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How to ensure your balance transfer application is successful

Follow these 7 steps to improve your chances of approval when you apply for a balance transfer credit card.

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A balance transfer can help you take control of your debt by allowing you to move it to a card with a 0% p.a. interest rate during the introductory period. When your application is approved, this introductory rate can help you save on interest and help you pay off the balance faster.

While applying for a balance transfer credit card isn’t a difficult process, you need to meet card's application requirements (and the credit card provider's lending criteria) to get approved. Since every declined application has a negative impact on your credit score, it's wise to prepare beforehand to increase your chances of approval. Use this guide to find out everything you need to know to increase your chances of approval when applying for a balance transfer.

Learn how a balance transfer can affect your credit rating

Steps to help you get your balance transfer approved

1. Check your credit score

Credit defaults, late payments, court writs and bankruptcy can negatively impact your balance transfer application. Sometimes there can be mistakes in your report that also affect your applications for new credit. You can see exactly what's on your credit history by requesting your free credit report and a copy of your credit score each year. If you have a bad credit score, you can then spend some time improving it to help increase your chances of getting approved for a balance transfer application.
Get Your Free Credit Score

2. Check your credit card balance

When you apply for a balance transfer, you'll need to provide details of how much debt you want to move onto the new card. This amount is subject to approval based on the credit limit you're approved for. While you can't tell what credit limit you'll get, knowing exactly how much you already owe can help you put as much detail as possible on the application. It could also help if you want to request a particular credit limit by allowing you to make sure it fits with the cards maximum balance transfer amount (usually somewhere between 70% to 100% of the approved credit limit).

3. Compare a range of cards

As well as helping you find a competitive balance transfer offer, looking at a few credit cards will help you choose one that fits your circumstances. Check the eligibility criteria for each card and consider the size of your debt to decide if you would be able to pay off the entire balance before the promotional offer ends. You’ll also want to consider other features such as the annual fee, balance transfer fee and other features to make sure that the cost of the card doesn’t outweigh the savings you’ll earn from your balance transfer.

