Find out how much you can save on interest with a credit card calculator.
Credit card calculators can help you manage your repayments and find ways to save on interest costs. Some of these calculators, including the one on this page, show you how much money you could save by moving your debt to a new card with a lower interest rate. Other credit card calculators may focus on comparing the interest charges you'll pay for different repayment amounts.
Here, you can learn how to use a credit card calculator to save money on your credit card balance, including ways to use one when comparing credit card offers. We also go through the key details to consider when using a credit card calculator and other options you have when you want to pay down debt.
How to use the balance transfer calculator to compare credit cards
When you're comparing different balance transfer offers, a credit card calculator can help you work out how much interest you'll save with each one based on how much you actually owe. Here's how to get started with the balance transfer calculator below:
- Enter the debt you want to transfer. At the top of the comparison table, you'll see the label "Transfer amount". This is where you type in the amount of credit card debt you want to transfer to a new card with an introductory balance transfer rate.
- Share your current interest rate. To accurately calculate how much you could save with each of the balance transfer offers, enter your existing credit card's interest rate in the "Current Interest Rate" box . If you’re not sure what rate applies, you can find it on your credit card statement or via Internet banking.
- Hit "Calculate". The balance transfer calculator will then work out how much you can save with each offer. You can see these results in the "Amount Saved" column. You can also sort the results based on how much you'll save by clicking on this column.
Comparison of Balance Transfer Credit Cards
How to get more personalised results from the calculator
The advanced search feature can help make your comparison even more specific based on these key details:
- Your current provider. Select your credit card provider from the drop down list. This option is useful as you can’t transfer a balance to a credit card offered by the same institution you’re already with.
- Balance transfer period. Balance transfer credit cards offer a low or 0% interest rate for a limited amount of time. Think about how long it will take you to pay off your credit card debt and choose the balance transfer promotional period by moving the slider left or right.
- Annual fee. This is a fee charged once each year. Generally, credit cards with high annual fees also provide more features, such as complimentary extras. Consider how much you’re willing to pay for your new balance transfer credit card and move the slider left for lower fees or right for higher fees.
When you change the values in the balance transfer calculator, the comparison table will be updated with relevant credit cards to match your criteria. Hit the “Calculate” button to see how much each of the balance transfer credit cards in the comparison table could save you in interest repayments.
How are these calculations made?
When you use this credit card balance transfer calculator, the results you see will be based on the following factors:
- No additional purchases. The saving amounts focus on how much you could save when you balance transfer your existing debt, so any new purchase you made would affect these costs.
- Balance transfer period. The "Amount Saved" shows how much interest you could save during the introductory balance transfer period. If you don't pay off your debt in full by the end of this time, the standard interest rate for that card will apply to the remaining balance.
- Minimum monthly repayments. This calculator bases the interest savings on a minimum monthly repayment amount of 3%. If you paid more than this, you could save more (providing no additional purchases were made).
- Fees. The results from the balance transfer calculator factor in both the annual fee and any one-off balance transfer fee that may be a part of the offer.
- Information icon. Each "Amount Saved" result includes an information button you can click on to see details of the result, including how much of your debt would remain if you only made the minimum 3% repayments.
What else do I need to know about balance transfer credit cards?
As well as using the balance transfer calculator to find out how much you could save on interest charges, make sure you compare these other features to find a credit card that works for you:
- Revert rate. Balance transfer promotional interest rates do not last. At the end of the introductory period, the promotional interest rate will change to the much higher purchase or cash advance rate of interest. This is called the revert rate. Any remaining debt that you haven’t paid back by the end of the promotional period will accrue interest at the revert rate. Click through to the credit card review and application page to view the revert rate for each balance transfer credit card.
- Order of repayments. Financial institutions apply repayments to the credit card balance that has the highest interest rate first. This means that if you move your debt to a balance transfer credit card and then use that card to make purchases or cash withdrawals, the balance transfer balance will be paid back last. Consider how you’re going to use the card and whether a balance transfer is the right option.
- Annual fee. Some balance transfer credit cards have an annual fee. The annual fee is charged to the account during the first statement period and will accrue interest at the purchase rate of interest if left unpaid. You should also make sure that the annual fee doesn’t outweigh the interest savings you’re making from the balance transfer, otherwise you might want to go for a card with a lower annual fee.
- Credit limits. You can use up to a percentage of your credit limit for a balance transfer. For example, if a card allows you to balance transfer up to 80% of your credit limit and you are approved for a $10,000 limit, you will be able to transfer up to $8,000 of debt to the card.
- Cancelling old cards. When you balance transfer your credit card debt, the old card stays open. It’s up to you to cancel your old credit card and transfer any direct debits to your new credit card if you wish.
Other ways to pay down debt
Consider these options for paying off credit card debt as an alternative to a balance transfer.
- Debt consolidation personal loans. If a credit card is just one debt of many that you’re trying to pay off, you could reach your goals sooner by consolidating your debts with a personal loan. This will mean you have just one payment to make each month, and one rate of interest to deal with.
- Financial hardship. If you’re really struggling, you can apply for hardship. Financial institutions have hardship provisions and can work with you to give you time to get on top of your finances so you can keep making credit card repayments. There are government programs and free financial counselling services that may help too.
- Make extra repayments. If you get paid weekly or fortnightly, you could choose to make payments off your credit card debt every payday. This will reduce the overall amount of interest charged and could make it easier to pay off your debt.
- Stick to a fixed payment amount. Instead of paying what you can, aim to set aside a specific amount of money each month for your credit card. For example, if you can afford to set aside $50 per week, you’ll be paying off $200 per month.
Whatever option you choose, remember that budgeting is a key first step to freeing yourself from debt. Using tools such as credit card calculators can help you save money on debt fees based on your specific circumstances. Once you have these details on hand, you can compare balance transfer cards and other debt repayment solutions to find an option that works for you.
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