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Can I balance transfer a personal loan to a credit card?

A handful of credit cards let you balance transfer a personal loan and save, with some offering 0% interest for 6–24 months.

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Name Purchase rate p.a. Annual fee Balance transfer rate p.a. Amount Saved
Kogan Money Card – Exclusive Offer
Exclusive
Kogan Rewards Program
Purchase rate p.a.
20.99%
Annual fee
$0
Balance transfer rate p.a.
0% for 18 months with 1% balance transfer fee, then 21.74%
$1,335.99 over 18 months
Go to siteMore Info
Get 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 18 months with a 1% balance transfer fee. Plus an ongoing $0 annual fee.
Citi Clear Card - Exclusive Offer
Exclusive
Purchase rate p.a.
14.99%
Annual fee
$49 first year ($99 after)
Balance transfer rate p.a.
0% for 24 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee, then 22.24%
$1,563.89 over 24 months
Go to siteMore Info
Offers 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 24 months (with 1.5% balance transfer fee) and a $49 first-year annual fee.
Qantas Premier Platinum
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Purchase rate p.a.
19.99%
Annual fee
$349 first year ($399 after)
Balance transfer rate p.a.
0% for 12 months, then 21.99%
$578.32 over 12 months
Go to siteMore Info
Earn up to 80,000 bonus Qantas Points. Plus, save with a reduced first-year annual fee and 0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers. Ends on 01 May 2024.
Citi Premier Card - Cashback Offer
Citi Rewards Program
Purchase rate p.a.
21.49%
Annual fee
$300
Balance transfer rate p.a.
0% for 6 months, then 22.24%
$183.02 over 6 months
More Info
Receive $600 cashback when you spend $2,000 through Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay in the first 3 months.
Qantas Premier Everyday
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Purchase rate p.a.
19.99%
Annual fee
$99
Balance transfer rate p.a.
0% for 12 months with 2% balance transfer fee, then 21.99%
$828.32 over 12 months
Go to siteMore Info
Get 2 bonus Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases in the first 4 months (up to 8,000 points), plus complimentary insurance.
Qantas Premier Titanium
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Purchase rate p.a.
19.99%
Annual fee
$1,200
Balance transfer rate p.a.
0% for 6 months, then 21.99%
No savings
Go to siteMore Info
Get 150k bonus Qantas Points when you spend $5k in the first 3 months. Plus Qantas First Lounge Invitations and 20% bonus Status Credits on eligible flights. Ends on 01 May 2024.
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Which credit cards allow a personal loan balance transfer?

There are a few credit card providers in Australia that give you a way to balance transfer personal loan debt to a credit card, including:

  • Citi
  • Coles
  • Kogan Money
  • Qantas Money
  • Virgin Money

Most other credit cards that offer 0% balance transfer rates only let you move debts from Australian credit cards, store cards or charge cards from other issuers.

⚠️ Take note: NAB is the largest issuer of credit cards that accept personal loan balance transfers, including all of the card brands mentioned above, but does not accept personal loan balance transfers to NAB credit cards. As there can be restrictions on transferring balances with the same issuer, make sure you check the details for the balance transfer credit card and your personal loan account.

Pros and cons of transferring a personal loan balance to a credit card

Pros

  • Save money. Balance transfer credit cards give you a chance to save money on interest charges by offering a low or 0% introductory interest rate.
  • Pay off personal loan debt faster. Paying low or no interest on a balance transfer card means that more of your repayments go directly towards the principal debt (rather than on interest charges). This gives you a chance to pay off your debt in a shorter amount of time.
  • Longer balance transfer offers. Balance transfer credit cards offer introductory interest rates for up to 32 months. Depending on the amount of debt you owe and the repayments you can afford to make, you may even be able to pay off your personal loan debt before this period ends, avoiding higher interest charges in the process.
  • Pay off all your debts at once. You may be able to consolidate debt on one credit card so that you only need to make one repayment each month. Plus, you’ll only have to deal with one interest rate for all of your debt.

Cons

  • Balance transfer limits. Credit cards typically let you transfer between 70% to 100% of your approved credit limit. But depending on the card and how much personal loan debt you want to transfer, you may not be able to transfer the whole balance – which could leave you paying part of it off on the personal loan account.
  • Balance transfer fee. Some credit cards have a one-time fee worth around 1% to 3% of the balance transfer. On a $15,000 personal loan debt, this could be as much as $450.
  • Higher rates at the end of the introductory period. If you don't pay off the balance during the introductory period, you'll be charged interest on what's left. With some credit cards charging as much as 25.99% p.a., this could be higher than the rate you have on your personal loan.
  • Credit score impact. Every time you apply for a new credit product, an enquiry is recorded on your credit report. If you already have a weak credit score, this could decrease it further and you may not be approved.

