Can I balance transfer credit card debt from my partner?

Explore your options for moving credit card debt to or from someone else’s account.

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Only a small selection of balance transfer credit cards let you move a joint debt or another person's debt onto the new account. It's usually simpler if you and your partner already share a joint-account credit card, but it may also be possible in other circumstances. So, let's take a look at your options.

Different ways to balance transfer a partner's debt

If you want to transfer your spouse's balance to an account that's held in your name, there are two main options you can consider.

  • Transferring a debt between two people’s names

    In this instance, you would transfer the debt from your partner’s credit card to your own credit card (or a new balance transfer card that you have applied for). Their name would be removed from the debt once the balance transfer is processed, which means you would become the person legally responsible for the .

    single to single account transfer image

    In some cases, you may need to add your partner as an "additional cardholder" before the credit card provider will allow the debt to be transferred to your card. As not all providers allow this type of transfer, make sure you check before requesting the balance transfer.

  • Getting a joint account for the debt

    Some credit card providers offer joint accounts, where you and your partner would share legal responsibility for the credit card account and any balance that you transfer onto it.

    singles to joint account transfer image

    If you apply for a balance transfer through a credit card provider that offers joint accounts, both you and your partner will need to provide your details when you apply. Depending on the issuer, you may also be able to add your partner as a joint account holder after you have applied for the card.

Which credit card providers let you balance transfer debt from your partner?

Use the table below to compare credit cards and providers that offer joint balance transfers or allow you to transfer debts held in someone else's name. Keep in mind that the standard balance transfer terms and conditions will apply, which means the debt will need to be held in an eligible account (usually with a different issuer). Where possible, we've added further details for each issuer.

Bank/InstitutionBalance transfer between two people's names? Joint primary cardholdersExtra information
amex logoNoNo
ANZ TransparentYesNo
bankwest-sml-logoNoNoBankwest will be able to process the balance transfer if the recipient credit card is in joint names, as opposed to having a primary card holder and additional card holders.

Balance transfer is not allowed if your partner is a primary card holder of a credit card you're wanting to balance transfer to a credit card you're a primary card holder of.

bank-of-melbourne-sml-logoNoYesYou would be able to apply for a balance transfer if your partner's card also has your name attached in joint account.
banksa-transparent-logoNoYesIf your name is attached to your partner's existing credit card as a joint account holder, you can apply for a balance transfer to a credit card in your own name.
citi-logo-212x98NoNo
Commonwealth Bank TransparentNoNo
hsbc provider logoNoNo
jetstar logo 2017NoNo
macquarie logoNoNo
nabYesNo
NoYes
suncorp-bank-sml-logoNoNo
virginNoNo
westpac logoNoNo
NoNo
Rates last updated October 21st, 2019
$
% p.a.

