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Balance transfer limit: How much can I transfer with a balance transfer card?

Understand how balance transfer limits work so you can find the right credit card to consolidate your debts.

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We’re committed to our readers and editorial independence. We don’t compare all products in the market and may receive compensation when we refer you to our partners, but this does not influence our opinions or reviews. Learn more about Finder .

A balance transfer can be a useful tool to repay existing debt faster and cheaper with a 0% promotional period. However, the right balance transfer card for you may depend on the size of the debt you're transferring. This is because many banks only allow you to transfer up to a percentage of your approved credit limit. You can use this guide to understand how balance transfer limits work and to compare 0% balance transfer offers so you can find the right card for you.

Compare balance transfer credit cards

Data indicated here is updated regularly
$
% p.a.
Name Product Balance transfer rate Purchase rate Annual fee Amount saved
ANZ Low Rate
0% p.a. for 25 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
12.49% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($58 p.a. thereafter)
Save with 0% p.a on balance transfers for 25 months (with a 1.5% BT fee) and $0 first year annual fee. Plus a 12.49% p.a. purchase interest rate.
Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard - Exclusive Offer
0% p.a. for 12 months
0% for 12 months, reverts to 19.99% p.a.
$0
Finder Exclusive. Ends 29 October 2020
Save on new and existing interest charges with 0% interest on both balance transfers and purchases for the first 12 months.
Citi Rewards Card - Balance Transfer Offer
0% p.a. for 30 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
21.49% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($199 p.a. thereafter)
Save with 0% interest on balance transfers for the first 30 months (with a 1.5% BT fee) and a $0 annual fee for the first year.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
0% p.a. for 22 months
20.74% p.a.
$64 annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Get 0% p.a. for 22 months on balance transfers and a reduced first-year annual fee. Plus, earn up to 30,000 bonus Velocity Points.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card - Balance Transfer Offer
0% p.a. for 22 months
19.99% p.a.
$129
Enjoy a 22-month balance transfer offer, travel insurance and an annual fee refund when you spend an eligible $6k/year.
Westpac Low Rate Card
0% p.a. for 20 months with 1% balance transfer fee
13.74% p.a.
$59
A low rate card offering 0% p.a. interest on balance transfers for the first 20 months and a $200 cashback offer.
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)
Receive 75,000 bonus Flybuys points and a $100 Kmart eGift Card when you meet the spend requirement. Plus, a reduced first-year annual fee.
St.George Vertigo Classic
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% for 7 months, reverts to 13.99% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Get 0% p.a. promotional purchase and balance transfer rates and save with a first-year annual fee waiver.
Coles Low Rate Mastercard - Exclusive Offer
0% p.a. for 6 months
12.99% p.a.
$58
Finder Exclusive. Ends 29 October 2020
Receive $100 off a Coles Supermarket shop when you make an eligible purchase within the first 30 days. Plus, a 0% balance transfer offer.
Citi Clear Card
0.9% p.a. for 15 months
0.9% for 15 months, reverts to 14.99% p.a.
$99
Save with 0.9% p.a. for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. Plus, complimentary purchase insurance cover.
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
0% p.a. for 12 months
19.99% p.a.
$99
Receive 20,000 bonus Qantas Points and a long-term balance transfer offer. Plus, complimentary travel insurance.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Classic
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% for 7 months, reverts to 13.99% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Save with 0% p.a. for 7 months on purchases, 0% p.a. interest for 22 months on balance transfers and a $0 first-year annual fee.
BankSA Vertigo
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% for 7 months, reverts to 13.99% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Enjoy a 0% p.a. for up to 22 months on balance transfers and up to 7 months on purchases. Plus, $0 first-year annual fee.
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
0% p.a. for 20 months with 2% balance transfer fee
12.99% p.a.
$59
Get a 0% p.a. interest rate for 20 months on balance transfers, Visa Offers + Perks and a competitive $59 ongoing annual fee.
St.George Vertigo Classic Rainbow
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% for 7 months, reverts to 13.99% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
All the great low cost features of the Vertigo Visa with a rainbow design in support of the LGBT community.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - 0% Interest Offer
0% p.a. for 6 months
0% for 14 months, reverts to 20.74% p.a.
$64 annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Enjoy 0% p.a. interest on purchases for 14 months, a reduced first-year annual fee and Velocity Points per $1 spent.
St.George Amplify Platinum - Qantas
0% p.a. for 15 months with 1% balance transfer fee
19.74% p.a.
$99
Earn 70,000 bonus Qantas Points, plus enjoy 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 15 months and complimentary insurance covers.
St.George Amplify Platinum
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% for 7 months, reverts to 19.74% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Save with 0% p.a. interest rates on purchases and balance transfers. Plus a $0 first-year annual fee.
Westpac Altitude Platinum Qantas
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1% balance transfer fee
20.49% p.a.
$99 annual fee for the first year ($200 p.a. thereafter)
Get 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $3,000 within 90 days. Plus, a first-year annual fee discount and a long-term balance transfer offer.
Westpac Altitude Platinum Card
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1% balance transfer fee
20.49% p.a.
$99 annual fee for the first year ($150 p.a. thereafter)
Earn 80,000 bonus Altitude Points when you spend $3,000 within 90 days. Plus, a first-year annual fee discount and a long-term balance transfer offer.
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Platinum
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% for 7 months, reverts to 19.74% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Enjoy 0% p.a. on purchases and balance transfers along with a $0 first year annual fee waiver.
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How do balance transfer limits work?

