Balance transfers with cash advance revert rates

Save money on interest charges by consolidating your debts with a balance transfer card, but watch out for high cash advance revert rates that often apply once the promotional period ends.

Low-rate or 0% balance transfer offers let you transfer existing debt onto a new credit card so you can save money on interest charges for a fixed period. While this can help repay your debts faster without the cost of high interest, promotional offers only last for a limited time.

At the end of the promotional period, a higher standard interest rate will typically be charged for any remaining debt from the transfer. This will usually be at the card’s purchase rate or cash advance rate. Since cash advance rates are often the highest applicable credit card interest rates, your debt repayment plan could backfire on you if you’re not careful.

Compare balance transfer credit cards that revert to cash advance rate

Rates last updated July 21st, 2018
% p.a.

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Name Product Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee Amount Saved Product Description
St.George Vertigo Platinum - Online Offer
0% p.a. for 24 months with 1% balance transfer fee
12.74% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Platinum card benefits including complimentary insurance, plus first year annual fee waiver and 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers.
Qantas Premier Everyday
4.9% p.a. for 24 months
19.99% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($49 p.a. thereafter)
Take advantage of up to 40,000 bonus Qantas Points, a $0 first year annual fee plus complimentary overseas travel insurance.
NAB Low Fee Platinum Card - Exclusive Amazon Offer
0% p.a. for 24 months with 2% balance transfer fee
19.74% p.a.
$90 p.a.
finder Exclusive: 10% cashback with for 12 months (capped at $25 per month). Plus, 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 24 months.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
0% p.a. for 22 months with 2% balance transfer fee
19.99% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Offers a 0% p.a. for 22 months balance transfer, $0 annual fee for the first year and an annual fee refund each year when you spend $6,000.
NAB Low Fee Card
0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee
19.74% p.a.
$30 p.a.
Receive complimentary purchase protection insurance, a 18 month balance transfer offer and special offers from Visa Entertainment.
Citi Clear Platinum - Exclusive Offer
0% p.a. for 24 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
14.99% p.a.
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
finder Exclusive: Receive 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers and a discounted annual fee in the first year. Plus, access to Citi World Privileges.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Bonus Points Offer
0% p.a. for 18 months
20.74% p.a.
$64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Earn up to 60,000 bonus Velocity Points in the first 3 months and enjoy a discounted annual fee of $64 for the first year.
Virgin Money Low Rate Credit Card
0% p.a. for 14 months
11.99% p.a.
$49 p.a.
Offers a $49 annual fee, up to $100 cashback when you make a purchase within 3 months and 0% p.a. for 14 months on balance transfers.
Citi Platinum Credit Card - 100k Bonus Points
0% p.a. for 15 months with 1% balance transfer fee
20.99% p.a.
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Earn 100,000 reward Points, enjoy a long-term balance transfer offer, a discounted first year annual fee and complimentary travel insurance.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Platinum
0% p.a. for 24 months with 1% balance transfer fee
12.74% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Offers a long-term balance transfer, low ongoing purchase rate, complimentary travel insurance and access to a 24/7 personal concierge service.

Compare up to 4 providers

What’s the difference between balance transfer cards that revert to the cash advance rate or purchase rate?

To help illustrate the difference your revert rate can make, let’s imagine that you have a $5,000 credit card debt you want to pay off, and you're comparing 2 balance transfer cards that offer 0% interest for the first 12 months. The main difference between these cards is that one reverts to a low standard purchase rate of 13.99% p.a. while the other reverts to a cash advance rate of 21.99% p.a.

If you budgeted to pay off your debt in equal monthly payments over 24 months, you would need to pay the following interest after the promotional period ends:

  • Card that reverts to purchase rate. You would pay 13.99% p.a. on the remaining balance of $2,500, which equals $181 over 12 months.
  • Card that reverts to cash advance rate. You would pay 21.99% p.a. on the remaining balance of $2,500, which equals approximately $299 over 12 months. That’s an extra $118 compared to the other card.

How can I tell if a balance transfer offer reverts to the cash advance rate?

There are several ways you can find out if a balance transfer card reverts to the cash advance rate. The following are the most common ways to figure this out:

  • Main offer details. Some balance transfer offers outline the revert rate as part of their promotion. For example, the offer may say “Pay 0% on balance transfers for 12 months (reverts to 21.99% p.a.).”
  • Fine print. Credit card providers are required to include information about the revert rate in the terms and conditions of their offer. Usually, this will include the specific rate applicable at the time, such as “reverts to the cash advance rate of 21.99% p.a.” although sometimes it may say “reverts to the standard variable cash advance rate”.
  • Key facts sheet. Providers are required to make available a key facts sheet for every credit card they offer. This sheet includes details of the rates and fees for the card, so you’ll be able to see the introductory balance transfer rate as well as the standard variable rates for the card.


Other important details about balance transfers and cash advances

There are some other things you should know about balance transfers and cash advances:

  • Balance transfers as cash advances. Aside from the balance transfer offers you may have access to as a new cardholder, you can also request a balance transfer to an existing credit card. With some cards, such a balance transfer could be treated as a cash advance and thus be subject to the cash advance rate from the time of the transfer.
  • Cash advance transactions. Cash advances typically refer to ATM withdrawals made on your credit card, but also include cash equivalent transactions such as the purchasing of gift cards and prepaid cards, gambling items, travellers’ cheques and foreign currencies. Fund transfers and certain bill payments are also considered cash advances. Aside from immediately attracting interest fees at the cash advance rate, a cash advance fee of about 2-3% also usually applies.
  • Interest-free days. This is a generic credit card benefit, and the standard “55 interest-free days” feature means that you can enjoy up to 55 interest-free days on eligible purchases. See our guide to learn what this really means. Many cards require that you pay off your account balance in full for the previous month to enjoy this feature. This might mean that making new purchases on a balance transfer card could immediately accrue purchase interest fees as long as your balance transfer isn’t paid up.
  • Allocation of repayments. It is important to note that credit card reforms now clearly define the allocation of repayments to mean that your transaction with the highest interest rate will be paid off first, followed by the transaction with the second highest interest rate, and so on. This means that your repayments will always be used to repay any cash advances first, followed by purchases, and lastly balance transfers where your balance transfer offer rate is low or 0%.

While balance transfer offers can often help with debt consolidation by reducing your interest component, ideally you should aim to repay your full balance within the promotional period. This will ensure that you don’t get stuck with new mounting interest fees once the revert rate kicks in. As such, it is important to compare balance transfer card offers and choose the one with an introductory period that best suits your needs.

Pictures: Shutterstock

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Amy Bradney-George

Amy is a senior writer at with more than 10 years experience covering credit cards, personal finance and various lifestyle topics. When she’s not sharing her knowledge on money matters, Amy spends her time as an actress.

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    DanielApril 29, 2015

    Can I do cash advance on one of my Credit Card and then immediately proceed for Balance Transfer it to another Credit Card with offer of 0% APR for first 16 months? Will this attract any charges either with the first credit card provider or at new credit card giving me the Balance Transfer option?

    • finder Customer Care
      JonathanMay 1, 2015Staff

      Hi Daniel, thanks for your inquiry!

      If you meet banks application requirements then you will be eligible to apply for a balance transfer. Generally there are no exiting fees associated with leaving a credit card. It can be ideal to check with both banks and the terms and conditions to ensure there are no hidden charges. You may also like to refer to the following link for a list of balance transfer cards.



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