How does a balance transfer credit card help you save money? | Finder

How does a balance transfer help you save money?

Clear your debt and cut your interest costs with a 0% balance transfer credit card.

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Compare money-saving balance transfer credit cards

If you're overwhelmed with credit card or loan debt, you can use a balance transfer credit card to pay it off without the burden of interest for a while - usually between 6 and 24 months. However, longer offers are becoming more common. Compare your options and see how much you can save below.

Data updated regularly
$
% p.a.
Name Product Balance transfer rate Purchase rate Annual fee Amount saved
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
0% p.a. for 36 months
19.99% p.a.
$29 annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Save money with a 0% balance transfer rate for 36 months (with no BT fee), a first-year annual fee discount and free travel insurance.
Kogan Money Black Card - Exclusive Offer
0% p.a. for 24 months
20.99% p.a.
$0
Finder Exclusive
Save with a $0 annual fee and a 0% introductory rate on balance transfers. Plus, earn $50 Kogan.com Credit and uncapped rewards points.
Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard - Exclusive Offer
0% p.a. for 12 months
0% p.a. for 12 months, reverts to 19.99% p.a.
$0
Finder Exclusive
Earn 10,000 bonus Flybuys points and save on interest charges with 0% p.a. on balance transfers and purchases for 12 months.
Citi Rewards Card - Balance Transfer Offer
0% p.a. for 30 months
21.49% p.a.
$49 annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Save on interest with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 30 months with no balance transfer fee. Plus, a $49 first-year annual fee.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
0% p.a. for 26 months
20.74% p.a.
$64 annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Get 0% p.a. for 26 months on balance transfers and a reduced first-year annual fee. Plus, $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher per year.
Virgin Money No Annual Fee Credit Card
0% p.a. for 12 months
0% p.a. for 12 months, reverts to 18.99% p.a.
$0
Save with an ongoing $0 annual fee and 0% p.a. on balance transfers and purchases for 12 months.
ANZ Low Rate
0% p.a. for 20 months
12.49% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($58 p.a. thereafter)
Save with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 20 months (with no BT fee) and $0 first-year annual fee. Plus a 12.49% p.a. purchase interest rate.
St.George Vertigo Classic
0% p.a. for 28 months
13.99% p.a.
$55
Enjoy a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for 28 months, with no balance transfer fee.
Bankwest Breeze Classic Mastercard
0% p.a. for 26 months with 2% balance transfer fee
10.99% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($49 p.a. thereafter)
Save with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 26 months (with a 2% BT fee) and $0 first-year annual fee. Plus, a 10.99% p.a. purchase interest rate.
Bendigo Bank Low Rate Credit Card
0% p.a. for 24 months with 2% balance transfer fee
11.99% p.a.
$45
Save with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 24 months (with a 2% BT fee). Plus a 11.99% p.a. purchase interest rate.
Citi Rewards Card - Bonus Points Offer
0% p.a. for 15 months
21.49% p.a.
$49 annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Get 100,000 bonus Citi reward Points (worth $460 in gift cards) when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. Plus, a $49 first-year annual fee.
Qantas Premier Platinum
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1% balance transfer fee
19.99% p.a.
$199 annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter)
Get 100,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend at least $4,000 within the first 3 months. Plus a discounted $199 first-year annual fee.
Citi Rewards Card - Velocity Points Offer
0% p.a. for 15 months
21.49% p.a.
$99 annual fee for the first year ($199 p.a. thereafter)
Enjoy 100,000 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. Plus, complimentary travel and purchase insurance.
Westpac Altitude Platinum Qantas
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1% balance transfer fee
20.49% p.a.
$149 annual fee for the first year ($200 p.a. thereafter)
Get 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $3,000 within 90 days. Plus, a first-year annual fee discount and a 0% balance transfer offer.
Coles Rewards Mastercard
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
19.99% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Enjoy 20,000 bonus Flybuys points, a $0 first-year annual fee and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 18 months (1.5% fee applies).
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How can a balance transfer help me save money?

A balance transfer credit card is designed to give you more breathing room to pay off your debt without any interest for a promotional period. Depending on the size of your debt and the interest rate you're currently paying, this could save you tens, hundreds or thousands of dollars. Below we've explained how balance transfers work and how the different features can help you save.

Promotional balance transfer rate

Most balance transfer credit cards in Australia boast a 0% interest rate for a promotional period. Compared to the standard purchase rate (which can range from 8.99% on a low rate card to around 22% on a premium card), you can take advantage of the interest-free period to clear your debt without the burden of compounding costs. At the end of the promotional period, a higher revert rate will apply to any remaining debt from the transfer. To make the most of your balance transfer card, you should aim to pay your debt in full before this revert rate kicks in.