When you apply for a credit card, the card issuer assigns you a maximum credit limit based on your income, credit history and other factors (including any credit limit you request during the application). If you're also applying for a balance transfer, your approved credit limit could have an impact on how much debt you're able to move onto the new card.

Usually, you can transfer between 70% and 100% of the new card's approved credit limit, although this varies between card issuers. For example, if a card allows you to transfer 80% of your credit limit and you're approved for a $10,000 limit, you'd be able to balance transfer $8,000 worth of debt.

If you're transferring multiple debts from more than one account, you need to make sure that the combined debt doesn't exceed this balance transfer limit. Otherwise, the bank may only transfer the maximum amount of debt, which could leave you with a balance on your old account. You may also find that there is a minimum transfer limit, which is usually between $200 and $500. Balance transfer credit limits vary between cards, so you can compare your options below.

How much can I balance transfer?

The table below shows balance transfer limits for different financial institutions. If you're looking at a particular balance transfer credit card, you can also find these details on the review pages.

Bank

Balance transfer limit

Commonwealth BankCommonwealth Bank can process balance transfer requests from $500 up to your available credit limit.
BankwestYou can use up to 95% towards a balance transfer with Bankwest.
ANZMinimum balance transfer limit of $100 and a maximum balance transfer limit up to 95% of your credit limit.
NABNAB’s minimum balance transfer limit is $200. NAB’s maximum balance transfer limit is up to 90% of your approved credit limit at the time of processing the balance transfer request.
WestpacWestpac lets you to use up to 80% of your credit card limit towards a balance transfer.
St.GeorgeSt.George’s minimum balance transfer is limit $200 and maximum balance transfer limit is up to 80% of your credit limit.
Bank of MelbourneYou can balance transfer a minimum of $200 and up to 80% of your credit limit with Bank of Melbourne.
BankSABalance transfer as little as $200 and up to 80% of your credit limit with BankSA.
Bank of QueenslandYou can balance transfer up to 80% of your approved credit limit.
CitiThe minimum credit limit is $500 and up to 80% of your approved credit limit.
Coles MastercardYou can transfer up to a maximum of 80% of your approved credit limit to a Coles credit card.
Community FirstBalance transfers to Community First credit cards start at $500 and are capped at your Community First credit card credit limit.
HSBCYou can transfer up to 90% of your credit limit.
MEYou can transfer up to $100 less than your available credit limit.
Suncorp BankYou can transfer up to of your approved credit limit.
WoolworthsWoolworths can process balance transfer requests from $500 up to your available credit limit.

As well as the size of your debt, you may need to meet income requirements and have a good credit score to be approved. Before you apply, you can get your free credit score and report for free through Finder.

Can my balance transfer be higher than my credit limit?

The amount of debt you can balance transfer to a new card must be less than or equal to the approved credit limit for that card. The amount you can transfer is also subject to maximum balance transfer requirements and approval.

This means you won't know exactly how much you can balance transfer until your application is approved. So in some cases, you could be approved for a balance transfer credit card with a credit limit that is worth less than the debt you wanted to transfer.

