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How does a balance transfer help you save money?

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

If you're overwhelmed with debt, you can use a balance transfer credit card to clear your balance without the burden of interest for a promotional period. However, some cards will offer you more savings than others depending on the size of your debt and your ability to repay. You can use the calculator built into the table below to compare current balance transfer credit card offers by the products that offer you the biggest savings.

Balance Transfer Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated August 17th, 2018
$
% p.a.

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Name Product Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee Amount Saved Product Description
Westpac Low Rate Card
0% p.a. for 24 months with 1% balance transfer fee
13.49% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($59 p.a. thereafter)
Offers a 0% for 24 month balance transfer option, first year annual fee waiver and a competitive purchase rate.
Citi Clear Platinum - Exclusive Offer
0% p.a. for 24 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
14.99% p.a.
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
finder Exclusive: Receive 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers and a discounted annual fee in the first year. Plus, access to Citi World Privileges.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
0% p.a. for 22 months with 2% balance transfer fee
19.99% p.a.
$129 p.a.
Offers a 0% p.a. for 22 months balance transfer and an annual fee refund each year when you spend $6,000.
St.George Vertigo Platinum - Online Offer
0% p.a. for 25 months
12.74% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Get platinum perks and save with 0% p.a. interest for up to 25 months on balance transfers with no BT fee.
NAB Low Fee Platinum Card
0% p.a. for 24 months with 2% balance transfer fee
19.74% p.a.
$90 p.a.
Offers 7 complimentary insurance covers, a 0% p.a. for 24 month balance transfer and access to a 24/7 concierge service for a $90 p.a. annual fee.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Bonus Points Offer
0% p.a. for 18 months
20.74% p.a.
$64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Earn up to 60,000 bonus Velocity Points in the first 3 months and enjoy a discounted annual fee of $64 for the first year.
HSBC Low Rate Credit Card
0% p.a. for 20 months with 2% balance transfer fee
13.25% p.a.
$79 p.a.
Receive up to 20 months interest-free on balance transfers with a 2% BT fee. Also enjoy exclusive offers with the home&Away Privilege Program.
Citi Simplicity Card
0% p.a. for 15 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
19.99% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Save with 5% cashback on eligible purchases (capped at $50 per month) for the first 90 days from approval. Plus, a 15 month balance transfer offer.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
0% p.a. for 18 months
20.74% p.a.
$64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Take advantage of 0% p.a. on balance transfers for up to 18 months. $64 in the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter), plus, bonus Velocity Points.
NAB Low Fee Card
0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee
19.74% p.a.
$30 p.a.
Receive complimentary purchase protection insurance, a 18 month balance transfer offer and special offers from Visa Entertainment.
Virgin Money Low Rate Credit Card
0% p.a. for 14 months
11.99% p.a.
$49 p.a.
Offers a $49 annual fee, 10% cashback on purchases made in the first 3 months (capped at $100) and 0% p.a. for 14 months on balance transfers.
Citi Platinum Credit Card - 100k Bonus Points
0% p.a. for 15 months with 1% balance transfer fee
20.99% p.a.
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Earn 100,000 reward Points, enjoy a long-term balance transfer offer, a discounted first year annual fee and complimentary travel insurance.
BankSA Amplify Card
3% p.a. for 36 months
19.49% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($79 p.a. thereafter)
Receive a 3% p.a. for 36 months balance transfer and earn Qantas or Amplify Points per $1 spent. Plus, enjoy a $0 annual fee for the first year.
BankSA Vertigo Visa
0% p.a. for 16 months
13.74% p.a.
$55 p.a.
Enjoy a 0% p.a. interest rate for up to 16 months on balance transfers with no balance transfer fee. Plus, a low ongoing purchase rate.
St.George Vertigo Visa
0% p.a. for 16 months
13.74% p.a.
$55 p.a.
Get 0% p.a. interest for up to 16 months on balance transfers with no BT fee. Plus, a competitive annual fee.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Platinum
0% p.a. for 24 months with 1% balance transfer fee
12.74% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Offers a long-term balance transfer, low ongoing purchase rate, complimentary travel insurance and access to a 24/7 personal concierge service.
St.George Amplify Card
3% p.a. for 36 months
19.49% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($79 p.a. thereafter)
Take advantage of 3% p.a. interest on balance transfers for 36 months. Plus, a $0 first year annual fee and Amplify or Qantas Points per $1 spent.
NAB Low Rate Platinum Card
0% p.a. for 6 months with 2% balance transfer fee
0% p.a. for 9 months (reverts to 13.99% p.a.)
$100 p.a.
Enjoy a 0% p.a. interest rate offer on purchases for 9 months and the protection of 7 complimentary insurances including overseas travel insurance.
American Express Velocity Escape Card
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
20.74% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Earn uncapped Velocity Points on purchases, pay $0 annual fee for life and take advantage of a 0% p.a. for 12 months balance transfer offer.
American Express Explorer Credit Card
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
20.74% p.a.
$395 p.a.
Receive 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards points, a yearly $400 Travel Credit and 2 entries per year to the American Express Lounge.
Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card
0% p.a. for 26 months with 2.5% balance transfer fee
20.99% p.a.
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Earn reward Points per $1 spent, take advantage of a 0% p.a. for 26 month balance transfer offer, plus complimentary international travel insurance.
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Card
3% p.a. for 36 months
19.49% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($79 p.a. thereafter)
Take advantage of a 3% p.a. for 36 months balance transfer offer, Amplify or Qantas points per $1 spent and enjoy a $0 annual fee for the first year.

Compare up to 4 providers

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 9.99% 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 additional 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 can usually vary from 6 to 24 months (although they can last longer). The longer the interest-free period, the more you can space out your repayments and generally the more you can save on interest costs. As a bunch of balance transfer credit cards may offer 0% for 24 months, for example, you can consider other factors including the annual fee, balance transfer fee and revert rate to compare 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% 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 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. Click on the 'Interest Saved' title to sort the cards in ascending or descending order of money saved

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 25 July 2018

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VIDEO: Money expert Michelle Hutchison explains 'What is a Balance Transfer?'

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.

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Sally McMullen

Sally McMullen is an editor at finder.com.au who is a credit cards, frequent flyer and travel money expert by day and music maven by night.

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Credit Card Offers

Important Information*
Citi Clear Platinum - Exclusive Offer

Interest rate

14.99

Annual fee

49*

*$99 p.a. after first year

Westpac Low Rate Card

Interest rate

13.49

Annual fee

0*

*$59 p.a. after first year

Westpac Altitude Platinum Card - Qantas

Interest rate

20.24

Annual fee

50*

*$200 p.a. after first year

ANZ Low Rate

Interest rate

12.49

Annual fee

58

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9 Responses

  1. 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 ?

    • finder 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 this page for recommendations on improving your chances on main credit criteria. It may also be beneficial to request a copy of your credit file, you can find out more about how to request a free copy on this page.

      Cheers,

      Jonathan

  2. 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

    • finder 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

    • finder Customer Care
      ShirleyMay 28, 2014Staff

      Hi Ben,

      Thanks for your question.

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

      Cheers,
      Shirley

  5. 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

    • finder 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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