Repay your debt faster and save on interest costs with a balance transfer credit card with 0% p.a. for up to 24 months.
0% balance transfer credit cards let you move debt from an existing card to a new card with a different provider that offers no interest charges on the balance during the introductory period. With 0% interest on the debt, you can save more and pay off your credit card debt faster. Here, you’ll find out more about 0% balance transfer cards, including how they work and how to compare them to take full advantage of these offers.
0% balance transfer credit cards comparison
The finder.com.au best* 0% balance transfer credit cards
Compare the balance transfer offers below and receive extra benefits.
|Credit Card||Balance transfer rate||Feature|
|Citi Rewards Platinum||0% p.a. for 24 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee||Get a long-term balance transfer offer and earn 1 Citi Rewards Point per $1 spent on eligible purchases.|
|St.George Vertigo Platinum||0% p.a. for 24 months||Receive 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers.|
|Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Platinum||0% p.a. for 24 months||Enjoy 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers.|
|Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card||0% p.a. for 18 months||Get 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers and earn Velocity Points for every $1 spent.|
Balance transfers explained in 60 seconds
What you'll find in this guide
Follow the steps to learn, compare and apply for a balance transfer offer.
What is a 0% balance transfer credit card?
0% balance transfers let you transfer your existing credit card debt to a new credit card with a 0% interest rate for a promotional period. The interest-free promotional period will vary from card to card, but you can find cards with no interest on balance transfers for up to 24 months. Once the introductory offer has finished, the balance transfer interest rate will revert to a higher standard interest rate.
How do 0% balance transfer credit cards work?
A 0% balance transfer credit card allows you to move a high-interest debt to a new card with a promotional 0% offer on balance transfers. You can request the balance transfer when you're applying for the new card. If you're approved, your new provider will settle the balance on your old card and transfer it to your new account. While the 0% promotional balance transfer offer is in place, you won't accrue any additional interest as you repay your debt.
This means you can clear your balance without collecting more debt for a promotional period of up to 24 months depending on the card. Not only can you clear your debt faster, but you can save hundreds or thousands of dollars on interest charges at the same time.
How much interest will I save with a 0% balance transfer credit card?
If you have a credit card debt of $1,000 and you make $100 repayments per month, a balance transfer offer can help you regain control of your finances and save.
|Normal credit card without balance transfer offer||0% balance transfer credit card|
|Interest rate||20% p.a.||0% p.a.|
|Months required to repay||12 months||10 months|
|Interest paid over this period||$200||$0|
As you can see in the example above, not only can you save $200 in interest costs, but you'll also repay your debt faster.
This example assumes that the cardholder cleared the debt before the promotional offer finished. Once the 0% balance transfer period offer finishes, a higher standard interest rate will apply. So if you're unable to pay off your debt before the introductory offer ends, your remaining debt will be charged the standard variable interest rate for balance transfers.
You can calculate how much interest you'll save with your balance transfer credit card using the comparison table above. Simply type in the size of your debt and the current interest rate you're paying and select calculate. Considering the interest saved will help you compare your options and determine which 0% balance transfer credit card is right for you.
Your current stage in choosing a balance transfer offer
How to compare 0% balance transfers credit cards
Here are the most important factors you should keep in mind to find a 0% balance transfer card to consolidate your debt:
- Length of the balance transfer introductory offer. The 0% interest period on a balance transfer card can range from 6–24 months, but will vary between cards and available offers. The more debt you have, the longer you want the introductory period to be so you have more time to pay it off.
- How much you are allowed to transfer. Depending on the bank, you can usually transfer between 70% to 100% of the approved credit limit. If you had an approved credit limit of $10,000 and a maximum balance transfer of 80% of the limit, you could transfer up to $8,000. Refer to our guide on each bank's balance transfer limit and how much they will allow you to balance transfer.
- Make sure you can transfer to the new bank. You can't transfer your balance to a new card under the same bank. This means that you also can't transfer balances between banks that are owned by the same provider. For example, you can't balance transfer between St.George and Bank of Melbourne as they're both owned by Westpac. Refer to our guide on which banks you can balance transfer to for more information.
- Balance transfer revert rate. At the end of the balance transfer promotion, the 0% interest rate will revert to a higher standard variable rate (usually the cash advance or purchase rate). This means any balance that remains after this time will be charged interest, so you should aim to repay your debt before the promotional offer ends to avoid interest charges.
