April’s best balance transfer credit card offers

Posted: 12 April 2021 11:00 am
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While the average credit card interest rate remains high, you can switch and save with 0% interest on balance transfers for up to 36 months.

Calls for change to credit card interest rates have continued in April, with the Victorian state government suggesting that there should be a margin between the maximum credit card interest rate and the official cash rate.

The average standard credit card interest rate is 19.94% p.a. according to data from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), while the official cash rate has remained at an historic low of 0.1% for April.

In a statement, the Victorian government said there is only one legislative restriction on credit card interest rates "which allows a maximum credit interest rate of 48%".

Our banking leaders and the Federal Government must act to ensure consumers are not exposed to an unreasonable or unfair financial burden from high credit card rates.”

This adds to the RBA governor Philip Lowe's criticism of high credit card interest rates, which Finder reported on last month.

Unfortunately, change at a federal level takes time. So if you've got a credit card balance that's costing you interest right now, here is our pick of 0% balance transfer offers you can get in April 2021.

How did we pick this month's line-up?

We selected the April line-up based on the length of the 0% p.a. balance transfer period, the annual fee and other valuable features on credit cards offered through Finder in April 2021.

A good balance transfer deal has a lengthy 0% p.a. interest offer, no balance transfer fee and a low or $0 annual fee. We've picked cards available through Finder with the longest 0% period and then weighed up their other features. There's no one best credit card for everyone, so check details that matter to you. (And remember: you may not be eligible for a balance transfer offer from your current credit card issuer or bank.)

Best long-term balance transfer offer

HSBC Platinum Credit Card

  • Balance transfer offer: 0% p.a. for 36 months with no balance transfer fee.
  • Revert rate: 21.99% p.a.
  • Annual fee: $29 in the first year ($129 after that).
  • Purchase rate: 19.99% p.a.
  • Eligible debts: You can transfer up to 90% of your approved credit limit from credit cards and store cards not issued by HSBC.

The HSBC Platinum Credit Card has the longest 0% balance transfer period for the second month in a row, giving you 0% interest for 36 months and no balance transfer fee.

To get this rate, you need to include your balance transfer request when you apply. You'll also have a reduced $29 annual fee in the first year, which then goes to $129 from the second year onwards.

In terms of savings, transferring $5,000 from a card with a 20% interest rate would save $2,088.69 in interest charges. You can check how much you'd save on a different balance by putting the details into the balance transfer calculator at the top of Finder's comparison table.

This card also offers complimentary airport lounge passes and international travel insurance, a feature that is more interesting in light of the travel bubble with New Zealand.

But it does have a high 19.99% p.a. interest rate for purchases. And after the 0% balance transfer period ends, that rate reverts to an even higher 21.99% p.a. So it's best to focus on repaying what you owe without using the card for new spending.

Another key note on this offer: while HSBC has not listed an end date, it could change at any time.

Best 0% p.a. balance transfer and $0 annual fee offer

ANZ Low Rate Credit Card

  • Balance transfer offer: 0% p.a. for 20 months with no balance transfer fee.
  • Revert rate: 20.24% p.a.
  • Annual fee: $0 for the first year ($58 after that)
  • Purchase rate: 12.49% p.a.
  • Eligible debts: You can transfer a minimum of $100 from credit cards and store cards not issued by ANZ, up to a maximum of 95% of your approved credit limit.

The ANZ Low Rate Credit Card currently offers 0% interest on balance transfers for 20 months, no balance transfer fee and a $0 annual fee in the first year. The annual fee after that is $58, which is on par with other low rate cards in Australia.

To take advantage of the balance transfer offer, you need to apply as a new customer and include your balance transfer request at the time of your application.

Similar to the HSBC card, ANZ has not listed an end date for the balance transfer offer but the fine print does say it's a "limited time only offer".

The ANZ Low Rate also offers a variable interest rate of 12.49% p.a. for new purchases, which is 7.45% p.a. lower than the standard average interest rate in Australia right now.

It has Falcon fraud security and can be added to your Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay accounts for mobile payments.

After the first 20 months, the 0% p.a. balance transfer rate reverts to a higher 20.24% p.a. interest rate.

For April, we picked the ANZ Low Rate because it doesn't have a balance transfer fee. But if you want a low rate card with a few extra months of 0% interest and don't mind a fee, you could also look at the Bankwest Breeze Classic, which currently offers 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 26 months with a 2% balance transfer fee.

If you're not sure how long it will take to pay off your debt, use Finder's repayment calculator to work it out so you can choose a credit card that fits with your budget.

Best 0% balance transfer and 0% purchase rate offer

Virgin Money No Annual Fee Credit Card

  • Balance transfer offer: 0% p.a. for 12 months with no balance transfer fee.
  • Revert rate: 20.99% p.a.
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Purchase rate: 0% p.a. for the first 12 months, then 18.99% p.a.
  • Eligible debts: You can transfer a minimum of $500 from Australian credit cards, store cards, personal loans or lines of credit that are not issued by Citigroup, with a maximum value of up to 80% of your approved credit limit.

At the moment, the Virgin Money No Annual Fee Credit Card offers one of the longest interest-free periods for both balance transfers and purchases, giving you 0% p.a. for the first 12 months.

At the end of the introductory period, the 0% interest rate for balance transfers reverts to 20.99% p.a. and the rate for purchases reverts to 18.99% p.a.

To take advantage of this offer, you need to apply by 30 April 2021, and will then have a whole year to pay off existing balances and new purchases without interest.

Virgin Money is one of the few credit card providers that lets you transfer balances from personal loans or lines of credit, as well as from other credit cards. But you won't be able to transfer balances from accounts issued by Citigroup.

This credit card also has no annual fee for life, Fraudshield security and can be added to Apple Pay or Samsung Pay for mobile payments.

Compare these balance transfer offers side by side

$
% p.a.
Name Product Balance transfer rate Purchase rate Annual fee Amount saved
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
0% p.a. for 36 months
19.99% p.a.
$29 annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Save money with a 0% balance transfer rate for 36 months (with no BT fee), a first-year annual fee discount and free travel insurance.
ANZ Low Rate
0% p.a. for 30 months
12.49% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($58 p.a. thereafter)
Save with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 30 months (with no BT fee) and $0 first-year annual fee. Plus a 12.49% p.a. purchase interest rate.
Virgin Money No Annual Fee Credit Card
0% p.a. for 12 months
0% p.a. for 12 months, reverts to 18.99% p.a.
$0
Save with a $0 annual fee and 0% p.a. on balance transfers and purchases for 12 months.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Remember: this is a selection of credit cards with competitive balance transfer offers available right now on Finder. You can compare other balance transfer offers here. Looking for a new credit card but don't need a balance transfer? Check out a wider range of credit card offers here.

Images: Finder (Luke Dubbelde), Supplied

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