Can I balance transfer credit card debt from my partner?

Looking to consolidate a joint debt or alleviate your partner’s debt? Discover which providers allow joint balance transfers below.

Not all credit card providers allow this process, but there are many that do give you the option to move another person’s debt or a joint debt to your own credit card. This guide outlines the different options you have, banks that allow joint balance transfers and the steps you can take to transfer a credit card debt from your partner so that you can work out the best approach when dealing with shared debts.

How to conduct a balance transfer for someone else’s debt

Financial institutions have two main options if you want to transfer someone else's balance to an account under your name. They are:

  • Transferring the balance between two people’s names

    In this instance, you would transfer the debt from your partner’s credit card to your own credit card. Their name would be removed from the debt and yours would be placed on it, meaning you would be the only person legally responsible for the balance. In some cases, credit card issuers will require you to add your partner as an ‘additional cardholder’ before their debt can be transferred to the new credit card. Otherwise, you may simply be able to transfer the balance from any person’s account to your own.

single-to-single

  • Joint accounts for the debt

    Some credit cards and other loans will allow you and your partner to apply for a joint account. This option means that you and your partner would share the legal responsibility for the account and any balance that you transfer onto it.
    To get a joint credit card account, both of you would provide your details when applying for the balance transfer credit card. Depending on the issuer, you may also request that your partner is added as a joint account holder after you have applied for the card.

singles-to-joint

The process of transferring your partner’s balance to a new card will vary depending on which of these two options you choose, as well as the specific credit card you want to use for the balance transfer. Use the below table as a guide to which banks offer these two balance transfer options for partners.

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Which banks offer joint balance transfers?