What happens if I am approved for a credit limit that is worth less than the debt I want to transfer?

There are four main options you can consider if your balance transfer debt is higher than the credit limit you're approved for on a new card:

  1. Cancel the application. If you haven't received or activated the card, you can call the issuer and ask them to cancel the application. There should not be any charge for this.
  2. Cancel the card. You can cancel your new card at any time after it's been activated. But make sure you do this before the balance transfer has been processed. Also note that if the card charges an annual fee, you may need to pay it before the account can be closed.
  3. Go ahead with the transfer. If you've got a balance transfer credit card with a competitive introductory 0% interest offer, then you may still want to use it to pay down whatever debt can be moved to the card. Just remember to budget for repayments on your existing card and, if possible, aim to pay off the debt that's still being charged interest first to help keep your costs down.
  4. Consider a personal loan to pay off some or all of your debt instead. If a balance transfer credit card does not cover your entire debt, you could look at getting a personal loan to cover the debt that is left over on your original credit card, or as an alternative option for consolidating all your debt. As personal loans typically offer lower standard interest rates than most credit cards, this could help you save on interest charges that would apply to your existing card's balance.

Example: Is getting a partial balance transfer worth it?

Let's say you owe $5,000 on a credit card with an interest rate of 19.99% p.a. and can afford to pay $400 off it per month. If you stuck with this card as it is, it would take 15 months to pay off the debt and cost you $653.35 in interest.

Now, say you're approved for a balance transfer credit card offering 0% p.a. for 18 months but can only transfer $3,000. If you went ahead with the transfer, you could split up your $400 payment between the cards to help save on interest.

For instance, if you paid $300 per month off the card with the $2,000 debt and interest rate of 19.99% p.a., it would take around 8 months to clear the debt and cost you $137.91 in interest. During this time, you'd also be paying $100 per month off your new balance transfer card's debt. So after 8 months, the balance on that card would be $2,200 and you'd still have 10 months of the 0% interest rate.

If you then continued to pay $400 per month on the debt, it would take you 6 more monthly repayments to clear the debt. So in this scenario, you'd enjoy a 0% p.a. interest rate on your $3,000 balance transfer for the whole time before you paid it off.

Even if you aren't approved for the full $5,000 balance transfer, transferring the $3,000 you're eligible to transfer to a new 0% p.a. card saves you $515.44 in interest and you'd be out of debt one month sooner.

What else should I think about?

Keep these factors in mind when you're comparing credit cards or applying for a balance transfer, so you can find an option that suits your needs.

Income and employment

Credit card providers use details of your income and employment to help determine your credit limit. By law, they can only approve you for a credit limit that you could afford to reasonably pay off, with interest, over a three-year period. This means that if you earn a low income, work casually or part-time or have recently changed jobs, you may be approved for a lower credit limit than if you were working full-time.

However, it is less about the absolute numbers and more about how your income compares to your expenses. When you apply for a credit card, you will have to provide details of all of your sources of income as well as your expenses (rent or mortgage payments, childcare, groceries). If you're spending the majority of what you earn (or more), it will be looked upon less favourably than if you were saving every month.

Minimum credit limits

Just as there is usually a minimum balance transfer amount, providers will list a minimum credit limit for different cards. While this could be as low as $500 on some credit cards, there is also a range of credit cards that offer high minimum credit limits of say $6,000 or $15,000 (subject to approval). If you have a lot of debt, you could look for balance transfer offers on one of these cards. Just make sure you compare the card's features and meet the application requirements before you apply because these cards also typically require high minimum incomes.

Credit history

When you apply for a credit card, lenders review your credit report. You're unlikely to be approved for a credit card if you have a low credit score, but your credit history (and existing debts) is something the bank will consider when determining your credit limit. This includes existing credit cards or loans and your current credit limits.

How much credit you're already accessing could also impact the credit limit you're approved for on your new balance transfer card. You can get a free copy of your credit report and credit score through Finder to see what details are listed and how they could impact your application.

