Transfer your credit card debt and repay it over 20 months with 0% interest. Find one of the longest balance transfers available today.
One way to tackle your credit card debt is to apply for a balance transfer credit card and transfer your balance at a low interest rate for a set period of time. The longer the term of a balance transfer, the more time you’ll have to pay off your debts. Learn about longer term balance transfer offers in this guide and some of the most commonly asked questions when applying for them.
Long-Term Balance Transfer Credit Cards Comparison
How to use a 0% balance transfer to manage post-Christmas debt
How to use the Balance Transfer Calculator in 4 easy steps and learn how much you can save with a Long-Term Balance Transfer today
Step 1. Enter the total debt/outstanding amount you would like to transfer
Step 2. Provide the interest rate that you are paying on your existing debt (if you don't have your interest rate on you, the average is around 18-20%)
Step 3. See the 'Interest Saved' column to find out which credit cards will save you the most money. Click on the 'Interest Saved' title to sort the cards in ascending or descending order of money saved
Step 4. Compare the credit cards available in the table provided to find the card that suits your needs. If you still want to find out more about a particular credit card, click the ‘More info’ link for a full review on the features and benefits.
What is a long-term balance transfer?
A balance transfer offer on a credit card allows you to transfer your current credit card balance to a new card and repay it at a lower interest rate for a set period of time. Longer term balance transfers are a type of credit card offer that allows customers to transfer their existing credit card balance to a new credit card for a longer period of time – typically 9, 12, 18 or more months. Balance transfers charge a lower interest rate over the promotional period so you can save money and repay your debt.
What is the process to transfer a credit card balance?
Customers can apply for a long-term balance transfer credit card by requesting it during the online application (or after credit card approval with specific banks). Once the balance transfer has been requested, the new banking institution submits a request payout for the existing debt and transfers that amount to the new balance transfer credit card.
Credit card issuers essentially provide this offer as an incentive to attract new customers. However, it's important to pay off your debt during this period because after the balance transfer period, the interest rate reverts to the much higher standard interest rate or cash advance rate.
What are the types of long balance transfer period credit cards available?
- No frills balance transfers. You can choose to balance transfer your debt onto a standard credit card that doesn't have any features you won't use. If you're seriously dedicated to paying off your debt, then these type of credit cards won't motivate you to spend any more because of the lack of rewards and features. The interest rate is typically either:
- 0% p.a. interest on balance transfers for 9, 12 months or more
- A low balance transfer interest rate (e.g: 0.99%, 1.9%, 3.9%) for a longer period of time e.g: 12, 15, 18 or even 24 months.
- Platinum balance transfers. If you have a high credit limit, you may want to balance transfer your debt onto a Platinum credit card. These types of credit cards often have complimentary travel insurance as well as a range of features to motivate you to spend more. They are often linked to a rewards system as well, so these aren't a great idea if you want to remain dedicated to paying your debt back.
- Rewards and frequent flyer balance transfers. These type of credit cards allow you to earn points on your eligible purchases. While you don't earn points for transferring your balance, you still get more value out of your purchases made on the card. Be mindful that if you have a balance on a rewards credit card, the interest charges will often negate the benefits that the rewards points provide.
How to compare credit cards that offer a long balance transfer deal
- Promotional interest period. If you're looking for a balance transfer period that is considered a longer term, then you'll need to look for one that is nine months or longer.
- The balance transfer interest rate. This is the interest rate that is charged on balance that you've transferred. Some of the better offers have a 0% rate, but you'll find that longer periods may vary from 1.5%-5% over a 2 year period. This is when you can use your judgement to determine how long you'll need to repay your credit card debt to get the most competitive interest rate.
- Balance transfer amount and limit. This determines the maximum amount you can balance transfer to your new credit card. A rule for long-term balance transfers is that you can't balance transfer more than your approved maximum credit limit. A common industry limit is 95% of your approved credit limit. So for an approved credit limit of $10,000, the maximum amount that can be transferred to the new card is $9,500. A few balance transfer credit cards have minimum and maximum amount of balance that can be transferred limits, such as a minimum of $500 and a maximum of $20,000.
- Balance transfer fee. Banks may charge a fee of 2-3% of the entire balance transfer amount, so it's important to read the terms and conditions before applying.
- Balance transfer revert rate. Have a look at whether the balance transfer rate reverts to the purchase rate or cash advance rate. The purchase rate is generally lower than the cash advance, so if you do forget you won't be charged as much interest.
Pros and cons of a long-term balance transfer
- More time to pay off your debts. One year is a more generous amount of time for customers to get on top of their finances and make the smart move to pay down bad debt.
- Pay less interest. Using a long-term balance transfer can be great for customers with a sizable credit card debt who want a full year on the one card to save money in interest and pay down their debt.
- Revert rate. The revert rate of your balance transfer is either the purchase rate or cash advance rate so it's important to have your balance paid off before the balance transfer period end or that any leftover balances are transferred again if you are in a position to apply for another balance transfer credit card.
Things to avoid when transferring your balance for a longer term
- Making extra purchases. If you make a purchase on a credit card with an outstanding balance, interest is charged on the day of the purchase. This defeats the purpose of trying to pack back your original debt.
- Leaving unpaid balances after the set period. Interest on a balance transfer will revert to either the purchase rate or, more commonly, the cash advance rate of interest after the promotional period. This can vary from card to card, but usually the interest will revert to an excess of 20%p.a.
- Transferring to the same bank. Most credit card products don't allow you to balance transfer to the same bank or its affiliates unless specifically stated in their terms and conditions.
Am I eligible for a long-term balance transfer credit card?
Generally if you have a good credit rating, are over 18 years of age and you're a permanent Australian resident or citizen, you have a higher chance of being accepted.
Why can't I balance transfer my existing debt to a long-term balance transfer card from the same bank?
Most credit card products only allow new customers to balance transfer or balances transferred from another provider or issuer. Learn more here.
Where can I find shorter term 0% p.a. balance transfer credit cards? eg. 0% p.a. for 6 months
Please see our comparison of 0% balance transfer credit cards.