Bank/InstitutionBalance transfer between two people's names? Joint primary cardholders
AMEX-square-logoNoNo
ANZ TransparentYesNo
Bank_Australia_logo.svgYesNo
bankwest-sml-logoYes, but not from an existing Bankwest branded credit card.No
bank-of-melbourne-sml-logoYes, but not from Westpac Group (BankSA, Bank of Melbourne, St.George)Yes, account is the same but individual cards
banksa-transparent-logoYes, but not from Westpac Group (BankSA, Bank of Melbourne, St.George)Yes
citi-logo-212x98NoNo
community-first-logoJudged on a case by case basisYes
Commonwealth Bank TransparentNoNo
cua logoYesNo
heritage-bank-logo2You can transfer between any two people's namesYes
hsbc transparentYesNo
jetstar logo 2017You can transfer between any two people's namesNo
macquarie logoYou can transfer between any two people's namesNo
nabYou can transfer between any two people's namesNo
stgeorge logoYes, but not from an existing Westpac Group card (BankSA, Bank of Melbourne, St.George)Yes
suncorp-bank-sml-logoNoNo
virginNoNo
Westpac TransparentNoNo
woolworths-horizontal-logoYesNo
Rates last updated November 18th, 2017
$
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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
12.74% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Platinum card benefits plus 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers (with no BT fee) and $0 annual fee in the first year. Ends 13 December 2017.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
0% p.a. for 18 months
20.74% p.a.
$129 p.a.
Earn 3 bonus Velocity Points per $1 for the first 3 months, a first year annual fee refund and a yearly $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher.
Westpac Low Rate Card - Online Only Balance Transfer Offer
0% p.a. for 24 months with 2% balance transfer fee
13.49% p.a.
$59 p.a.
Take advantage of 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers with a 2% balance transfer fee when you apply online by 31 January 2018.
NAB Premium Card
0% p.a. for 20 months with 2% balance transfer fee
19.74% p.a.
$90 p.a.
Benefit from premium perks including travel insurance, Platinum Concierge Service plus 0% p.a. for 20 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, take advantage of a long-term balance transfer offer and receive complimentary travel insurance.
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
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)
Exclusive to finder, receive 0% p.a. interest on purchases for 3 months and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months with no balance transfer fee.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
0% p.a. for 22 months with 2% balance transfer fee
19.99% p.a.
$129 p.a.
Earn 1 Reward Point per $1 of eligible spend and receive complimentary travel and purchase protection insurances.
Bankwest Breeze Classic Mastercard
0% p.a. for 13 months with 2% balance transfer fee
0% p.a. for 13 months (reverts to 12.99% p.a.)
$79 p.a.
Receive up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and free worldwide emergency card replacement.
St.George Vertigo Visa - Online Offer
0% p.a. for 18 months
13.24% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Take advantage of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers (with no BT fee). Plus, $0 annual fee in the first year. Ends 13 December 2017.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Platinum
0% p.a. for 24 months with 2% balance transfer fee
12.74% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Get a range of complimentary insurance covers, access to a 24/7 concierge and up to 55 days interest-free on purchases.
NAB Low Fee Card
0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee
19.74% p.a.
$30 p.a.
Receive complimentary purchase protection insurance, special offers from Visa Entertainment and up to 44 days interest-free on purchases.
Virgin Money Low Rate Credit Card
0% p.a. for 14 months
11.99% p.a.
$49 p.a.
Receive a discounted annual fee, $100 cashback when you meet the spend requirement and up to 44 days interest-free on purchases.
BankSA Vertigo Visa
0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee
13.24% p.a.
$55 p.a.
Get up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and be protected by a 24/7 fraud monitoring service.
NAB Low Rate Platinum Card
4.99% p.a. for 6 months
0% p.a. for 9 months (reverts to 13.99% p.a.)
$100 p.a.
A platinum card that offers 0% p.a. for 9 months on purchases. Plus 4.99% p.a. on balance transfers for 6 months.
Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card
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)
Offers a long-term balance transfer. Earn extra points on eligible international spend, plus complimentary travel insurance.
Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card
0% p.a. for 14 months
19.99% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($49 p.a. thereafter)
Receive a $50 eGift Card when you apply by 31 January 2018 and make an eligible purchase by 28 February 2018.
American Express Essential Credit Card
0% p.a. for 12 months with 3% balance transfer fee
14.99% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Get Smartphone Screen Insurance of up to $500 when you pay for your phone or contract with your Essential Credit Card.
American Express Explorer Credit Card
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
20.74% p.a.
$395 p.a.
Receive a $400 Travel Credit every year and up to two entries per year to the American Express Lounge at Sydney International Airport.
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 on eligible spend and enjoy a discounted annual fee of $64 for the first year.
Qantas Premier Platinum
0% p.a. for 15 months
19.99% p.a.
$149 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter)
Fly further with 75,000 bonus Qantas points, up to 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent and 2 yearly complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations.
Australian Military Bank Low Rate Visa Credit Card
0% p.a. for 12 months
10.99% p.a.
$49 p.a.
Enjoy up to 55 interest-free days on purchases, add an additional cardholder for $0 and enjoy the convenience of Visa payWave.
McGrath Pink Visa
4.99% p.a. for 8 months
4.99% p.a. for 8 months (reverts to 8.99% p.a.)
$40 p.a.
A basic, no-frills credit card with up to 55 days interest-free that donates half of the card's annual fee to the McGrath Foundation.

Compare up to 4 providers

How you can use, compare and apply for a balance transfer credit card

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How to transfer a balance from your partner’s account to your credit card

As most credit card issuers only allow one primary cardholder, transferring the debt from your partner’s debt to your credit card is probably the most likely option.

The following steps can be used as a general guide when transferring someone else’s debt to a balance transfer credit card in your name.

  1. Compare credit cards. Compare balance transfer credit cards to find a one that has a competitive interest rate and promotional period to suit your debt consolidation needs. You'll want to make sure it has a credit limit that can support your balance (remember that some issuers only allow you to transfer up to a percentage of your credit limit) and that you can pay off the entire debt before the promotional period ends.
  2. Check the balance transfer terms and conditions. Make sure the credit card allows balance transfers between different account names, and whether or not your partner will need to be a secondary cardholder. For cards not listed on this page, you can check the card product disclosure statement or call the issuer for more information.
  3. Apply for the credit card. You will need to provide details including your full name, address, drivers licence or passport number and employment.
  4. Include details of the balance transfer. You will need to provide details of the account including the name and details of the primary account holder (i.e. your partner), the account number, the financial institution’s name, the BSB (where relevant) and the amount of debt to be transferred to the new card.
  5. Include details of secondary cardholders. If the issuer requires your partner to be a secondary cardholder in order to process the balance transfer from their account to your new credit card, make sure you fill out this section of the application with your partner.
  6. Submit the application. You should get an initial response within a few minutes. If you get conditional approval, follow the steps outlined by the issuer to complete the application process and finalise the balance transfer.

