What is a balance transfer fee?

Learn more about the one-time fee you might pay when you move your debt to a new credit card.

Balance transfers can be a useful way to consolidate existing debt without the high interest cost. While you'll save on interest with low balance transfer rates, it doesn't mean that balance transfers are cost-free. As well as the standard card fees, you might also have to pay a one-off balance transfer fee. This guide explains what this fee is and how you can confirm what you'll have to pay when you transfer your balance.

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 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 exisiting 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 credit cards charge a balance transfer fee, so it's something worth considering when you're comparing your balance transfer options. If you're wondering if your new card will charge a balance transfer fee, you can check the product disclosure statement (PDS), the card review on finder or contact the card issuer to confirm the fee.

Compare credit cards without a balance transfer fee

Rates last updated August 21st, 2018
% p.a.

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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 25 months
12.74% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Get platinum perks and save with 0% p.a. interest for up to 25 months on balance transfers with no BT fee.
ANZ Low Rate
0% p.a. for 15 months
12.49% p.a.
$58 p.a.
Save with a 0% p.a. introductory rate on balance transfers for 15 months with no BT fee. Plus a low 12.49% p.a. interest rate on purchases.
Suncorp Clear Options Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
0% p.a. for 18 months
20.74% p.a.
$99 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
finder Exclusive: Receive a long 18-month, 0% p.a., no fee balance transfer and earn Suncorp Rewards Points or Qantas Points per $1 spent.
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 and enjoy a discounted annual fee of $64 for the first year.
Virgin Money Low Rate Credit Card
0% p.a. for 14 months
11.99% p.a.
$49 p.a.
Offers a $49 annual fee, 10% cashback on purchases made in the first 3 months (capped at $100) and 0% p.a. for 14 months on balance transfers.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
0% p.a. for 18 months
20.74% p.a.
$64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Take advantage of 0% p.a. on balance transfers for up to 18 months. $64 in the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter), plus, bonus Velocity Points.
Emirates Citi World Mastercard
0% p.a. for 9 months
20.99% p.a.
$149 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter)
Receive up to 60,000 bonus Skywards Miles, pay half the annual fee for the first year and indulge in curated local and global experiences.

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Balance transfer review and frequently asked questions

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Sally McMullen

Sally McMullen is an editor at finder.com.au who is a credit cards, frequent flyer and travel money expert by day and music maven by night.

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2 Responses

  1. 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…

    • finder Customer Care
      JeremyNovember 17, 2011Staff

      Hi Ricky

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



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