What is a balance transfer fee?

A balance transfer fee is the one-time charge you might pay when you move your debt to a new credit card. Here's how to decide if it's worth paying and how to avoid it.

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Balance transfers are a useful way to consolidate your existing debt without the high interest cost. You'll save on interest with low balance transfer interest rates, but it doesn't mean that balance transfers are cost-free. Depending on the offer, you might have to pay a one-off balance transfer fee. This is usually 1% - 3% of the money you move and can eat into your savings. Here's how to decide if it's worth paying it and cards that don't charge this fee.

What is a balance transfer fee?

A balance transfer fee is a percentage-based fee charged when you transfer your existing credit card, store card, or personal loan debt onto a new balance transfer credit card. The balance transfer fee is usually 1-3% of the entire balance transfer amount.

For example, if you are transferring $5,000 onto a new card and are charged a 2.5% balance transfer fee, the entire amount of the debt that will appear on the new card is $5,125 (the $5,000 existing debt and the $125 balance transfer fee). Unlike an annual fee, this fee is only charged once when you first move your balance.

Do I have to pay a balance transfer fee?

Not all balance transfer offers charge a balance transfer fee, so it's definitely something to pay attention to when you're comparing your card options. That said, just because you might have to pay a balance transfer fee, doesn't mean that offer won't save you the most money. If you're totally against paying this additional charge, we've found cards with 0% balance transfer fees for you to compare.

Credit cards without a balance transfer fee

When comparing card options, a good place to start is the 'Amount saved' column. This will show you which offer could save you the most money if you pay it off over the term of the balance transfer.

$
% p.a.
Name Product Balance transfer rate Purchase rate Annual fee Amount saved
Citi Clear Card - Exclusive Offer
0% p.a. for 28 months
14.99% p.a.
$49 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Offers 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 28 months with no balance transfer fee and a discounted $49 first-year annual fee.
Citi Rewards Card - Balance Transfer Offer
0% p.a. for 30 months
21.49% p.a.
$49 annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Save on interest with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 30 months with no balance transfer fee. Plus, a $49 first-year annual fee.
St.George Vertigo Card
0% p.a. for 30 months
13.99% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Save with a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for 30 months (with no balance transfer fee) and a $0 annual fee for the first year.
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.
Suncorp Clear Options Platinum Card - Exclusive Offer
0% p.a. for 24 months
20.74% p.a.
$64 annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Receive a 0% balance transfer rate for 24 months and a reduced first-year annual fee. Plus, 25,000 bonus Suncorp Credit Card Rewards Points.
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.
Citi Rewards Card - Points & Gift Card Offer
0% p.a. for 15 months
21.49% p.a.
$49 annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Receive 90,000 bonus Citi reward Points (worth $400 in gift cards) and a $100 Coles eGift Card when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days.
Citi Clear Card
0% p.a. for 15 months
14.99% p.a.
$49 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Get $250 cashback when you spend $3,000 within the first 90 days. Plus, a 0% balance transfer offer and first-year annual fee discount.
BankSA Vertigo
0% p.a. for 30 months
13.99% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Enjoy 0% p.a. for 30 months on balance transfers (with no balance transfer fee), a low purchase rate and a $0 first-year annual fee.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Card
0% p.a. for 30 months
13.99% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Save with a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for 30 months (with no balance transfer fee) and a $0 annual fee for the first year.
St.George Vertigo Rainbow Card
0% p.a. for 30 months
13.99% p.a.
$55
All the great low cost features of the Vertigo Visa with a rainbow design in support of the LGBT community.
Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard
0% p.a. for 12 months
19.99% p.a.
$0
Get $100 off a Coles Supermarket shop when you spend at least $1,500 in the first 60 days. Plus, a 0% balance transfer offer.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Bonus Points Offer
0% p.a. for 20 months
20.74% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Get up to 40,000 bonus Velocity Points on eligible spending and a $0 first-year annual fee. Also, a 0% balance transfer offer.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - 0% Interest Offer
0% p.a. for 14 months
0% p.a. for 14 months, reverts to 20.74% p.a.
$129
Save with 0% p.a. interest on purchases and balance transfers for 14 months and earn Velocity Points per $1 spent.
Great Southern Bank Platinum Credit Card
0% p.a. for 25 months
19.99% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Get 1 Great Southern Bank Platinum Rewards point per $1, complimentary travel insurance, a $0 first year annual fee and a 25-month balance transfer offer.
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2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    RickyNovember 15, 2011

    Are you aware of any credit cards in the Australian market that currently charge a balance transfer fee? I’ve shopped around and I can’t find any at present…

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeremyNovember 17, 2011Staff

      Hi Ricky

      The HSBC Credit Card currently charges a 2% balance transfer fee.

      Cheers

      Jeremy

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