What should I think about before transferring personal loan debt?

  • The length of the introductory period

To get the most out of a balance transfer offer, you need to pay off the entire debt before the end of the low or 0% balance transfer period. Otherwise, the card's standard rate will apply to any remaining debt.

You can divide your debt by the number of months in the introductory period to get an idea of how much you'd need to pay each month to clear your balance in the 0% interest period. Or, use a repayment calculator. If you think it will take longer than that to pay off the balance, you could think about sticking with your current personal loan or compare other debt consolidation loans to find an option that's affordable for you.

  • Fees and charges on your old account

As the balance transfer process can take a couple of weeks to complete, you'll need to continue making payments on your existing account/s until the debt is transferred.

Some personal loans may also apply early exit fees or other charges when your debt is transferred. Make sure you check with your loan provider before doing a balance transfer so that you know exactly how much it will cost.

  • Keeping your old account open

Once the debt is transferred to your new credit card, make sure you close the personal loan account to avoid any additional fees or charges.

  • Making purchases during the introductory balance transfer period

If you use your new balance transfer credit card to make purchases, the standard purchase rate will apply to those charges, and any repayments you make will be allocated to these debts before your balance transfer debt.

If that happens, you could end up carrying the balance until after the introductory period ends, so try to focus on paying off your existing debt before using your card for spending.

How can I make sure I'm eligible to transfer my personal loan to a credit card?

Each card has different requirements that you need to meet, but generally they will include the following:

  • Meet the credit card application criteria

You’ll need to meet the eligibility criteria for the specific credit card you’re applying for, including the minimum age, Australian residency status, credit score requirements and minimum income requirements. Remember to check if the credit card accepts personal loan debt as part of a balance transfer offer, too.

  • Request a balance transfer from eligible accounts

You are only eligible to balance transfer existing debts if they are from a different Australian financial institution than the one you’re applying to. For example, you can’t transfer a Citi personal loan debt to a Citi credit card. Citi may also refuse to process a balance transfer request when it is from another NAB account.

  • Make sure the debt is in your name

The name on your personal loan account usually needs to match the one on your balance transfer credit card application. This means you cannot request a balance transfer from an account held by someone else, such as your partner.

Check out this guide for options that allow balance transfers from a spouse or partner.

  • Check the balance transfer limits

There may be minimum and maximum limits for your balance transfer. For example, Citi, Coles and Virgin Money state that you must balance transfer at least $500 per request, and you can transfer up to 80% of your credit limit.

This means if you were approved for a credit card with a $10,000 limit, you could balance transfer up to $8,000 to the account.

How to request a balance transfer from a personal loan to a credit card

When you apply for your balance transfer credit card, there will be a section asking for details of the debt or debts you want to move on to the card. Here, you'll need to provide details of the personal loan debt you want to transfer, including:

  • The name on the account
  • The type of card or account (i.e. personal loan)
  • The account number
  • The amount of debt you want to transfer
  • The name of the issuing organisation
  • The BPAY biller code and reference number (if available)

If your application is approved, you should get your new credit card in around 10 working days. Depending on the issuer, you may need to activate the card so that the credit card company can begin the balance transfer process. This could take another 10 working days to be completed. Once that's done, you can close your old account and start paying off the debt on your new credit card.

Alternatives to balance transferring a personal loan

If you can't balance transfer a personal loan to a credit card or you're still weighing up your options, here are some other solutions that could help you save on interest and pay off the loan faster.

  • Debt consolidation loans. Even if you're only paying off one balance, comparing loans and other debt consolidation options could help you find a lower interest rate and lower fees than what you're currently paying.
  • Repay the loan with savings. The average Australian in a metropolitan area has $32,979 in cash savings and $23,597 in regional areas, according to data from Finder's Consumer Sentiment Tracker. So if you have savings, you could use some of it to pay off the loan faster and keep some for emergencies and other goals.
  • Financial support. If the balance of your personal loan is causing financial stress, you can speak to a financial counsellor for free by calling 1800 007 007 or using the chat service on the National Debt Helpline website. You can also speak to your lender about hardship options if your circumstances have changed, so that you can find a way to repay the loan that's manageable for you.

Frequently asked questions

Is it better to use a debt consolidation loan or a balance transfer credit card?

This depends on how much debt you have and what you're eligible for. Balance transfer credit cards typically allow you to transfer a smaller amount than a debt consolidation loan. But most balance transfer cards also offer an introductory 0% interest rate that can help you save on charges for a set period of time before interest applies.

In comparison, debt consolidation loans typically offer more flexibility in the types of debts you can consolidate and charge an interest rate applied the time the loan is approved. So it's often helpful to consider both options for debt consolidation, then choose the one that's most suited to your situation.

If I transfer my personal loan to a credit card, would the debt be considered a personal loan debt or a credit card debt?