Once this process is successfully completed, you should receive your new credit card within 5-10 working days, although it could take up to 21 days in some cases. After you activate the new card, the issuer will process the balance transfer.

Make sure you stay in touch with the new issuer and be ready to answer any questions or provide supporting documentation as requested to help the transfer run as smoothly as possible.

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How to complete a balance transfer to a joint primary cardholder with a partner

With some credit cards, it is possible to transfer a balance from a joint account you currently share, or to transfer your partner’s credit card debt to a new joint credit card account. The important thing to remember is that not all credit cards or issuers allow you to have a joint credit card account, so you will need to make sure you have chosen a card that does offer this feature before going ahead.

  • To transfer a balance from an existing joint account
    Apply for the credit card as usual and include details of the balance transfer request, including all the names of the joint account holders, as well as the account number, financial institution and the amount of debt you want to transfer.
    You can go through this process with an individual credit card in your name, or apply for a credit card that offers joint account status for you and your partner.

joint-to-joint

  • To transfer a balance from your partner’s account to a new joint credit card account
    Find a credit card issuer that allows ‘joint primary cardholders’ and compare their balance transfer credit cards.
    Depending on the issuer you will either be able to apply and get joint account status immediately or apply as an individual and then have your partner request and fill out an additional application to be added as a joint primary cardholder.

single-to-joint

See our guide on how to apply for a balance transfer for tips to improve your chances of approval.

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What is the difference between joint-primary cardholder accounts and secondary cardholders?

It’s important to understand both of these terms when you plan on sharing a credit card account with your partner or someone else, as it can have an impact on the balance transfer options as well as your legal rights.

Joint-primary cardholder accountsPrimary cardholder accounts with secondary cardholders
Two people have applied for a credit card under cardholder's name and both have complete access to the account One person has applied for a credit card in their name but wants to share the account with a partner (without joint account status)
Both have the ability to change credit limits, request account freezes or close the accountPrimary cardholder can request to add a secondary or additional cardholder but only the primary cardholder has control over credit limit changes, account freezes or account closure
Both partners have regular sources of income and good credit historiesOnly the primary cardholder has a regular source of income and a good credit history
Both parties remain liable for all transactions and payments made on the cardPrimary cardholder remains liable for all transactions and payments made on the card, even if a balance has been transferred from an account held by the secondary cardholder
If the closure of an account is the result of a divorce or a separation, both partners might have to pay half of the debt each, no matter who made which purchase.In the event of a separation or a divorce, know that you, as the primary cardholder, would be liable to make repayments towards the entire account.
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Mistakes to avoid when transferring a balance from someone else’s card

Whether it is your own debt or your partner’s, balance transfer credit cards can be a convenient way to save money on interests and pay down the balance faster but there are also some risks involved. Being aware of the following mistakes will help you make an informed decision about balance transfers for your and your partner when you want to consolidate credit card debt.

  • Applying for a card that doesn’t allow balance transfers from someone else’s account. Not all credit cards let you transfer another person’s credit card debt to a new card in your name. Make sure you check these details before you apply to avoid a declined application.
  • Not discussing payments with your partner. If your partner becomes a secondary cardholder on your account, or if you apply for joint account status, it’s important to be clear on how and when you will both make payments towards the balance of the credit card. Discussing this before you apply for a new card or balance transfer will reduce the risk of confusion or other issues down the track.
  • Not checking the revert rate. The low balance transfer interest rate is only available during the introductory period on the card. When this period ends, any outstanding debt from a balance transfer will attract a higher standard interest rate until it is paid off in full.
  • Balance transfer fees. You might have to pay a balance transfer fee for the balance transfer to take effect, and this fee can vary from one card provider to the next.

While it is hard to find information about transferring a balance from your partner’s accounts to a new credit card, it is possible under some circumstances. Understanding the different options available and the varying conditions of credit card issuers means you can now find a balance transfer credit card that fits the needs of both you and your partner when you want to deal with debt.

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Frequently asked questions

Yes, credit card providers tend to have minimum and maximum limits when it comes to balance transfers. While the minimum is usually around $200 to $500, the maximum can limit between 70% to 100% of your card’s credit limit. Check the product disclosure statement for specific details relating to the card you're applying for.