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10 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    KimJanuary 19, 2019

    I have been approved for a balance transfer credit card. They have advised me that they will transfer the full amount of my credit card limit in the next 2-3 working days. While I have been waiting on this approval I had to make a minimum payment to the existing credit card. With the minimum payment now applied the balance owing on the existing credit card is now less than the amount that my new credit card will be transferring. My question is what happens to that difference in balances? For example, if my existing credit card limit was $5000 and the new credit card will be transferring the balance of $5000 but I made the payment of $200 to the existing credit card. The true owing balance to the existing credit card is now $4800 (not counting interest fees). My new credit card provider has said that they will still transfer the full $5000. Therefore what happens to the $200 that I had to pay as a minimum payment to my existing credit card?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniJanuary 22, 2019Staff

      Hi Kim,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      You may discuss the amount you’ve paid with your existing credit card issuer if becomes an over payment. As you know, if the balance transfer amount has not been completed then you have to pay your minimum repayment on or before the due date with your existing credit card issuer to prevent missed/late payment.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  2. Default Gravatar
    AleasheaDecember 27, 2018

    I’m on centerlink benefits I’m looking for a credit card that we’re I’m not paying alot back but have a minimum card useage of 1000. Thanks

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JohnDecember 27, 2018Staff

      Hi Aleashea,

      Thank you for reaching out to finder.

      Please click on this link to go to our finder page “Credit cards for retired and pensioner applicants”. This page will give you details on the requirements for each credit card provider when you make an application. The page also provides you tip on what you could do when comparing these cards. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

  3. Default Gravatar
    JazzSeptember 30, 2015

    Hi
    Not sure if my last question came thru but basically, what happens if you pay off your balance transfer quicker than 14months etc?

    Also, is it possible to do another balance transfer from the same card? Obviously with a different bank.
    Or is that a bad idea..

    Thanks

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JonathanSeptember 30, 2015Staff

      Hi Jazz, thanks for your question.

      If your balance transfer debt is repaid then you can use the credit card as normal. If you meet the eligibility requirements for the next bank/ card you are applying for then you can request a balance transfer to pay less interest.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  4. Default Gravatar
    JazzSeptember 24, 2015

    Hi,
    I have been accepted for a st George vertigo card, however my credit limit is very low.
    Would it be best to amend the amount to transfer rather than cancelling the card? Would this help credit limits or do Banks just stick to initial credit limit.

    Also, if I cancel this card, how long should I wait before applying or another credit card balance transfer?

    Thank You.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JonathanSeptember 25, 2015Staff

      Hi Jazz, thanks for your inquiry!

      If the approved credit limit for your St.George Vertigo card is insufficient to transfer all your existing credit card debt, then a credit limit increase can be requested. In regards to applying for another credit card typically it is best to wait at least a few months (4-6 months) before applying for another card.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

    • Default Gravatar
      JazzSeptember 30, 2015

      Hi,
      Another question:

      If the smaller amount of balance transfer is paid off say in couple months time, would it be a bad idea to apply for another credit card for another balance transfer, In the hopes that the credit limit be extended?

      Thank U.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JonathanSeptember 30, 2015Staff

      Hi Jazz, thanks for your inquiry!

      Credit limits are subject to a bank’s lending criteria who take into account income, liabilities, employment history and credit history. As a result applying for another credit card balance transfer offer will not guarantee a credit limit extension. Frequent credit applications can display negative signals to a bank, so it can be recommended to wait at least a few months before applying for another card.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

Credit Cards Comparison

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Purchase rate Balance transfer rate Annual fee
Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard - Exclusive Offer
0% for 12 months, reverts to 19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months
$0
Finder Exclusive. Ends 29 October 2020
Save on new and existing interest charges with 0% interest on both balance transfers and purchases for the first 12 months.
ANZ Low Rate
12.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 25 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$0 annual fee for the first year ($58 p.a. thereafter)
Save with 0% p.a on balance transfers for 25 months (with a 1.5% BT fee) and $0 first year annual fee. Plus a 12.49% p.a. purchase interest rate.
Qantas American Express Premium Card
20.74% p.a.
$249
Enjoy 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, 50 bonus Status Credits and 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year.
Citi Rewards Card - $500 Voucher Offer
21.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months
$99 annual fee for the first year ($199 p.a. thereafter)
Get a $500 e-voucher to spend at Myer, JB Hi-Fi or Coles when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. Plus, earn points with the Citi Rewards Program.
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* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards finder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.

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