Can I get a lifetime balance transfer credit card?

While there are no lifetime balance transfer credit card offers in Australia, there are other long-term debt consolidation options available to you.

Even if you can’t get access to a lifetime balance transfer offer, there are still many reasons to compare balance transfer deals when you want to pay off your credit card debt. If you're looking to repay your balance transfer over an extended period, a long-term balance transfer credit card could be a valuable alternative.

Some balance transfer cards offer low or 0% introductory rates for up to 36 months, which could help you save on interest and pay off your debt faster. Use this guide to learn more about how a long-term balance transfer could help you consolidate your debt burden.

No longer offered in the market

Balance transfer for life credit cards are no longer in the Australian market. This page now compares other long-term debt consolidation alternatives that can help repay your debts.

Compare balance transfer credit cards

While you can no longer apply for a lifetime balance transfer credit card, a balance transfer credit card (especially one with a longer introductory period) can be an effective way to repay your debt. Compare your options to find the right for you.

Updated December 6th, 2019
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate Annual fee
20.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months
$0 p.a.
Save with a $0 annual fee and a 0% balance transfer offer. Plus, earn $500 Kogan.com Credit and uncapped rewards points. Ends 06 December 2019.
21.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 26 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Earn reward Points per $1 spent and take advantage of a 0% p.a. for 26 month balance transfer offer and a discounted $49 first year annual fee.
13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months
$55 p.a.
Get 0% p.a. interest for up to 18 months on balance transfers with no balance transfer fee. Plus, a low annual fee and purchase rate.
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months
$64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Earn up to 70,000 bonus Velocity Points (60,000 in 3 months and 10,000 after first year). Plus, save with 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers.
0% for 13 months, reverts to 21.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 13 months
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Finder Exclusive:
Save with 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers for 13 months (with no BT fee). Plus, a discounted $49 annual fee for the first year.
0% for 9 months, reverts to 14.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 9 months
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Enjoy a $0 first year annual fee and a 0% introductory rate on purchases and balance transfers. Plus, complimentary purchase insurance cover.

Compare up to 4 providers

How you can use a long-term balance transfer instead of a lifetime balance transfer credit card

Balance transfers for life allowed you to shift a debt from a higher interest card to a lower interest card. Rather than having a number of months to pay off this balance at the lower rate – like what happens today, you’d be able to pay your balance off at this rate until it’s paid.

While lifetime balance transfer credit cards are no longer available, long-term balance transfer credit cards are an alternative that can provide you with enough time to repay your debt. At the time of writing, a number of Australian credit card providers offer long-term credit cards with promotional periods of 12, 24 and 36 months.

Calculate how much you could save with a balance transfer credit card

How to compare long-term balance transfer credit cards

  • Balance transfer period. The low or 0% balance transfer offer will only be in place for an allotted period. While long-term balance transfer credit cards provide you with more time to repay your debt, it's important to calculate whether you can repay your entire debt before the end of the promotional period to avoid collecting interest to get the full value of the card.
  • Revert rate. The low balance transfer rate will only be in place for the length of the promotional period, so you should confirm what the revert rate is before applying for the card. If you're unable to repay your balance by the time the introductory offer expires, your remaining debt will begin to collect the revert rate. So it's important to understand what you could stand to pay if you fail to repay your debt within that period.
  • Fees. You'll want to make sure the savings outweigh the cost of the card, so make sure to compare and rates and fees while comparing cards. Some common costs to look out for include the one-off balance transfer fee (usually 1% or 2% of the balance amount) that might be charged at the time of transfer, annual fees and the interest you'll be paying on purchases. However, if you're dedicated to repaying your balance, you shouldn't be using the card for purchases.
  • Extra features. If you're determined to repay your balance by the end of the promotional period, you shouldn't be using the card for more than consolidating your debt. However, if you plan to use the card for emergency purchases or after you've repaid your debt, you might want to consider other features such as interest-free days on purchases, rewards programs or complimentary insurances.

Mistakes to avoid with long-term balance transfer credit cards

  • Using the card for purchases. The purpose of a balance transfer credit card is to consolidate your debt, so you might want to consider getting a card with a low interest rate on purchases if you need a card for emergencies. Then you can leave your balance transfer card at home, prevent spending temptations and repay your balance.
  • Forgetting your financial situation. Long-term balance transfers can be a good way to repay your balance over a longer period, but they can also provide you with a false sense of security. Don't forget that you'll need to meet minimum repayments (at the very least) each month and it's important to pay these on time to consolidate your debt as fast as possible.
  • Procrastinating. Request a balance transfer at the time of application to ensure you can take advantage of the full promotional period. To ensure this process goes smoothly, make sure you meet the eligibility criteria and have the required documents on hand before applying.
  • Only paying the minimum repayment. You'll be required to pay a minimum repayment, but you'll most likely need to pay more than this to repay your entire balance before the end of the promotional period. Calculate how much you'll need to pay each month to pay off your debt by the end of the introductory offer before applying for the card to ensure it's the right one for you. Creating a budget will also help you keep your repayments in line and will help you achieve your goal faster.
This guide is about balance transfer for life credit cards which are no longer available for application from Australian banks. Please take this in to account when reading this information. For the most comprehensive balance transfer guide please see our balance transfer comparison page

Image: Shutterstock

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11 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    HTJuly 27, 2013

    I would like to know how a 0% balance transfer works? My Visa card with Westpac has a $28,000 balance and my CBA card has a $18,000 balance. Every month the repayments get sucked up by the interest. What is the best solution?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JacobJuly 29, 2013Staff

      Hi HT. Thanks for your question. A balance transfer is an extremely popular option for reducing your credit card interest charges. When you carry out a balance transfer, the new bank you apply for a card with will ‘buy’ your credit card balance off your old bank. They then give the cardholder a promotional interest rate and term in which they can pay down the balance of the card, say 0% for 6 months. Because the new bank is taking ownership of your credit card debt and buying it from your old bank, you can’t transfer a balance between two cards that are owned by the same institution.