After you successfully balance transfer your personal loan to a credit card, that debt will be considered as a credit card debt.

Can I transfer any personal loan balance to a credit card?

There are still some requirements to transfer a personal loan balance. You need to have all the requested balance transfer account details, such as the account name, number and BPAY biller details when available. The account also needs to be from another Australian financial institution and usually needs to be in your name.

If you have all the required account information, you can then request a balance transfer from a personal loan held with another financial institution, providing you apply for a credit card that accepts this type of balance transfer – including cards from Citi, Coles, Kogan Money, Qantas Money and Virgin Money. If you don't have all the required details or have questions about the process, contact the balance transfer credit card company to discuss the balance you want to transfer for specific information.

Will a personal loan balance transfer affect my credit score?

Any balance transfer has the potential to affect your credit score. This is because details from the application will be added to your credit report.

If you have a number of accounts and applications in a short period of time, it could lower your credit score. But if the balance transfer means you're able to make repayments more regularly, and on time, your credit score could improve over time. Check out Finder's guide to credit scores for more details – and to get a free copy of your credit score and report each month.

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20 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    VWOctober 13, 2018

    Can I do a balance transfer from a Bankwest Credit Card to a Commonwealth Bank Personal Loan?

      AvatarFinder
      JeniOctober 13, 2018Finder

      Hi VW,

      Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

      Currently, you are not able to do that. As per Bankwest’s balance transfer T&Cs, you may at any time request them, and they may agree to transfer any debit balance of a credit card, store card, or charge card account held with another Australian financial institution by you or an additional cardholder to the card account.

      I hope this helps.

      Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any other enquiries.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

    Default Gravatar
    JoJune 22, 2017

    I applied for a Virgin Flyer Card with balance transfer 18 months interest free to clear a personal loan.

    Upon activation and calling to arrange the BT, I was advised by the call centre that they are unable to transfer to a personal loan (even after I supplied the Biller Code and Ref No).

    Instead they’re sending me a cheque for the BT amount!

      Default Gravatar
      JonathanJune 22, 2017

      Hello Jo!

      That sounds a surprise for you! But don’t be! :)

      Some credit card companies use “convenience checks” that will let you do balance transfer. If you sign and use that check to pay off your loan, the check amount gets drawn from the credit limit you have in your card, then the agreed rates and fees ensue.

      You may want to talk with your credit card company to confirm if this is a valid alternative instead of transferring your loan to your card themselves.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

    Default Gravatar
    BenJune 21, 2017

    Hi! When applying for a card for balance transfer (24 months interest free), can I specify that it’s for a balance transfer and the amount, such as $20,000 personal loan. Also, can I be notified of the card’s maximum before actually going ahead? Or is it more-so that once I have applied, if they approve it I need to pay the fee for the card and have it regardless of the maximum amount? My fear is that they may give a low maximum when the point of applying might have been to balance transfer close to a $20,000 personal loan figure. Thanks.

      Default Gravatar
      JonathanJune 21, 2017

      Hi Ben!

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Usually, during the application process, it is not necessary for you to declare the purpose why and how much you need when you’re applying for a card. The approval will depend on the bank’s internal criteria and this will determine your credit limit and how much you can transfer (most only allow 80% of your approved limit to ensure you don’t go over).

      We understand it concerns you that you might be approved for a card with inadequate credit line and you need to bear with the fees, but take note that whatever balances you successfully transferred and get a 0% offer, would still translate to some savings on your wallet.

      Another solution is you might consider talking with your existing lender to give you more friendly repayment plan for your personal loan, that way you don’t need to be concerned about transferring debt.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

    Default Gravatar
    JoanApril 27, 2017

    Hi,

    Can you please advise if there is any fee charged if you pay off the balance transfer amount prior to the allocated period expires?

    Thank you

      Default Gravatar
      LiezlApril 28, 2017

      Hi Joan,

      Thanks for your question.

      There is no fee for paying off your bill before the end of the promotional period. It’s ideal to pay off the debt before the end of the introductory period so that you can avoid higher interest charges.

      Best regards,
      Liezl

    Default Gravatar
    MoeJune 1, 2016

    Hi,

    Once I transfer my personal loan to the credit card with Citibank, would this new credit debt, would it be considered a personal loan or a credit card debt? if it considered a credit card debt, after the 24 months period end, can I balance transfer this remaining amount to another credit card with another bank institution, to still keep going with the balance transfer with no interest?

      AvatarFinder
      MayJune 1, 2016Finder

      Hi Moe,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Yes, once you have successfully transferred your personal loans to a balance transfer credit card with Citibank, that debt will be considered as a credit card debt. So if you want to transfer the remaining balance to another credit card from a different card issuer after 24 months, you may do so.

      Cheers,
      May

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