Compare different credit card options and find out how much money you can save on interest with a credit card calculator.
Credit card repayment calculators and balance transfer calculators crunch the numbers for you and make it easy to compare promotional offers by their dollar value. Some of these calculators show the potential savings you could achieve by making larger repayments on your credit card account. Others, such as the one on this page, allow you to see how much money you could save by moving your debt to a new card with a lower interest rate. Here, we look at how you can use this credit card calculator to save money on your credit card balance, the key details to consider when doing so and other options for paying down debt.
How to use the balance transfer calculator below to see which credit card will save you the most money
If you’re struggling with credit card debt, a balance transfer credit card can give you a break on your interest repayments so that you can be debt free sooner. We compare balance transfer credit cards with different promotional interest rates and terms ranging from nine months to two years.
You can use the balance transfer calculator here to compare credit cards based on the amount of interest you would save with each one. Get started by entering the following information into the top of the comparison table.
- Transfer amount. This is the amount of credit card debt you want to transfer to a new card with a low promotional interest rate.
- Current interest rate. This is the current amount of interest you’re paying on your credit card debt. If you’re not sure what rate applies, you can find it on your credit card statement or via Internet banking.
Once you enter this information and hit “Calculate”, you will see your potential savings in the “Interest Saved” column of the table.
Using the advanced search feature
The advanced search feature can help you narrow down your comparison in three ways:
- 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.
Balance Transfer Credit Cards
What should I consider after using the credit card calculator?
Once you’ve seen how much you could save with a balance transfer credit card, make sure to compare these other features to make sure you’re picking the right credit card 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.
Frequently asked questions
What if I can’t afford to pay any more than the minimum monthly repayment?
The minimum monthly repayment is a percentage of your total outstanding balance, usually somewhere between 2-3%. By only making the minimum monthly repayment each month, you will incur interest charges on the debt. These charges will be compounded, which means you pay interest on the interest and in some cases, you may never pay off your balance.
If you can’t afford to pay any extra off your credit card debt, a balance transfer to a card with a low or 0% interest rate may allow you to pay off more of the initial debt during the promotional period. Just remember to check the revert rate, and if you continue to struggle, you may want to talk to your provider about other options.
How much extra can I pay off my credit card each month?
There are no restrictions for making extra payments. You can pay as much as you like off your credit card as often as you like. Note that if you pay off more than you owe on a credit card, the additional funds will become a surplus in your account. This surplus will then go towards your future payments until it is used up, but has no effect otherwise.
What happens if I miss a credit card repayment?
If you miss a credit card repayment, in some cases you will be charged a late payment fee. Late payment fees are outlined in the credit card product disclosure statement. If you continue to miss payments for more than 60 days, your account may be listed as in default. Both late payments and default accounts can negatively impact your credit history and your ability to apply for new loans or cards as a result.
Can I set up an automatic payment?
Yes. You can set up an automatic payment from a linked bank account. Speak to your credit card provider to find out how to set up an automatic payment plan.
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