Compare balance transfer credit cards

Updated April 4th, 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.
Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
19.99% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Earn flybuys points for your spending and save with an ongoing $0 annual fee and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 18 months.
ANZ Low Rate
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
12.49% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($58 p.a. thereafter)
Save with 0% p.a on balance transfers for 22 months (with a 1.5% BT fee) and $0 first year annual fee. Plus a 12.49% p.a. purchase interest rate.
Coles Low Rate Mastercard
0% p.a. for 6 months
12.99% p.a.
$58 p.a.
Save with a low purchase interest rate, earn flybuys points as you spend and get up to 55 days interest-free.
Bendigo Bank Low Rate Mastercard
0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee
11.99% p.a.
$45 p.a.
A no-frills credit card with a competitive annual fee and 0% p.a. interest rate on balance transfers for the first 18 months.
ANZ First
0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee
20.24% p.a.
$30 p.a.
Get up to 18 months interest-free on balance transfers and save with a low $30 annual fee. Plus, up to 55 days interest-free on purchases.
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 and save with a $0 annual fee for life.
American Express Explorer Credit Card
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
20.74% p.a.
$395 p.a.
Get 50,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months, a yearly $400 Travel Credit and 2 entries per year to the Amex Lounge.
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
20.74% p.a.
$195 p.a.
Receive a yearly $200 Travel Credit and complimentary domestic and international travel insurance, plus earn up to 3 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent.
Qantas American Express Discovery Card
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
20.74% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Earn uncapped Qantas Points on your purchases and pay $0 annual fee for life.
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
20.74% p.a.
$450 p.a.
Get 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, a $450 Qantas Travel Credit and 2 yearly complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations. Ends 14 Apr 2020.
Qantas American Express Premium Card
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
20.74% p.a.
$249 p.a.
Enjoy 30,000 bonus Qantas Points, 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year and the protection of complimentary insurance covers.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Updated April 4th, 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.
ANZ Low Rate
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
12.49% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($58 p.a. thereafter)
Save with 0% p.a on balance transfers for 22 months (with a 1.5% BT fee) and $0 first year annual fee. Plus a 12.49% p.a. purchase interest rate.
Coles Rewards Mastercard
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
19.99% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Earn 2 flybuys points / $1 spent and save with a 0% balance transfer offer.
ANZ First
0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee
20.24% p.a.
$30 p.a.
Get up to 18 months interest-free on balance transfers and save with a low $30 annual fee. Plus, up to 55 days interest-free on purchases.
Bendigo Bank Low Rate Mastercard
0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee
11.99% p.a.
$45 p.a.
A no-frills credit card with a competitive annual fee and 0% p.a. interest rate on balance transfers for the first 18 months.
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
20.74% p.a.
$450 p.a.
Get 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, a $450 Qantas Travel Credit and 2 yearly complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations. Ends 14 Apr 2020.
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 and save with a $0 annual fee for life.
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
20.74% p.a.
$195 p.a.
Receive a yearly $200 Travel Credit and complimentary domestic and international travel insurance, plus earn up to 3 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent.
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 Membership Rewards Bonus Points on eligible spend within the first 3 months from card approval.
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
20.74% p.a.
$375 p.a.
Receive 50,000 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $3,000 on your new card within the first 3 months.
Qantas American Express Discovery Card
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
20.74% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Earn uncapped Qantas Points on your purchases and pay $0 annual fee for life.
Qantas American Express Premium Card
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
20.74% p.a.
$249 p.a.
Enjoy 30,000 bonus Qantas Points, 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year and the protection of complimentary insurance covers.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Updated April 4th, 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.
Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
19.99% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Earn flybuys points for your spending and save with an ongoing $0 annual fee and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 18 months.
ANZ Low Rate
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
12.49% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($58 p.a. thereafter)
Save with 0% p.a on balance transfers for 22 months (with a 1.5% BT fee) and $0 first year annual fee. Plus a 12.49% p.a. purchase interest rate.
Bendigo Bank Low Rate Mastercard
0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee
11.99% p.a.
$45 p.a.
A no-frills credit card with a competitive annual fee and 0% p.a. interest rate on balance transfers for the first 18 months.
Coles Rewards Mastercard
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
19.99% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Earn 2 flybuys points / $1 spent and save with a 0% balance transfer offer.
ANZ First
0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee
20.24% p.a.
$30 p.a.
Get up to 18 months interest-free on balance transfers and save with a low $30 annual fee. Plus, up to 55 days interest-free on purchases.
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
20.74% p.a.
$195 p.a.
Receive a yearly $200 Travel Credit and complimentary domestic and international travel insurance, plus earn up to 3 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent.
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
20.74% p.a.
$375 p.a.
Get 50,000 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $3,000 for the first 3 months. Plus, 100 Status Credits and luxury travel perks.
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 and save with a $0 annual fee for life.
American Express Explorer Credit Card
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
20.74% p.a.
$395 p.a.
Get 50,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months, a yearly $400 Travel Credit and 2 entries per year to the Amex Lounge.
Qantas American Express Premium Card
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
20.74% p.a.
$249 p.a.
Enjoy 30,000 bonus Qantas Points, 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year and the protection of complimentary insurance covers.
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Compare up to 4 providers

4. Confirm that the new card could support your debt

As well as the credit limit details, make sure you check what type of debts can be moved onto the balance transfer card. This is especially important for the following types of debts:

5. Make sure you can transfer between providers

Credit card companies don’t accept balance transfers from other brands that they are financially associated with. This means you can’t balance transfer debts between banks in the same institutional group. An example of this is Citi, which issues credit cards for several smaller banks including Suncorp, IMB and Virgin Money. Make sure you check which banks you can transfer your balance to and from to avoid default rejection.

6. Check the other balance transfer requirementslisting requirements

Be sure to do thorough research, read the fine print and find out exactly what's required for you to get your chosen balance transfer card. For example, you usually need to request the balance transfer at the time of your application to get the introductory interest rate.

7. Provide as much detail as possible on your application

Before you apply, double-check the eligibility criteria and get all the relevant documents and details ready for the application. This includes information about the debt you want to balance transfer transfer, so you'll need to provide the account name and number, the BSB and how much debt you want to move onto the new card. Aim to be as thorough as possible with the application, and respond to requests for supporting documentation (such as recent payslips) as quickly as possible.

If you're unsure of anything before you apply for a balance transfer credit card, it's a good idea to call the credit card company and ask them directly. That way you can get the most accurate information based on your circumstances.

Images: Shutterstock

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Credit Cards Comparison

Updated April 4th, 2020
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate Annual fee
Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a.
Earn flybuys points for your spending and save with an ongoing $0 annual fee and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 18 months.
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$450 p.a.
Get 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, a $450 Qantas Travel Credit and 2 yearly complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations. Ends 14 Apr 2020.
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.
Bendigo Bank Low Rate Mastercard
11.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$45 p.a.
A no-frills credit card with a competitive annual fee and 0% p.a. interest rate on balance transfers for the first 18 months.
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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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