Balance transfer offers explained

Discover how you can consolidate your debt and save money with a low-interest balance transfer offer.

Are you carrying high-interest credit card debt? If so, a balance transfer could be a wise way to repay your debt without the cost of high interest during the promotional period. As many providers offer balance transfer promotions, it's important to know what to look for to find the offer that is going to be of most value to you. Let's look at what a balance transfer offer is, how you can compare your options and some simple steps to getting the most out of your balance transfer offer.

How do balance transfer offers work?

A balance transfer allows you to transfer credit card debt collecting high interest to a new credit card with a low interest rate for a promotional period. These low rates can start at 0% or sit around the 5%-7% mark. This low rate will only be in place for a promotional period, which can last between 6 and 24 months, depending on the card. The promotional period usually begins as soon as your card is approved, so you'll want to start making repayments as soon as possible to take full advantage of the low rate. Once this introductory offer ends, your remaining balance will start collecting the revert rate, which is usually the much higher standard purchase or cash advance rate. The goal is to repay your entire balance before the revert rate kicks in.

Compare your options

When considering a balance transfer, it's important to compare the cards that are on the market. Ask yourself how long you think it would take to pay off the transferred debt. Use the table below to compare current low balance transfer offers. Keep an eye out for the promotional rate and the length of the promotional period. Generally, the lower the rate and the longer the period, the more you'll be able to pay off.

Balance Transfer Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated July 25th, 2017.

Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card

Balance transfer offer has been extended until 31 July 2017.

June 30th, 2017

Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card

$100 eGift Card plus BT & annual fee offers have been extended until 30 September 2017.

July 1st, 2017

American Express Explorer® Credit Card

Bonus points offer changed from 50,000 to 100,000, which is valid until 2 October 2017.

July 4th, 2017

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Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee Interest Saved
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Exclusive Offer
Apply by 31 July 2017 to earn bonus Velocity Points for the first three months and a $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher each year.
0% p.a. for 18 months 20.74% p.a. $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Platinum
Offers complimentary travel insurance, complimentary purchase insurance and access to a 24/7 personal concierge service.
0% p.a. for 20 months 12.74% p.a. $99 p.a. Go to site More info
Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card
Offers a long-term balance transfer. Earn extra points on eligible international spend, plus complimentary travel insurance.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee 20.99% p.a. $49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Visa
Receive up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and the ability to make contactless payments with Visa payWave technology.
0% p.a. for 14 months 13.24% p.a. $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
Receive a low introductory offer of 0% p.a. on purchases for 3 months and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months.
0% p.a. for 12 months 0% p.a. for 3 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.) $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Earn 1 Reward Point per $1 of eligible spend and receive complimentary travel and purchase protection insurances.
0% p.a. for 22 months with 2% balance transfer fee 19.99% p.a. $99 p.a. Go to site More info
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Platinum
Get a range of complimentary insurance covers, access to a 24/7 concierge and up to 55 days interest-free on purchases.
0% p.a. for 20 months 12.74% p.a. $99 p.a. Go to site More info
BankSA Vertigo Visa
Get up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and be protected by 24/7 Falcon® Fraud service.
0% p.a. for 18 months 13.24% p.a. $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
NAB Low Fee Card
Receive complimentary purchase protection insurance, special offers from Visa Entertainment and up to 44 days interest-free on purchases.
0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee 19.74% p.a. $30 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Low Rate Credit Card
Receive up to 55 days interest-free on purchases. Also enjoy exclusive offers with the home&Away Privilege Program.
0% p.a. for 15 months with 2% balance transfer fee 13.25% p.a. $55 p.a. Go to site More info
Virgin Money Low Rate Credit Card
Receive up to 44 days interest-free on purchases and the optional insurance coverage of CreditShield Edge.
0% p.a. for 12 months 11.99% p.a. $99 p.a. Go to site More info
Westpac Low Rate Card - Online Only Balance Transfer Offer
Take advantage of 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers with a 2% BT fee. Plus, the convenience of the Westpac mobile banking app.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 2% balance transfer fee 13.49% p.a. $59 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Low Rate Platinum Card
Enjoy the protection of 7 complimentary insurances including overseas travel and purchase protection insurance.
0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee 13.99% p.a. $100 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Low Rate Platinum
Enjoy platinum benefits with exclusive discounts, complimentary travel and purchase insurances and a 24/7 personal concierge.
0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee 11.49% p.a. $99 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Essential®  Credit Card
Get Smartphone Screen Insurance of up to $500 when you pay for your phone or contract with your Essential Credit Card.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee 14.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Go to site More info
Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card
Receive a $100 eGift Card when you apply by 30 September 2017 and make an eligible purchase by 31 October 2017.
0% p.a. for 14 months 19.99% p.a. $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($49 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
American Express Explorer® Credit Card
Receive a $400 Travel Credit every year and up to two entries per year to the American Express Lounge at Sydney International Airport.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee 20.74% p.a. $395 p.a. Go to site More info

How to a choose balance transfer offer

There are many balance transfer offers to choose from, but there are a few important features you can compare to find the right one for you.

  • The introductory rate. At the moment, most balance transfer offers have a 0% interest rate, but this can sometimes vary to other low rates. This is how much you'll have to pay on interest as well as the balance you already owe, so this is very important to consider right off the bat.
  • The promotional period. Balance transfer offers generally last between 6 and 24 months. This is how long the promotional low rate will stay in place, so you'll want to consider this to ensure you can repay your entire balance before the end of the introductory period.
  • Revert rate. What will the balance transfer interest rate revert to at the end of the promotional period? Your remaining balance will usually start collecting the standard interest or cash advance rate, which usually sits around the 20% mark. It's important to compare this rate to understand what you'll be paying and how your interest could grow if you're unable to repay the whole amount during the promotional period.
  • Offer expiry date. Some balance transfer offers are only available for a given period, so you'll need to apply before a set date if you want to take advantage of the offer. Make sure to read the terms and conditions as soon as you see the offer to avoid missing out.
  • Minimum repayment. Even if you're paying 0% interest on balance transfers, you'll still need to make minimum repayments each month. The minimum amount will vary from card to card, but you should always try to pay as much as you can. You won't be able to repay your balance by the end of the promotional period if you only make the minimum repayments, so follow a budget and pay as much as you can afford each month.
  • Other costs. You'll also have to make the standard payments that come with a credit card, such as the annual fee, so make sure the savings you make with the card outweigh the fees. While you should avoid using your balance transfer credit card for purchases while you're repaying the transferred debt, consider the purchase rate in case you need to use the card for an emergency or if you plan to use it after you've repaid your debt. Some cards also charge a one-off balance transfer fee of 1-3% of your total balance when you conduct the transfer. See the relevant product disclosure statement (PDS) to confirm the costs and fees that come with your card.

Conducting a balance transfer is a straightforward process, but it's important to compare your options and understand the fees, costs and terms and conditions of the offer to take full advantage of the promotion.

How to ensure your balance transfer application is successful 

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