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How long does a balance transfer take?

Information verified correct on January 19th, 2017

Applying for a balance transfer? Discover how long it can take and learn how to speed up the process here.

A balance transfer can be a great way to transfer a high-interest debt from your existing card to a new product with a card with a 0% promotional period. But how long does it take for the debt to move to your new card? Use this guide to find out how long it will take conduct a balance transfer with each of Australia's major banks and how you can plan your repayments accordingly.

How long does it take for the bank to process my balance transfer application?

Processing times vary from bank to bank. To help you compare the balance transfer application process, we’ve summarised how Australian banks manage balance transfers and the processing times you can expect.

Processing time for popular Australian banks

BankApprox. Days to ProcessMore on their balance transfer process
American ExpressUp to 13 business daysAmerican Express credit card balance transfer guide
ANZUp to 15 business daysANZ credit card balance transfer guide
BankwestUp to 5 business daysBankwest credit card balance transfer guide
CitibankUp to 10 business daysCitibank credit card balance transfer guide
CommBankUp to 10 business daysCommonwealth Bank credit card balance transfer guide
HSBCUp to 10 business daysHSBC credit card balance transfer guide
NABUp to 10 business daysNAB credit card balance transfer guide
St.GeorgeUp to 14 daysSt. George Bank credit card balance transfer guide
VirginUp to 10 business daysVirgin Money credit card balance transfer guide
WestpacUp to 7 daysWestpac credit card balance transfer guide

What is the balance transfer process for each bank?

American Express

American Express offers a useful way for new customers to manage debt at 0% p.a. interest during the introductory period. When applying for your new credit card, you can opt to balance transfer the lesser of $10,000 or 70% of your credit limit from a non-American Express card to your new American Express account. A one-time 1% credit plan establishment fee applies, among other conditions.

Your balance transfer approval process commences 72 hours after your credit card application is approved. If it is approved, your balance transfer will be completed within 10 working days.

ANZ

If you’re a new ANZ customer, make sure to complete the balance transfer section of your credit card application form. You will be asked to provide details about your existing account, including the issuer’s name, card type, account number, BPAY biller code and the amount you’re transferring, so make sure to have these handy. If your application is approved, a new ANZ credit card will be sent to you for activation. Once the card has been activated, you may receive a phone call to verify the details of your balance transfer.

If you are an existing ANZ cardholder, you can request a balance transfer from a non-ANZ credit card by calling 1800 007 511 (8am-8pm, Mon to Fri), or by completing and mailing in a balance transfer application form. Once approved, the balance transfer can take between three to 15 business days to process, depending on which bank you are transferring a balance from.

Bankwest

Bankwest allows balance transfers from non-Bankwest credit cards at amounts from $500 up to 95% of your current credit card limit. Existing customers can request a balance transfer by visiting a Bankwest branch in person or by completing and mailing in a Balance transfer request form. New customers should fill in the optional section of their credit card application form that offers to ‘transfer balances from your existing credit card(s)’. Your balance transfer request will only be processed after you have received your new credit card and activated it. The balance transfer process can take up to five working days.

Citibank

Existing Citibank cardholders can apply for a balance transfer by calling 13 24 84 or by signing into online banking and going to ‘My offers’. New customers can request a balance transfer from another financial institution when applying for a new Citi credit card. Citibank allows balance transfer amounts from $500 up to 80% of your available Citi credit card limit. The balance transfer can take up to 10 business days to process and you should allow additional time for cheques to be received at the other financial institution.

Commonwealth Bank

Existing cardholders can request a balance transfer online by logging into Netbank. Hover over “More”, select “Manage accounts” and then “Manage my accounts” to reveal the “transfer a credit card balance” option. Follow the prompts to complete the balance transfer process. Alternatively, you can download and complete a paper copy which you'll need to post in or you can conduct the balance transfer over the phone by calling 13 22 21.

New customers can request a balance transfer when applying for a new Commonwealth Bank credit card. Once your application is approved, it can take up to 10 business days for the card to be delivered. If you didn’t have the option to apply for a balance transfer during the application, you can do so once your card is activated by visiting your local branch or calling 132 221. The balance transfer process takes between 5-10 days.

HSBC

Existing cardholders can make a balance transfer online by logging into Online Banking and selecting "balance transfers" from the left-hand menu when viewing your credit card details. New customers can request a balance transfer while applying for their new HSBC credit card. If your application is approved, someone from the HSBC applications team will call to let you know how much of your balance transfer amount has been approved for the new card. The balance transfer process itself will take 5-10 working days.

NAB

Existing cardholders can request a balance transfer by contacting NAB. Call the number on the back of your credit card or call 13 22 65 (8am-7pm, Mon-Fri; 9am-6pm, Sat-Sun AEST). New customers can request a balance transfer when applying for a new credit card. Once your application is approved, it will take five to seven days for your credit card to be processed. The balance transfer process itself will take up to 10 business days to process.

St. George

Existing cardholders can transfer up to two balances from a non-St. George account if you meet the minimum requirements for balance transfers. Simply call 13 33 30 or complete and mail in the balance transfer request form. You can also request a balance transfer through Internet Banking by logging in, selecting ‘Transfer & payments’ and then selecting ‘Pay out a credit card held with another bank.’