      If you’re looking to consolidate both balances to the one card, your approved credit limit on your new card must be greater than the amount you wish to transfer as most lenders will only allow you to use a certain percentage of your credit limit towards a balance transfer. You can find out more about maximum balance transfer amounts on this page.

      There are currently a number of credit cards with a balance transfer promotion, you can compare balance transfer credit cards on this page.

      For basic information on balance transfers, please watch this video.

      I hope this helps.

      Jacob.

  2. Default Gravatar
    JohnJuly 12, 2013

    Just have a scenario and wondering if you can do it.

    I have a credit card (eg CBA card) with a limit of say $30k with a Nil balance.

    I apply for a 0% balance transfer credit card (eg ANZ) and request to balance transfer $30k from my CBA credit card at 0% for say 9 months.

    I then have a $30k credit balance on my CBA credit Card with $30k transferred to the new ANZ card at 0%.

    In the meantime, I withdraw the $30k in credit funds from my CBA credit card and place it in a term deposit earning say 4% for 9 months.

    At the end of 9 months, I use the $30k in the term deposit to pay back the ANZ credit card (0% interest).

    I end up with 4% credit interest on the $30 over 9 months. No risk, no costs!

    What do you think?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JacobJuly 13, 2013Staff

      Hi John. This is not how a balance transfer was intended to be used. Thanks for your question. Jacob.

  3. Default Gravatar
    KerriMay 16, 2013

    What is the best credit card transfer offer for me at this time. I currently need to transfer 48,000. I have existing money which is tied up and I can not access at this time. The balance tranfer would not be something that would be endless for me. Just until I can access my money. Maybe an offer which is maybe 12 months. Thanks.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JacobMay 16, 2013Staff

      Hi Kerri. Thanks for your question. One of the main considerations when choosing a balance transfer credit card is the time it will take you to pay off the debt, as this will dictate the length of the promotional offer to go for. Compare balance transfer offers here. Another thing to consider. The amount you wish to transfer will depend on the provider you choose to go for. Check this page for maximum balance transfer limits. Some lenders will allow you to transfer a percentage of your approved credit limit, while others will let you transfer all of it. Let me know if you need more information. Jacob.

  4. Default Gravatar
    SarahMay 14, 2013

    I lost my job last year and had some difficulty making repayments on one of my credit cards. I now have a high balance on the other that I want to pay off. Which cards or institutions will consider a card to someone with a blemished record? I have a late payment listing with one credit provider. Thanks, Sarah

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JacobMay 15, 2013Staff

      Hi Sarah. Thanks for your question – it’s a difficult one to answer as no one credit card providing institution is more or less lax in their approach to providing credit to people with a credit misadventure in the past when compared to another. Order a copy of your credit file so you can see exactly what the lender can see when you go to apply for a card, if you have a default or missed payment, try to rectify it and get the mark removed from your file (this may or may not be possible), and if all else fails, go speak to a lender directly (if you have an existing relationship with a lender it would be a good idea to speak to them). They may say, ‘here’s a personal loan, show us you can pay this back and we’ll consider you for a credit card.’ Because credit cards require that you have a good credit, there’s a difficult product to get if you have had a credit misadventure in the past. Jacob.

  5. Default Gravatar
    markApril 30, 2013

    I have been reading that there is more chance of being rejected on “lifetime transfer” applications.
    I have a 3 thou debt spread over three cards, that I want to consolidate, I own over half of the value of my home without a further debts to my name.
    Should I consider a lifetime or 12 month card

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JacobApril 30, 2013Staff

      Hi Mark. Thanks for your question. These cards are no longer available. If you’re looking to consolidate multiple credit card debts there are a number of options available to you.
      – You can compare balance transfer offers here.
      – this video will explain the basics of a balance transfer,
      – this video will explain what you need to do after you carry out a balance transfer,
      – this page lists balance transfer revert rates – when the promotional period finishes, the balance will revert to the cash advance rate or the purchase rate depending on the provider, and it also lists the maximum balance transfer amount for each provider.
      Let me know if you need more information on balance transfers and how I can help you with this.
      Please subscribe to our youtube channel to stay up to date with the latest from the Finder crew.
      Jacob.

  6. Default Gravatar
    SamApril 9, 2013

    Are there penalties for paying off the loan early or more than the minimum monthly repayments per month on credit card roll overs/transfers.

Credit Cards Comparison

Updated December 6th, 2019
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate Annual fee
21.99% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Save with 0% foreign transaction fees on purchases. Plus, complimentary flight delay passes and a global wifi access.
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months
$199 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter)
Get 20,000 bonus Qantas Points per month for the first 6 months when you spend $1,500/month. Total of up to 120,000 bonus Qantas Points.
0% for 9 months, reverts to 14.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 9 months
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Enjoy a $0 first year annual fee and a 0% introductory rate on purchases and balance transfers. Plus, complimentary purchase insurance cover.

Compare up to 4 providers

* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards finder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.

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