The balance transfer offers you see when you compare credit cards are typically available for new customers, not existing ones. This is because banks want to attract new customers, and introductory offers can encourage people to switch.
Some banks also let you transfer a balance to your existing card. Usually, the balance transfer interest rate will be different to the one a new customer would get. The balance that you transfer also typically needs to be from a different bank.
If you had 2 different Westpac cards, you couldn't transfer the balance from 1 card to another.
But if you had a Westpac card and a NAB card, you could transfer balance from your NAB card over to the Westpac card.
Keep in mind that every bank has a different approach to balance transfers. And it can get trickier if you wish to balance transfer from 1 bank to another and they're owned by the same parent company.
What are the benefits of doing a balance transfer with your existing bank?
For some people, keeping a card they already use may be enough of an incentive to get a balance transfer to it – even if it's not the most competitive offer.
A low credit score could also be another factor, because it can make it harder to get approved for a new card. If you're in this position, it might be worth calling your credit card provider and letting them know you're not happy. Occasionally, your provider will offer you an annual fee discount or extra perks to encourage you to stay.
Overall, if you're keen to get access to bonus points or better perks, you'll be better off transferring your balance to a new card with a different bank, so you can take advantage of the discounts and offers as a new customer.
What perks can I get as an existing cardholder?
- Bonus points offers. Occasionally, card providers will allow you to earn bonus points on specific spending. For example, American Express often awards bonus points when you spend with a partnered retailer during a promotional period and Qantas lets you earn triple bonus points on certain promotional flights or hotel bookings.
- Cashback offers. Some banks offer a promotional cashback offer instead of bonus points. For example, you might be able to receive 2% back on all eligible spending within a specific period.
- Network perks. Card payment networks provide a host of exclusive travel, lifestyle, shopping, dining and entertainment offers to existing cardholders. For example, Visa Entertainment, Mastercard Priceless Cities and American Express Offers all offer cardholders entertainment perks such as presale concert tickets, event discounts and access to private lounges.
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