New customers can request a balance transfer when applying for a credit card. The balance transfer will only be processed after your card has been activated and your identification check, if required, has been completed at a St. George branch. The balance transfer can take approximately 14 days to be processed.

Virgin

Existing customers can discuss and request a balance transfer by calling 13 37 19. New customers can request a balance transfer when applying for a credit card. If you don’t include a balance transfer request on your application, you can still get a balance transfer at the special offer rate within 30 days of having your card approved. Call 13 37 39 if that’s the case. Balance transfers start from $500 and can go up to 80% of your maximum available credit limit on the day the transfer is completed. The balance transfer itself can take up to 10 working days.

Westpac

Westpac allows balance transfers of $200 up to 95% of your available Westpac credit card limit on the day the balance transfer is processed. Existing cardholders can apply for a balance transfer by downloading, completing and sending in the balance transfer form. This request will take a minimum of 10 working days to be processed.

New customers can request balance transfers when applying for a new Westpac credit card. Once your application is approved, it can take up to six days for the card to arrive and an extra two days for the balance transfer to be finalised.

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How to ensure a quicker balance transfer process

Being organised is the key to avoiding any speed bumps during the balance transfer process. Know what details the bank needs and ensure that your accounts are in order so your balance transfer can be completed as quickly as possible. Use the following steps as a guide:

  1. Do your research. Every bank and credit card has different interest rates, one-off fees, balance transfer limits and introductory offer time periods. Compare your options to discover which one works for your situation.
  2. Meet the eligibility requirements. You need to meet eligibility requirements such as minimum income and good credit history to be approved for a balance transfer. Make sure you meet these conditions before applying. There are also some banks that only accept balance transfers from certain institutions. Check which banks you’re eligible to transfer your balance from.
  3. Collect the required information. Each bank has a different application process and will require you to provide specific information and documents. To avoid stalling the application process, research what you will need and prepare the relevant paperwork before applying. Some commonly required information includes the existing account name and type, card/account number, balance transfer amount, issuing bank’s name, biller code and reference number.
  4. Have your accounts in order. Having large debts or cash advances owing on your credit cards won’t look good to the bank. Ensure your accounts are all in order to increase your chances of approval and show that you have been making repayments regularly and managing your debts well.

Balance transfer information, tips and comparison

Balance transfers to a new credit card can help minimise your interest fees while you're consolidating your debts. Applying for a balance transfer is simple, but you should compare your options and organise the necessary information beforehand to speed up the application process and improve your chances of approval.

Balance transfer credit cards comparison

Rates last updated January 19th, 2017
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% p.a.

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Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee Interest Saved
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Offers 0% p.a. interest rate on balance transfers for 18 months to help you manage your existing credit card balance with a reduced annual fee in the first year.
0% p.a. for 18 months 20.74% p.a. $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
Receive a low introductory offer of 0% p.a. on purchases for 3 months and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months. Also, enjoy an annual fee waiver in the first year.
0% p.a. for 12 months 0% p.a. for 3 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.) $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
American Express Essential Credit Card
Receive a $50 credit on eligible spend and get Smartphone screen insurance combined with a no annual fee for life card. Also enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for 12 months.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee 14.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Premium Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Enjoy a balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 24 months with a 3% transfer fee.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 3% balance transfer fee 19.74% p.a. $90 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Receive a full annual fee refund and save $149 if you meet the $6,000 spend requirement. Enjoy a balance transfer offer and platinum card benefits such as complimentary insurances and concierge services.
0% p.a. for 15 months 19.99% p.a. $149 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Visa
Introductory offer of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers and 0% p.a. for 6 months on purchases, plus a low annual fee.
0% p.a. for 18 months 0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) $55 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Low Fee Card
Enjoy a low introductory rate of 0% p.a. on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months.
0% p.a. for 15 months with a one off 3% balance transfer fee 0% p.a. for 15 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.) $30 p.a. Go to site More info
Virgin No Annual Fee Credit Card
Enjoy a long term balance transfer plus a $100 cashback offer (spend criteria applies) and never pay an annual fee for this card.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee 18.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
The NAB Low Rate Card offers 0% p.a. on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. This card also comes with a low annual fee.
0% p.a. for 15 months with a one off 3% balance transfer fee 0% p.a. for 15 months (reverts to 13.99% p.a.) $59 p.a. Go to site More info
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Visa Credit Card
Enjoy a low annual fee combined with 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 18 months and 0% p.a. for up to 6 months on purchases.
0% p.a. for 18 months 0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) $55 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ First Visa Credit Card
Enjoy 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for the first 16 months, a low annual fee, interest-free days on purchases and a low minimum credit limit.
0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee 19.74% p.a. $30 p.a. Go to site More info

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2 Responses to How long does a balance transfer take?

    Default Gravatar
    Dan | April 23, 2013

    How long does a balance transfer take once the card is activated?

      Staff
      Jacob | April 23, 2013

      Hi Dan. Thanks for the question. Typically, it takes two days. Watch this video for information on this topic. Jacob.

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