You would have to provide the name of the account holder, the account number, the amount you wish to transfer, and the name of the credit card provider.

This depends on the card you’re using and can take anywhere in between one to 10 business days.

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34 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    PaulAugust 18, 2016

    Hi, Just after a little clarification.

    My partner currently has a Westpac CC and I wish to transfer this to my name possibly to a new ANZ account. Some the information above (Jacob’s video) and in the tables contradicts each other.
    Jacob states that Westpac do not allow a CC debt to be transferred to another card but putting Westpac as the provider into your above table displays several options for doing this.

    Are you able to confirm which is correct?

    • Staff
      AnndyAugust 18, 2016Staff

      Hi Paul,

      Thanks for your comment.

      In the video, it was mentioned that ANZ along with other banks (as also listed in the table above) let you transfer a balance from another credit card in another person’s name to a credit card in your own name.

      Jacob also mentioned that Bank of Melbourne lets you do this as well. “However, the credit card you’re transferring from cannot be in the Westpac Group. That’s Westpac and St. George.” This was also clearly reflected in our table.

      So if you are transferring your partner’s Westpac credit card balance to a new ANZ credit card in your name, you can do so.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

  2. Default Gravatar
    KevenFebruary 24, 2016

    My wife and have separated and we have a joint credit card account. I would like to transfer the outstanding balance to take advantage of 0% balance transfers. With the financial settlement I am responsible for all debt on credit cards. Can I apply for a balance transfer for the full amount owing on the credit card in joint names

    • Staff
      JonathanFebruary 25, 2016Staff

      Hi Keven, thanks for your inquiry!

      You can transfer from a joint-account to a single cardholder account. It is important to note that certain joint-accounts require both signatories in order to close the account.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  3. Default Gravatar
    rocketcatJanuary 29, 2016

    I have a joint Citibank credit card with my wife. Can I balance transfer that to a St George credit card if the new card is only under my own name?

    • Staff
      JonathanFebruary 1, 2016Staff

      Hi Rocketcat, thanks for your inquiry!

      Joint-account balance transfers must be completed to another joint-account. As a result you will have to apply for a joint-account with St.George to complete this process. A full list of banks which allow joint-accounts and balance transfer credit cards are available on this page.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  4. Default Gravatar
    SamSeptember 25, 2015

    Hi
    I have NAB credit card and I want to transfer balance to my friend’s CC (Westpac) as I owe him money.
    Is this possible?

    • Staff
      SallySeptember 28, 2015Staff

      Hi Sam,

      Thanks for your question.

      Just to confirm, a balance transfer refers to the process in which a cardholder transfers an existing debt to a new card at a promotional interest rate. By doing so, they can then repay their debt quicker and at a lower interest rate.

      Also, you can generally only transfer balances that will be under the same name as the existing account.

      You may need to consider using your debit card to directly transfer funds to your friend to repay the debt.

      I hope this has helped.

      Thanks,

      Sally

  5. Default Gravatar
    MarkJuly 14, 2015

    Hi

    So I want to do a balance transfer from someone else’s name into my name. I was wondering what kind of authority do they need to provide for me to do this?

    I am the additional card holder on the account however I don’t think this will be sufficient to authorize a balance transfer without their approval. A representative of heritage said that it would have to be coming from a joint account for me to do this and on the table the Virgin card says I need to just be an additional card holder of the account that the debt is being transferred from.

    Please help!

    Thanks !

    • Staff
      SallyJuly 16, 2015Staff

      Hi Mark,

      Thank you for your question.

      Heritage Bank lets you transfer a balance from another credit card in another person’s name to a credit card in your own name, taking advantage of that low promotional balance transfer rate of interest while Virgin lets you do this if the primary card holder on the credit card that you’re transferring from is a signatory on the credit card that you’re transferring to. A signatory is basically just a fancy word for additional cardholder.

      For more information, you can check this page.

      I hope this has helped.

      Thanks,

      Sally

  6. Default Gravatar
    PatJuly 7, 2015

    Hi, my question is in terms of business credit cards.
    Can I transfer the balance owing on a business credit card (under two primary card holder names) to a personal credit card?

    Thanks

    • Staff
      JonathanJuly 8, 2015Staff

      Hi Pat, thanks for your inquiry!