- Rewards. Credit card rewards are earned based on how much you spend on the card, so they are not usually a priority when you want to pay off debt. Plus, it's important to remember that balance transfers don't earn points. But if you want to earn rewards in the future, considering this feature when you apply for a 0% balance transfer could save you adding another card to your wallet later on.
- Complimentary extras. Many credit cards come with perks such as complimentary international travel insurance, extended warranties and purchase protection insurance. These benefits can add value to a card but are usually less important when compared to features such as the balance transfer offer and ongoing fees.
- The purchase rate. If you plan to make new purchases on the card before or after you’ve cleared your debt, check the purchase rate. Note that this rate will be applied from the day of the transaction when you carry a balance. If you want to make purchases whilst repaying a balance transfer, some cards offer both 0% on balance transfers and purchases. If you're paying down a debt, avoid using your card for purchases until you've repaid the entire balance.
What are the hidden costs of a 0% balance transfer credit card?
While you don’t pay interest on the debt you move to a 0% balance transfer card, there are a number of other fees you should be aware of before you apply. Some of the most common costs include:
- Balance transfer fee. Banks may charge a 1-3% fee for your balance transfer, which is based on the total balance transfer amount. You can check if the card you're applying for charges a balance transfer fee by using our balance transfer credit card reviews or by reading the fine print.
- The annual fee. While some 0% balance transfer credit cards have a $0 annual fee, others can range between $49 to $400 or more. Make sure that the annual fee won't exceed your interest savings before you apply.
- Minimum repayments. Even though the card charges 0% interest, you will still have to pay at least the minimum amount required for each statement period. Paying the minimum repayment might not be enough to clear your balance before the end of promotional period, so make an effort to pay as much as you can each month. Ideally, you should divide your balance by the number of months in the promotional period and pay that amount each month to clear the balance in full before the promotion ends.
- Interest charges for new purchases. When you make a purchase on a 0% balance transfer card, the purchase rate will be applied to it from the day the transaction is made. Your repayments will also go towards the debt that attracts the highest interest rate first. In this case, that is your purchases instead of your balance transfer.
- Late payment fee. Some credit card issuers may charge a late payment fee if payments are made after the due date on your statement.
Depending on the 0% balance transfer card you choose, other fees and charges may also apply in some circumstances. Make sure you check the standard terms and conditions for individual cards before you apply.
How to apply for a 0% balance transfer offer
These simple steps will help you find and apply for a 0% balance transfer offer that fits your budget and your needs.
Check your total amount of debt owed
Consider how much debt you want to transfer, and how long you think it will take you to pay it off so that you know what kind of offers will help you achieve your goal.
Compare 0% balance transfer offers
Look at all the different features and types of balance transfer offers, weighing them up based on the length of the 0% balance transfer offer, the amount you have to repay and the fees and features that come with the card. You should also make sure you meet the eligibility requirements before you apply. Use the comparison table to review your options side by side.
Once you've compared your options and decided on a card, hit the ‘Go to site’ button and you will be redirected to the credit card’s secure application page.
Fill out the application form
You will need to provide personal details including your full name, date of birth, street address, driver's licence number and/or passport number. Keep these documents handy and submit copies as requested by the credit card issuer.
Include details of the balance transfer request
There is a section of the credit card application that asks for details of any balance transfer requests. You will need to fill this out with information including the current credit card company, the account number and the total amount of debt you want to transfer to the new card.
Submit the application
You should get a response within 60 seconds of applying. You may be required to provide supporting documentation as part of this process. When you receive your card and activate it, your new provider will process the balance transfer from your old card to the new one. If you'd like to cancel your old credit card, contact your old bank directly to request for the account to be closed.
Your current stage in choosing a balance transfer offer
Applying for a 0% balance transfer can be a daunting task. We have answered the most popular questions from our users about applying and using a 0% balance transfer credit card here. If you still have a question please leave a comment in the "Ask a Question" box below and one of our friendly staff will respond to your query.
Frequently asked questions about 0% balance transfer credit cards
Q. Is a balance transfer worth it?
A. Balance transfer offers can provide you with a way to manage your existing debt and everyday expenses. If you have an existing credit card debt and want to pay less interest, then a 0% balance transfer offer could suit your needs.
