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.
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?
|Institution||Number of days to process||Balance transfer notes and guides|
|American Express||Normally within 10 business days||American Express credit card balance transfer guide|
|ANZ||3 to 15 business days||ANZ credit card balance transfer guide|
|Bankwest||3 to 5 business days||Bankwest credit card balance transfer guide|
|Bank of Melbourne||Up to 14 days||Bank of Melbourne credit card balance transfer guide|
|BankSA||Up to 14 days||BankSA balance transfer guide|
|Bendigo Bank||Varies||Once 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.|
|Citi||Up to 10 business days||Citi credit card balance transfer guide|
|Coles||Up to 10 days||As 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.|
|CommBank||Generally up to 5 business days||The 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.|
|HSBC||Up to 7 business days||HSBC credit card balance transfer guide|
|Macquarie Bank||Up to 5 days||Note that balance transfers are not allowed from any account issued by Macquarie Bank. This includes other Macquarie or Card Services accounts.|
|NAB||5 to 10 business days||NAB credit card balance transfer guide|
|St.George||Up to 14 days||St.George Bank credit card balance transfer guide|
|Virgin||Up to 10 business days||Virgin Money credit card balance transfer guide|
|Westpac||Up to 10 days||Westpac 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.Back to top
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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 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.
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