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Name Product Balance transfer rate Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee Amount Saved Product Description
HSBC Platinum Credit Card - Balance Transfer Offer
0% p.a. for 22 months
19.99% p.a.
$129 p.a.
Enjoy a balance transfer offer, yearly annual fee refund, airport lounge passes and complimentary insurance covers.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1% balance transfer fee
20.74% p.a.
$64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Save with a 0% p.a. interest rate on balance transfers for the first 22 months, with a 1% balance transfer fee. Plus, a reduced $64 first year annual fee.
Citi Clear Platinum Credit Card
0% p.a. for 9 months
0% for 9 months, reverts to 14.99% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Enjoy a $0 first year annual fee and a 0% introductory rate on purchases and balance transfers. Plus, complimentary purchase insurance cover.
St.George Vertigo Classic
0% p.a. for 18 months
13.99% p.a.
$55 p.a.
Get 0% p.a. interest for up to 18 months on balance transfers with no balance transfer fee. Plus, a low annual fee and purchase rate.
Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
0% p.a. for 13 months
0% for 13 months, reverts to 21.49% p.a.
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Finder Exclusive:
Save with 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers for 13 months (with no BT fee). Plus, a discounted $49 annual fee for the first year.
Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card - Balance Transfer Offer
0% p.a. for 26 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
21.49% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($199 p.a. thereafter)
Earn reward Points per $1 spent, take advantage of a 0% p.a. for 26 month balance transfer offer, plus $0 first year annual fee.
BOQ Low Rate Visa Credit Card
0% p.a. for 14 months
13.49% p.a.
$55 p.a.
A no-frills card offering 0% on balance transfers for the first 14 months with no balance transfer fee. Ends 31 Oct 2019.
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
0% p.a. for 12 months
19.99% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($79 p.a. thereafter)
Save with a $0 first year annual fee and a long-term balance transfer offer. Plus, complimentary travel insurance.
BOQ Platinum Visa Credit Card
0% p.a. for 12 months
20.74% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Enjoy 1,000 bonus Q Rewards points/month, a 12-month balance transfer offer and $0 first year annual fee. Ends 31 Oct 2019.
St.George Vertigo Classic - Exclusive Offer
0% p.a. for 6 months
0% for 14 months, reverts to 13.99% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Finder Exclusive:
Low rate card offering 0% p.a. interest on purchases for the first 14 months and on balance transfers for 6 months. Plus, a $0 first year annual fee.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
0% p.a. for 12 months
0% for 12 months, reverts to 19.99% p.a.
$129 p.a.
0% p.a. on purchases and balance transfers with no BT fee. Plus, a yearly annual fee refund when you spend $6,000 and 2 lounge passes per year.
Westpac Low Rate Card
2019 Winner
Westpac Low Rate Card
0% p.a. for 16 months
13.74% p.a.
$59 p.a.
A no frills, low rate card offering 0% p.a. interest on balance transfers for the first 16 months, with no balance transfer fee.
Qantas Premier Everyday
0% p.a. for 12 months
19.99% p.a.
$29 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($49 p.a. thereafter)
Get up to 42,000 bonus Qantas Points (7,000/month) when you spend $1,000/month for the first 6 months. Ends 31 October 2019.
Bendigo Bank Low Rate Mastercard
0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee
11.99% p.a.
$45 p.a.
Save with a 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers, plus a low variable purchase interest rate of 11.99% p.a. on purchases. Ends 31 Oct 2019.
Virgin Money Low Rate Credit Card
0% p.a. for 14 months
11.99% p.a.
$49 p.a.
Get a $49 annual fee, 10% cashback on purchases made in the first 3 months (capped at $100) and a 14-month balance transfer.
BankSA Vertigo
0% p.a. for 18 months
13.99% p.a.
$55 p.a.
Enjoy a 0% p.a. interest rate for up to 18 months on balance transfers. Plus, a low annual fee and purchase interest rate.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Classic
0% p.a. for 18 months
13.99% p.a.
$55 p.a.
Enjoy 0% p.a. interest for up to 18 months on balance transfers. Plus, a low annual fee and competitive purchase rate.
BankSA No Annual Fee
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
20.74% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Offers a 0% p.a. for 12 months balance transfer, up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and an ongoing $0 annual fee.
Bank of Melbourne No Annual Fee Card
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
20.74% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Enjoy 0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers, up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and no annual fee for the life of the card.
BOQ Blue Visa Credit Card
0% p.a. for 6 months
20.74% p.a.
$60 p.a.
Receive $120 cashback when you meet the spend criteria and a 6 month interest-free balance transfer offer. Ends 31 Oct 2019.
St.George No Annual Fee
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
20.74% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Receive up to 55 days interest-free on purchases, a low minimum credit limit of $500 and a long-term balance transfer offer.

Compare up to 4 providers

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

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

  1. Compare credit cards. Compare balance transfer credit cards to find a one that offers competitive interest rate and promotional period based on your circumstances.
  2. Check the balance transfer terms and conditions. Make sure the credit card allows balance transfers between different account names, and check whether or not your partner will need to be a secondary cardholder. For cards not listed on this page, you can check the 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, driver's 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 any secondary cardholder/s. If the issuer requires your partner to be a secondary cardholder in order to process their balance transfer, make sure your partner fills out the relevant sections of the application.
  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 go as smoothly as possible.

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How to apply for a joint balance transfer credit card with your partner

  1. 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 account transfer image

  • 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 offers. 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.

Compare credit cards that offer joint applications

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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 accounts Primary 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 account. Primary 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 histories. Only the primary cardholder's income and credit history is assessed.
Both parties remain liable for all transactions and payments made on the card. The primary cardholder is legally responsible 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.

Mistakes to avoid when transferring a balance from someone else’s card

  • 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 you and your partner share a balance transfer credit card account (whether it's a joint account or otherwise), it’s important to be clear on how and when you will both make payments towards the balance of the credit card. Discuss this before you apply for a new card or balance transfer to help reduce the risk of confusion and 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 when the debt is moved onto the new card, which could add to the overall costs involved. Weigh up the card fees with your partner to decide if this option is worth it for both of you.

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. 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.
Images: Shutterstock

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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?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      DeeAugust 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

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      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?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      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?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      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 !

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      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

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      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.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      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.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      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
      StuFebruary 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.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      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.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      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

Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated October 21st, 2019
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate Annual fee Product Description
HSBC Platinum Credit Card - Balance Transfer Offer
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months
$129 p.a.
Enjoy a balance transfer offer, yearly annual fee refund, airport lounge passes and complimentary insurance covers.
Latitude Low Rate Mastercard
9.89% p.a.
$69 p.a.
Offers a competitively low interest rate and annual fee, plus up to 55 interest-free days on purchases.
Qantas Premier Platinum
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months
$199 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter)
Get up to 120,000 bonus Qantas Points (20,000/month) when you spend $1,500/month for the first 6 months. Ends 31 October 2019.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Save with a 0% p.a. interest rate on balance transfers for the first 22 months, with a 1% balance transfer fee. Plus, a reduced $64 first year annual fee.

Compare up to 4 providers

* 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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