Length of introductory period

The length of the 0% balance transfer offer will vary from around 6 to 24 months. The longer the interest-free period, the more you can space out your repayments and generally the more you can save on interest costs. You should also consider other factors like the annual fee, any balance transfer fee and revert rate to decide which option is right for you.

Ideally, you should pick a balance transfer card that gives you enough time to pay off your entire balance in full before the revert interest rate applies. For example, let's say you have a debt of $5,000 and are looking at a card with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 18 months. You'd need to allocate $278 each month to clear your debt in the first 18 months. If you don't think you can afford this much each month, look for a card with a longer interest-free period to spread out and reduce your monthly repayments.

How to use the balance transfer calculator in 3 easy steps

Now that you know how a balance transfer can help you save money, you can use the table above to compare which credit cards offer you the biggest savings in 3 easy steps:

  • 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

If you want to find out more about a particular credit card, click the ‘More info’ link for a full review on the features and benefits.

balance-transfer-calculator

Example of table taken from 2 June 2020.

A balance transfer credit card can be a useful debt consolidation tool when you pick the right card and pay off your balance in full. As there are many 0% balance transfer credit cards on the market, make sure to compare your options before you apply.

Image: Shutterstock

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    11 Responses

      Default Gravatar
      KersiJuly 27, 2019

      Have booked a trip to India; can you pls advise which travel card from Australia I should obtain? Thanks.

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        JoshuaJuly 28, 2019Staff

        Hi Kersi,

        Thanks for getting in touch with Finder. I hope all is well with you. 😃

        We do have a list of travel money cards for India. You may refer to our comparison table to help you find the card that suits you. You can compare based on fees, features, and descriptions. When you are ready, press the ‘Go to site’ button to apply.

        Please make sure though to read the eligibility criteria, features, and details of the card, as well as the relevant PDS/ T&Cs of the card before making a decision and consider whether the product is right for you.

        I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out again.

        Have a wonderful day!

        Cheers,
        Joshua

      Default Gravatar
      RachaelFebruary 23, 2015

      Myself and my partner have had an application denied and we didn’t even get to submit any of our personal financial details so we requested that re-assessment of the application with the payment details and we can’t work out why we have been denied. All they told us is we don’t meet their requirements. We currently have a credit card that we want to transfer the balance to a period of interest free. We have only applied the once. Do you have any suggestions on how we go about getting a credit card, without getting marks against our credit rating if we were to get further denials ?

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        JonathanFebruary 24, 2015Staff

        Hi Rachael,

        Thanks for your inquiry.

        It would be best to directly visit a bank branch for credit inquiries. Please see our guide credit card application tips and recommendations on improving your chances on main credit criteria. It may also be beneficial to request a copy of your credit file.

        Cheers,
        Jonathan

      Default Gravatar
      NickDecember 5, 2014

      If you balance transfer from an existing credit card do you have to close it down or can you continue to use that card?

      Thanks

      nick

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        ElizabethDecember 5, 2014Staff

        Hi Nick,

        Thanks for your question.

        You aren’t required to close your previous credit card account, whether or not you close it will be up to you.

        I hope this has helped.

        Thanks,

        Elizabeth

      Default Gravatar
      phantommJune 5, 2014

      People need to remember that if they take a balance transfer from a card that also has normal purchases on it and they are unpaid, the lender credits payments to the interest free amount first while the balance of purchasers continue to accrue interest.

      So the benefits may not be as much as they would hope for.

      Default Gravatar
      BenMay 26, 2014

      Say I have a home loan and I manage to get a credit card with a high limit (let’s say $20k), draw that as cash and pay $20k off my home loan and then balance transfer this $20k to another credit card with 0% interest is this all OK, will the banks stop this from happening, what am I missing.

      When the interest free balance transfer period ends I just redraw my home loan (or move money from the offset account) and pay the credit card off and close it, seems like I could save about $1000/year in interest or more if I could do it with a bigger credit card limit transfer.

      I’d obviously not buy anything on the credit card with the $20k balance transfer amount on it to avoid paying interest and just get another one for normal expenses which I pay off each month

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        ShirleyMay 28, 2014Staff

        Hi Ben,

        Thanks for your question.

        One of our money experts, Rob Dawson answers a similar question on the credit card comparison page. It’s likely that the banks will identify this and may decline your credit applications.

        Cheers,
        Shirley

      Default Gravatar
      NeilMay 24, 2013

      Once a transfer has taken place, how long between banks does it take to reflect the transfer. I.E. My new card now has a -$8000 yet my old card still has +$8000 outstanding.
      Thanks

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        JacobMay 24, 2013Staff

        Hi Neil. It depends on how long it takes for your old card issuer to process the transfer. Lenders say that you should allow up to a week for the transfer to go through; however, in my experience, it was processed in a couple of days. Jacob.

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