Best balance transfer credit cards June 2017
Get your credit card debt in control with these balance transfer cards with 0% for the longest promotional periods.
If you’re struggling to pay down a high-interest credit card debt, a 0% balance transfer credit card can be a smart way to avoid interest costs and pay off your debt faster. But with lots of 0% deals out there right now, it can be difficult to decide which one is best for you.
We’ve based this month’s roundup of the best balance transfer offers available through finder.com.au on cards with a 0% deal for the longest promotional period. That's our key criteria: the length of time that you'll be able to avoid paying interest. With that taken into account, we've also looked at other factors such as balance transfer fees, annual fees and purchase rates.
Currently, you can find 0% balance transfer deals that last for between 6 to 24 months. If you have a large debt to repay, a longer introductory offer can give you more breathing room to make repayments and clear your debt before the higher revert rate applies at the end of the promotion.
If you're after a lengthy 0% balance transfer offer, you can start comparing below.
Citi Rewards Platinum credit card
The Citi Rewards Platinum credit card currently holds the title of the longest 0% balance transfer on the market. With an interest-free promotion for the first 24 months, this gives you two years to repay your debt without incurring any additional interest. At the end of the promotional period, the standard cash advance rate of 21.74% p.a. will apply to any remaining debts.
Despite the 0% promotional period, this card does come with a few costs. When you conduct the balance transfer, you’ll be a charged a one-time balance transfer fee of 1.5%. Plus, the card also comes with a reduced annual fee of $49 for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter). If you use the card for purchases, you’ll also collect a purchase rate of 20.99% p.a.
However, as it’s the longest balance transfer offer, you should calculate whether the interest savings you’ll receive from the card outweigh these costs to ensure the card is worth it for you. Please note that this offer is only available until 30 June 2017.
HSBC Platinum credit card
Apply and receive approval for the HSBC Platinum credit card by 31 August 2017 and you can take advantage of 0% for 22 months on balance transfers. Coming in behind the Citi Rewards Platinum, it’s a close second for the longest balance transfer credit card currently on the market. Once the introductory period ends, any remaining balances will collect the cash advance rate of 21.99% p.a.
The card has a higher balance transfer fee of 2%, which could increase your total card costs. However, the card does have a lower standard annual fee of $99 p.a. This is lower than the standard annual fee on the Citi card. However, if you’re only using the card for the length of the balance transfer, you'll need to pay the annual fee twice for both cards. As the Citi card has a reduced annual fee for the first year, it means that you'll have to pay $198 worth of annual fees for both cards. If you’re planning to use the card for purchases, the HSBC Platinum credit card has a standard purchase rate of 19.99% p.a.
Bankwest Breeze Mastercard
The Bankwest Breeze Mastercard offers cardholders 0% on balance transfers for the first 21 months. You’ll be charged a one-time 2% balance transfer fee and the balance transfer rate will revert to 12.99% p.a. at the end of the promotional period. This is a low revert rate compared to some other balance transfer cards, though, which could help you save if you don’t think you can repay the entire balance during the promotional period The Breeze Mastercard also charges the lowest annual fee in this lineup, at $59 p.a.
While the card is a low-cost alternative compared to other cards in the roundup, it's still important to calculate whether the interest savings you'll receive from the card can outweigh the rates and fees.
St.George Vertigo Platinum
The St.George Vertigo Platinum is equipped with 0% on balance transfers for 20 months. While it has the shortest introductory offer in this roundup, it is also the only card out of the four that doesn’t charge a balance transfer fee. Applicants must apply by 20 September 2017 to access the interest-free offer and the interest rate will revert to the purchase rate of 12.74% p.a. at the end of the promotion.
Similar to the Bankwest Breeze card, this is a relatively low revert rate that could help you limit your interest costs if you’re unable to clear the total debt while the interest-free offer is in place. This card does come at the cost of a $99 annual fee though, so you should make sure that your total interest savings offset this cost.
How do these 0% balance transfer credit cards compare?
While each of these balance transfer credit cards offers a lengthy 0% promotional offer, there are a few factors that can help you make the right choice.
For example, you should look for a card with a lower revert rate if you have a large debt that you don’t think you can completely repay during the promotional period. While you’ll still need to pay interest on the remaining debt, this can still help you minimise your growing debt and interest costs than if you were using a card with a revert rate of 20% or higher.
You should also consider whether the card has a balance transfer fee. Even though the balance transfer fee is only usually between 1% or 3% of your total balance, this can still have an impact on your overall costs (especially if you’re transferring a large debt).
Every card in this lineup also charges an annual fee. As mentioned above, it’s important that the cost of the annual fee doesn’t exceed your interest savings. For example, let’s say you were moving a $7,000 debt from a card that was charging 20% to a card with 0% on balance transfers for 20 months with a $99 annual fee. You’d save $1,266.80 in interest with this card, but you’d need to deduct $198 from your total savings to account for the annual fee. However, this is an instance where the interest savings still manage to easily outweigh the cost of the card.
Although each of these cards offers 0% on balance transfers for 20 or more months, you still need to compare your options determine which one is right for you. For a more comprehensive comparison of your balance transfer options, check out our balance transfers credit card guide for more information.
Our best balance transfer credit cards roundup is a monthly regular that lists and compares current balance transfer promotions on the market. Check back in the first week of every month for the latest deals and the most competitive ways to consolidate your debts. The rates, fees and features mentioned are correct at the time of writing.
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