How long does a balance transfer take?

Find out how long it takes to get a credit card balance transfer and what you can do to speed up the process here.

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If you're paying interest on credit card debt, a balance transfer can be a useful way to move it to a card that offers 0% p.a. for a promotional period. Applying for a balance transfer is a relatively simple process, but it can take up to a few weeks for process to be complete. Use this guide to find out how long a balance transfer takes with each of Australia's major banks and how you can plan your repayments accordingly.

How long does the balance transfer application process take?

It takes around 10 – 15 minutes to apply for a new balance transfer credit card online and you can expect a response almost immediately. Once your application has been approved, you usually need to activate the new card to begin the balance transfer process. It may then take another one or two weeks for the balance transfer to be added to your new account.

As the processing times can vary between banks, we've summarised how Australian card issuers manage balance transfers and the processing times you can expect below.

How long will it take for my new bank to process my balance transfer?

InstitutionNumber of days to processBalance transfer notes and guides
American ExpressNormally within 10 business daysAmerican Express credit card balance transfer guide
ANZ3 to 15 business daysANZ credit card balance transfer guide
Bankwest3 to 5 business daysBankwest credit card balance transfer guide
Bank of MelbourneUp to 14 daysBank of Melbourne credit card balance transfer guide
BankSAUp to 14 daysBankSA balance transfer guide
Bendigo BankVariesOnce your application is approved, Bendigo Bank staff will contact you to request the details needed for the balance transfer. Once they have them, the balance transfer will be processed. Depending on your existing provider's processes, it could take up to 48 hours for the balance to be moved once Bendigo Bank has paid out your old card.
CitiUp to 10 business daysCiti credit card balance transfer guide
ColesUp to 10 daysAs Coles credit cards are issued by Citigroup, you won't be able to transfer balances from other Citigroup accounts. This includes cards from Citi, Suncorp Bank, IMB, Qantas Money and Virgin Money.
CommBankGenerally up to 5 business daysThe balance transfer processing time may vary depending how long it takes the other bank to organise it from their end. Learn more about this process in the Commonwealth Bank credit card balance transfer guide.
HSBCUp to 7 business daysHSBC credit card balance transfer guide
Macquarie BankUp to 5 daysNote that balance transfers are not allowed from any account issued by Macquarie Bank. This includes other Macquarie or Card Services accounts.
NAB5 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 10 daysWestpac credit card balance transfer guide

If you've applied and been approved for a balance transfer and it's taken longer than two weeks to appear in your account, you can contact your new bank to find out when the balance will show up in your new account. Once the balance is transferred to your card, you can start making repayments to pay it off before the promotional period ends.

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Tips to speed up the 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 providers that only accept balance transfers from certain institutions. Check which banks you’re eligible to transfer your balance from.
  3. Collect the information you need to apply. Each credit card provider has a different application process and will ask you for 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 you consolidate debts, save on interest charges and pay down debt faster. While applying for a balance transfer is simple, remember to compare your options and organise the necessary information beforehand to speed up the application process and improve your chances of approval.

Compare balance transfer credit cards

Updated February 24th, 2020
$
% p.a.
Name Product Balance transfer rate Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee Amount saved
HSBC Platinum Credit Card - Balance Transfer Offer
0% p.a. for 22 months
19.99% p.a.
$129 p.a.
Enjoy a balance transfer offer, yearly annual fee refund, airport lounge passes and complimentary insurance covers.
St.George Vertigo Classic
0% p.a. for 18 months
13.99% p.a.
$55 p.a.
Get 0% interest for up to 18 months on balance transfers with no balance transfer fee. Plus, a low annual fee and purchase rate.
Bankwest Breeze Classic Mastercard
0% p.a. for 26 months with 2% balance transfer fee
12.99% p.a.
$39 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($79 p.a. thereafter)
0% interest on balance transfers for the first 26 months, with a 2% balance transfer fee. Plus, a discounted first year annual fee.
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
0% p.a. for 12 months
19.99% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($79 p.a. thereafter)
Save with a $0 first year annual fee and a long-term balance transfer offer. Plus, complimentary travel insurance.
Westpac Low Rate Card
2019 Winner
Westpac Low Rate Card
0% p.a. for 16 months
13.74% p.a.
$59 p.a.
A no frills, low rate card offering 0% p.a. interest on balance transfers for the first 16 months, with no balance transfer fee.
Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard
0% p.a. for 26 months with 2% balance transfer fee
12.99% p.a.
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Get 0% interest on balance transfers for 26 months (with a 2% fee), complimentary travel insurance and no foreign transaction fees.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Classic
0% p.a. for 18 months
13.99% p.a.
$55 p.a.
Enjoy 0% p.a. interest for up to 18 months on balance transfers. Plus, a low annual fee and competitive purchase rate.
Virgin Money Low Rate Credit Card
0% p.a. for 14 months
11.99% p.a.
$49 p.a.
Get a $49 annual fee, 10% cashback on purchases made in the first 3 months (capped at $100) and a 14-month balance transfer. Ends 24 Feb 2020.
BankSA Vertigo
0% p.a. for 18 months
13.99% p.a.
$55 p.a.
Enjoy a 0% p.a. interest rate for up to 18 months on balance transfers. Plus, a low annual fee and purchase interest rate.
St.George Vertigo Classic Rainbow
0% p.a. for 18 months
13.99% p.a.
$55 p.a.
All the great low cost features of the Vertigo Visa with a rainbow design in support of the LGBT community.
St.George Amplify Platinum - Qantas - Online Offer
0% p.a. for 22 months
19.74% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Receive 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $2,000 within 90 days and a 0% balance transfer for 22 months.
St.George Amplify Platinum - Online Offer
0% p.a. for 22 months
19.74% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Get 100,000 bonus Amplify Points when you spend $2,000 in the first 90 days. Plus, a balance transfer offer of 0% interest for 22 months.
Westpac Altitude Platinum Qantas - Online Offer
0% p.a. for 20 months
20.49% p.a.
$200 p.a.
Get 40,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $2,000 within 90 days of approval. Plus, a 0% balance transfer and complimentary insurance.
Westpac Altitude Platinum Velocity - Online Offer
0% p.a. for 20 months
20.49% p.a.
$200 p.a.
Receive 40,000 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $2,000 within 90 days. Plus, a 0% p.a. balance transfer and yearly upgrade vouchers.
Westpac Altitude Platinum Card - Online Offer
0% p.a. for 20 months
20.49% p.a.
$150 p.a.
Earn 40,000 bonus Altitude Points when you spend $2,000 within 90 days of card approval. Plus, a 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 20 months.

Compare up to 4 providers

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    DanApril 23, 2013

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

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JacobApril 23, 2013Staff

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

Credit Cards Comparison

Updated February 24th, 2020
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate Annual fee
HSBC Platinum Credit Card - Balance Transfer Offer
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months
$129 p.a.
Enjoy a balance transfer offer, yearly annual fee refund, airport lounge passes and complimentary insurance covers.
St.George Vertigo Classic
13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months
$55 p.a.
Get 0% interest for up to 18 months on balance transfers with no balance transfer fee. Plus, a low annual fee and purchase rate.
NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$295 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
Collect up to 120,000 bonus Qantas Points. Get 90k when you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases in the first 60 days and 30k after 12 months.
Latitude 28° Global Platinum Mastercard
21.99% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Save with 0% foreign transaction fees on purchases. Plus, complimentary flight delay passes and a global wifi access.

Compare up to 4 providers

* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards finder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.

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