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How long does a balance transfer take?

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
CitiUp to 10 business daysCiti 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.

Citi

Existing Citi 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. Citi 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 or up to four weeks to be finalised.

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:

      • 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 November 19th, 2017
$
% p.a.

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Name Product Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee Amount Saved Product Description
St.George Vertigo Platinum - Online Offer
0% p.a. for 24 months
12.74% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Platinum card benefits plus 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers (with no BT fee) and $0 annual fee in the first year. Ends 13 December 2017.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
0% p.a. for 18 months
20.74% p.a.
$129 p.a.
Earn 3 bonus Velocity Points per $1 for the first 3 months, a first year annual fee refund and a yearly $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher.
Westpac Low Rate Card - Online Only Balance Transfer Offer
0% p.a. for 24 months with 2% balance transfer fee
13.49% p.a.
$59 p.a.
Take advantage of 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers with a 2% balance transfer fee when you apply online by 31 January 2018.
NAB Premium Card
0% p.a. for 20 months with 2% balance transfer fee
19.74% p.a.
$90 p.a.
Benefit from premium perks including travel insurance, Platinum Concierge Service plus 0% p.a. for 20 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, take advantage of a long-term balance transfer offer and receive complimentary travel insurance.
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
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)
Exclusive to finder, receive 0% p.a. interest on purchases for 3 months and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months with no balance transfer fee.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
0% p.a. for 22 months with 2% balance transfer fee
19.99% p.a.
$129 p.a.
Earn 1 Reward Point per $1 of eligible spend and receive complimentary travel and purchase protection insurances.
Bankwest Breeze Classic Mastercard
0% p.a. for 13 months with 2% balance transfer fee
0% p.a. for 13 months (reverts to 12.99% p.a.)
$79 p.a.
Receive up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and free worldwide emergency card replacement.
St.George Vertigo Visa - Online Offer
0% p.a. for 18 months
13.24% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Take advantage of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers (with no BT fee). Plus, $0 annual fee in the first year. Ends 13 December 2017.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Platinum
0% p.a. for 24 months with 2% balance transfer fee
12.74% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Get a range of complimentary insurance covers, access to a 24/7 concierge and up to 55 days interest-free on purchases.
NAB Low Fee Card
0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee
19.74% p.a.
$30 p.a.
Receive complimentary purchase protection insurance, special offers from Visa Entertainment and up to 44 days interest-free on purchases.
Virgin Money Low Rate Credit Card
0% p.a. for 14 months
11.99% p.a.
$49 p.a.
Receive a discounted annual fee, $100 cashback when you meet the spend requirement and up to 44 days interest-free on purchases.
BankSA Vertigo Visa
0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee
13.24% p.a.
$55 p.a.
Get up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and be protected by a 24/7 fraud monitoring service.
NAB Low Rate Platinum Card
4.99% p.a. for 6 months
0% p.a. for 9 months (reverts to 13.99% p.a.)
$100 p.a.
A platinum card that offers 0% p.a. for 9 months on purchases. Plus 4.99% p.a. on balance transfers for 6 months.
Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card
0% p.a. for 24 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
20.99% p.a.
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Offers a long-term balance transfer. Earn extra points on eligible international spend, plus complimentary travel insurance.
Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card
0% p.a. for 14 months
19.99% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($49 p.a. thereafter)
Receive a $50 eGift Card when you apply by 31 January 2018 and make an eligible purchase by 28 February 2018.
American Express Essential Credit Card
0% p.a. for 12 months with 3% balance transfer fee
14.99% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Get Smartphone Screen Insurance of up to $500 when you pay for your phone or contract with your Essential Credit Card.
American Express Explorer Credit Card
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
20.74% p.a.
$395 p.a.
Receive a $400 Travel Credit every year and up to two entries per year to the American Express Lounge at Sydney International Airport.
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 on eligible spend and enjoy a discounted annual fee of $64 for the first year.
Qantas Premier Platinum
0% p.a. for 15 months
19.99% p.a.
$149 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter)
Fly further with 75,000 bonus Qantas points, up to 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent and 2 yearly complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations.
Australian Military Bank Low Rate Visa Credit Card
0% p.a. for 12 months
10.99% p.a.
$49 p.a.
Enjoy up to 55 interest-free days on purchases, add an additional cardholder for $0 and enjoy the convenience of Visa payWave.
McGrath Pink Visa
4.99% p.a. for 8 months
4.99% p.a. for 8 months (reverts to 8.99% p.a.)
$40 p.a.
A basic, no-frills credit card with up to 55 days interest-free that donates half of the card's annual fee to the McGrath Foundation.

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    DanApril 23, 2013

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

    • Staff
      JacobApril 23, 2013Staff

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

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