Discover how to repay your debt interest-free while earning rewards
Balance transfers and rewards card are both attractive features, but imagine if you could take advantage of them both with one card. Take advantage of a lower interest rate to consolidate your debts and once you’ve paid it off, earn points on purchases to reward your spending. While these cards sound like a catch, there are some factors you should consider before submitting your application.
Balance transfer credit card offers with rewards points comparison
What are the features of a balance transfer credit card with rewards?
Balance transfer credit cards with rewards offer a number of features, and while these can vary from card to card, the following should give you a fair idea of what to expect:
- Balance transfer offer. Some cards charge 0% p.a. on balance transfers during promotional periods, and some others charge low balance transfer rates. The time period of these offers typically varies in between 6 and 18 months.
- Earning reward points. The earn rate (how many points you’ll earn per dollar) you can expect will depend on the provider and rewards program. There may also be some terms and conditions such as bonus points with partnered retailers or restrictions on transactions (such as cash advances). It also pays to find out if your points expire, and if there’s a cap on the maximum number of points you can earn.
- Redeeming rewards. Understand exactly how you can redeem your points. Certain rewards programs give you the option to choose between an array of merchandise, store vouchers, and travel vouchers; some allow you to use your points as cashback; and some even give you the option of transferring your points to your frequent flyer program account. You’ll want to make sure these rewards suit your lifestyle so you can get the most out of your card.
What are the pros and cons of using a balance transfer credit card with rewards?
- Save money. By paying little to no interest on balance transfers for a given time period, you can save considerably in the form of interest, especially if you manage to pay off the entire transferred balance before the promotional period comes to a close.
- Earn rewards. If you use your credit card frequently, you can benefit by earning rewards as per your spending.
- Make use of extras. Many such credit cards come with complimentary purchase and travel insurance covers that you can use in different circumstances. Some cards also offer round-the-clock access to a concierge service that offers assistance in various matters.
- High-interest rate. You can expect a balance transfer card with rewards to charge a high interest rate on purchases, and if you don’t keep paying your account’s closing balance in full each month, the money you pay as interest could outweigh the rewards you earn.
- Annual fee. Most such credit cards charge ongoing annual fees, and just how much you have to pay in annual fees depends on the extras any given card offers.
What else will I need to consider when comparing this type of card?
When you’re comparing rewards credit cards with balance transfer offers, don’t forget the following:
- Balance transfers don’t earn rewards. At the time of writing, no Australian credit cards offer rewards points on balance transfers.
- The earn rate. The earn rate can vary from one rewards card to the next, so pay due attention to this aspect. Normally, platinum and premium cards offer better earn rates, and American Express usually compares better than Visa and Mastercard on this front.
- The revert rate. At the end of the promotional period, any outstanding balance from balance transfers starts attracting the card’s purchase rate or cash advance rate. It’s usually the cash advance rate, which can be noticeably higher than the purchase rate.
Getting a balance transfer credit card with rewards can be a good idea if you have a roadmap in place and plan to pay off the entire transferred balance within the promotional period. Once you do, you can then look forward to earning rewards. The number of options on offer is a definite plus, so make sure you compare as many as possible before applying for any one.Back to top
Frequently asked questions
Do I get interest-free days on purchases with such credit cards?
These cards sometimes offer interest-free days on purchases, but to make use of these interest free days you have to pay the transferred balance in full first, following which you have to pay your account’s closing balance in full each month.
I have little over a month to repay my transferred balance completely before the introductory period ends. Can I apply for a new card with a balance transfer offer and transfer the outstanding balance again?
While this is possible, approval of your new card and you qualifying for the new balance transfer offer depends on the credit card provider. So come to terms with the eligibility criteria before applying.
Do introductory bonus points come with any riders?
They might. You could get a part of the bonus points when you use your card for the first time, and part if your spending reaches a predetermined threshold within a given time period.