card and discover how you can repay your debt faster with 0% balance transfer offers.
Balance transfers for existing customers
Here's how to get more value out of your credit card with exclusive promotions, offers and perks available to existing customers.
Credit card debt settlement
Is it worth paying a debt settlement company to help you deal with credit card debt, or can you do it on your own?
Balance transfer limit
If you're considering a balance transfer, compare which credit cards can accept your debt based on the balance transfer limits.
Can you do a balance transfer to someone else’s credit card?
Get details of what credit cards may be available when you and your partner are looking for a way to balance transfer debt between you.
Ask an Expert