Q. Can you transfer a credit card balance to another person's credit card?
A. No. Balance transfers between two separate cardholders are not permitted.
Q: Can you transfer a balance between partners/spouses?
A. This is usually possible if both you and your spouse have a joint account before requesting the balance transfer. Refer to our guide on joint balance transfers to consolidate your debt with a partner.
Q. Do I have to pay anything during the balance transfer promotion?
A. Yes. You will still have to make minimum monthly repayments. This is usually 2-3% of the entire balance. But with a 0% balance transfer offer, your entire repayment will go towards the debt, rather than interest charges. While you're required to pay the minimum repayment, it's wise to pay as much as you can to clear as much of the debt as you can before the revert rate applies.
For example, let's say you have a debt of $10,000 and a credit card with 0% on balance transfers for 24 months. You would need to pay around $417 each statement period to clear the entire balance before the revert rate applied at the end of the 24-month promotional period.
Q: How long does it take to receive the credit card and when is the balance transfer process complete?
A. Once the application process is complete and you have been approved, the new credit card will be issued. This generally takes between 5-10 business days, but it could be as many as 21 days before you receive the card.
After you get the card, you will need to activate it so that your new issuer can begin the balance transfer process. It could be as long as 21 business days from card activation before the debt is moved from your old card to the new one.
Q: Can I transfer a personal loan to a credit card?
A. Yes, certain banks allow you to transfer a personal loan debt to a new credit card. Refer to our guide here for the eligible banks and credit cards you can transfer to.
Q: Can I transfer an overseas credit card debt to an Australian credit card?
A. No. Unfortunately this type of balance transfer is not permitted.
Q: Can I request a balance transfer after submitting my application?
A. Most balance transfer offers must be requested at the time of application in order to get the promotional low or 0% interest rate. But some banks also allow a balance transfer to be requested after you have submitted your application.
Q: How long does the 0% offer stay in place for?
A. The length of the 0% interest period varies between cards. For example, if a card offers 0% interest for 12 months, you will have 0% on your balance for up to 12 months from when the card is activated. To get the full value from the 0% interest rate, pay off as much as you can as soon as possible. This will help you repay the balance in full before the promotion ends.
Q: Is there a balance transfer fee?
A. A balance transfer fee is a one–off charge that some bank's apply for transferring your debt to the new credit card. This fee is usually 1-3% of your entire debt amount and is charged on the first bill. Not all credit cards charge a balance transfer fee, so check individual offers to see if it applies.
Q: Do I have to transfer the whole balance from my current card to a 0% balance transfer card?
No, you can choose to transfer a portion of the balance. Just select the amount you want to transfer during the application process (and make sure you have a payment plan in place). Keep in mind that this will mean that you have two separate debts and card fees to manage.
Q: Can I make purchases whilst repaying my credit card balance?
A. Usually interest-free days are not available on purchases when you have an outstanding balance. As a result, any purchases you make will accumulate interest at the purchase interest rate whilst using a balance transfer offer. Please note that your bank will automatically allocate your repayments to the debt that is collecting the highest interest, which is likely to be the purchases if a 0% balance transfer offer is in place. If you would like to make purchases with no interest whilst repaying your existing credit card debt, compare 0% balance transfers and 0% purchase credit cards.
Q: What happens to my old credit card?
A. Your old credit card will remain active until you cancel it. If you want to cancel your old credit card, wait until the balance transfer process is complete and submit a request to your old bank.
Q: Which transactions do my repayments go to first? Purchases, cash advances or my balance transfer debt?
A. Credit card repayments go to the highest rate of interest first. When you have a low interest/ 0% balance transfer promotion, all repayments will go towards purchases and cash advances before your balance transfer debt if they're collecting a standard interest rate. As a result, it is ideal to avoid making purchases or cash advances when using a balance transfer.
Q: Can I transfer my balance again to a different bank?
A. If your balance transfer promotion has ended and you still have an outstanding balance, you can apply for another balance transfer credit card. This will be subject to approval based on the bank's lending criteria. Keep in mind that too many credit card applications can negatively impact your credit history and your ability to get a credit card application approved. You may like to consider a long-term balance transfer for more time to repay your balance.