      For a balance transfer process, if the balance owing/ outstanding on a credit card is from a joint-account/ two primary cardholder names the destination credit card must be a joint-account with the same cardholder names. Please refer to the following link for a further explanation on this process for joint-account balance transfers and the eligibility requirements.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  7. Default Gravatar
    AngelaMay 12, 2015

    Hi

    Thanks for your post. It is really helpful for my scenario. However, to ensure that I understand it correctly, can I ask you a question about it?

    The scenario is that I am going to apply for a interest free balance transfer credit card with Bank of Melbourne. I will use it to pay off my husband’s CBA debt and I am not an additional cardholder for that card. So technically we are 2 separate primary cardholders.

    Based on what I understand, Bank of Melbourne allows me to transfer the balance to my husband’s CBA card, does not it? and also my husband’s CBA does allow as well, right?

    I hope I’ve made it clear and thanks for your help. I am really appreciated.

    • Staff
      JonathanMay 16, 2015Staff

      Hi Angela, thanks for your inquiry!

      That is correct, balance transfers can be made from other credit card accounts as long as the account is in good standing and the balance transfer amount falls within the balance transfer limit of the bank. If the accounts are joint-account types please refer to this page.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  8. Default Gravatar
    AnishaApril 13, 2015

    Hi there, My partner and I were considering opening a new credit card account to transfer his outstanding credit card balance onto it – to save on interest and due to better interest rates being offered. His current card is with Coles (Latitude Financial Services) – and I’m just a bit confused as to my next step. His bank (Suncorp) said they wouldn’t approve his new credit card (due to income limitations) and that they wouldn’t transfer his card balance to my name (though I have the ability to obtain the card on my own, should I require it). Will Latitude Financial Services let him transfer his outstanding balance onto a new card under my name or under both our names (which would also be with a different bank – possibly my bank -CBA- or ANZ, NAB or Heritage Bank)?

    I hope I’ve made sense!

  9. Default Gravatar
    StuFebruary 11, 2015

    Hi, thanks for the information but I’m still not clear on this issue.

    In my particular scenario my partner has credit card balances with Latitude, AMEX and CBA. Is it possible for me to balance transfer some/all of her balances onto a new Citibank or Virgin application.

    Your assistance would be greatly appreciated before I make a decision.

    • Staff
      JonathanFebruary 11, 2015Staff

      Hi Stu, thanks for your inquiry!

      If the balance transfer is from Latitude Financial Services, AMEX and CBA going to a Citibank or Virgin Money Credit Card this would be fine. However the amount being balance transferred would be defined by the credit limit on the new credit card. Citibank may limit balance transfers in the individual’s account to a proportion of their credit limit, subject to their credit criteria. Virgin Money’s Balance Transfer may not exceed 80% of your maximum available Credit Limit.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

    • Default Gravatar
      February 11, 2015

      Thanks Johnathan, just clarifying is that still the case even if the Citibank or Virgin credit card is in my name not my partners?

      Cheers.

    • Staff
      JonathanFebruary 11, 2015Staff

      Hi Stu, thanks for your inquiry!

      Depending on whether the cards you are balance transferring from are in your partners name and whether you are signing up for the card will be important to note. Balance transfers between partners and between two separate people’s names are only supported by certain lenders. For a list of lenders who allow joint-account balance transfers, and lenders who allow balance transferring between two peoples names please see this page.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  10. Default Gravatar
    RebekahFebruary 5, 2015

    Hi, all very good info… however the box with Bank Of Queensland is noticeably blank. I the primary cardholder with BOQ, my partner enquired at his bank (Westpac) as to whether he could do a balance transfer from my card.. the answer was no. I’m thinking that in the financial times today, there must be somewhere who will let us do this! I got the card originally almost 6 years ago when I was a working single parent, however I’m now a partnered stay at home mum and as such not eligible for a card from anyone (which is stupid.. I have to afford the one I have now!!) We are just trying to find a way out of debt without having to go to a personal loan, which is all Westpac offered us. Any advice would be fantastic.

    • Staff
      JonathanFebruary 5, 2015Staff

      Hi Rebekah, thanks for your inquiry!

      Please see this page for a list of lenders who allow balance transfers between two separate names and joint accounts.

      I hope this helped.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

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