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Is it possible to get a second balance transfer?

Can you get a 0% interest rate for longer if you move your debt from one balance transfer card to another?

Updated

Technically, there is no limit to the number of times you can transfer a balance between credit cards. But there are some important factors to consider before you apply, including how it could impact on your credit score and whether you'll be approved for the credit limit that you need on a new balance transfer card.

So, if you're still paying off debt on a balance transfer card when the introductory period ends, here's a look at the key details to consider before you apply for a new credit card with an introductory 0% balance transfer period.

What to think about before applying for a second balance transfer

  • Can you transfer your balance between the old and new credit card providers? Most credit card providers only accept balance transfers from other Australian financial institutions – and sometimes the same provider will issue cards for several brands. For example, Citigroup issues credit cards for brands including Citi, Virgin Money and Suncorp. This means you could not transfer a debt from, say, a Citi card to a Virgin Money card. Check out our full guide for details on which banks and brands you can balance transfer between.
  • Do you meet the eligibility requirements? Credit card application requirements include Australian residency, minimum age and minimum income requirements. If you're eligible for a credit card, you're also eligible to apply for a balance transfer to that card. See our guide on how to improve your chances of a successful balance transfer application for more details on exactly what's required for the balance transfer part of your credit card application.
  • Is there a balance transfer limit? Most cards have a minimum and maximum amount you can balance transfer. The minimum amount is usually around $250 to $500. The maximum balance transfer amount varies and is usually shown as a percentage of your credit limit. For example, some cards allow you to transfer up to 80% of your approved credit limit, while others may allow you to transfer up to 100%.

    Balance transfer limits are important when you're looking at a second balance transfer. If you accepted the maximum credit limit available when you applied for your first credit card and your financial situation hasn't changed, the credit limit on your second credit card could be lower than the first. If that's the case, you won't be able to transfer the full amount and will need to continue to pay off the remaining amount left on your old card.

  • How will the application affect your credit score? Every application for credit is recorded on your credit report. A healthy credit report can help improve your chances of getting approved for credit. But a lot of applications in a short space of time is a red flag to potential lenders.

    What's more is that applying for multiple balance transfer offers – sometimes known as "credit card churning" – is frowned upon by most issuers.

  • Is there a balance transfer fee? Some credit card providers charge a balance transfer fee as part of their introductory offers. This fee is usually around 1–3% of the total amount transferred to the new card and is deducted from your new credit limit.
  • What about other fees? It's also important to consider other fees such as the annual fee and interest rates. If these costs outweigh the savings you'll earn from your paying off your debt without interest, you might want to look for a card with lower costs.

How to get a second balance transfer

If you have an active balance transfer promotion that is about to finish, you can transfer the balance again to another credit card before the revert interest rate kicks in. Follow these steps to transfer your credit card debt to a second balance transfer credit card.

  1. Make sure you've paid off as much as you can before the end of the introductory period.
  2. Compare balance transfer credit cards to find one that fits with your budget and goals.
  3. Apply for a balance transfer credit card and enter your current credit card details in the balance transfer section of the application.
  4. If you're approved, review the offer and account details to make sure they are suitable (particularly the credit limit and balance transfer details).
  5. Activate the card and continue making any required payments on your existing account until the balance transfer has been processed.

Keep in mind that your second balance transfer will be subject to the credit card provider's lending criteria. This includes a credit check that will show your previous applications and current credit accounts (so they will be able to see when you applied for your first balance transfer card). If your application does not meet a lender's specific requirements, you won't be approved.

What other options do I have?

While applying for another balance transfer credit card would give you the chance to avoid interest charges as you continue to pay off your debt, there are other options you can consider when your 0% balance transfer rate is about to end. This includes:

  • Continue with your existing repayments. If you only have a small amount of debt remaining, sticking with your current plan will help you pay off the entire balance – even if you are charged some interest on the balance.

    As an example, say someone made repayments of $250 per month and had $1,000 owing on their card. If their balance transfer rate reverted to a cash advance rate of 21.99% and they continued with these repayments, it would take just over months to clear the debt and cost around $47.50 in interest. You can use a credit card repayment calculator to work out whether this option would be affordable for you.

  • Make a lump sum repayment to clear the debt. If you've only been paying the minimum each month or still have a large balance but don't want to apply for a new card, you could see if there is a way to use other money or assets to pay off your card.

    This could mean dipping into your savings, using a bonus from work or your tax refund so you can get rid of the debt in one go.

  • Consider an instalment plan. Some credit card providers – including CommBank and Westpac – give you the option of paying off your balance in scheduled instalments. As well as giving you a clear timeline of how long you'll be paying off the remaining balance, you could be eligible for a reduced interest rate. Contact your credit card provider to find out if this is possible and what terms and conditions would apply.
  • Look at other debt consolidation options. While balance transfer credit cards can offer some relief from interest charges, the introductory periods will eventually end. So if paying off your debt is a long-term goal, you may want to compare other debt consolidation options, such as personal loans.

The bottom line here is that, while it is possible to apply for another balance transfer credit card when your introductory period is ending, it will still be subject to approval. There could also be additional costs and a potential drop in your credit score, so make sure you weigh up all your options before deciding whether or not this will work for you.

Compare balance transfer credit cards

Data indicated here is updated regularly
$
% p.a.
Name Product Balance transfer rate Purchase rate Annual fee Amount saved
Skye Mastercard - Exclusive Offer
0% p.a. for 25 months
23.99% p.a.
$99
Finder Exclusive
Save with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 25 months, up to 110 days interest-free on purchases and flexible instalment plan options.
ANZ Low Rate - Exclusive Offer
0% p.a. for 25 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
12.49% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($58 p.a. thereafter)
Finder Exclusive
Save with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 25 months (with a one-time 1.5% BT fee) and $0 first year annual fee. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
Citi Rewards Card - Balance Transfer Offer
0% p.a. for 30 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
21.49% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($199 p.a. thereafter)
Save with 0% interest on balance transfers for the first 30 months (with a 1.5% BT fee) and a $0 annual fee for the first year.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
0% p.a. for 22 months
20.74% p.a.
$64 annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Get 0% p.a. for 22 months on balance transfers and a reduced first-year annual fee. Plus, earn up to 30,000 bonus Velocity Points. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
Westpac Low Rate Card
0% p.a. for 20 months with 1% balance transfer fee
13.74% p.a.
$59
A low rate card offering 0% p.a. interest on balance transfers for the first 20 months and a $200 cashback offer.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card - Balance Transfer Offer
0% p.a. for 22 months
19.99% p.a.
$129
Enjoy a 22-month balance transfer offer, travel insurance and an annual fee refund when you spend an eligible $6k/year. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
19.99% p.a.
$0
Earn flybuys points for your spending and save with an ongoing $0 annual fee and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 18 months.
St.George Vertigo Classic
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% for 7 months, reverts to 13.99% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Get 0% p.a. promotional purchase and balance transfer rates and save with a first-year annual fee waiver. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
Citi Clear Card
0.9% p.a. for 15 months
0.9% for 15 months, reverts to 14.99% p.a.
$99
Save with 0.9% p.a. for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. Plus, complimentary purchase insurance cover.
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
0% p.a. for 12 months
19.99% p.a.
$99
Receive 20,000 bonus Qantas Points and a long-term balance transfer offer. Plus, complimentary travel insurance. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Classic
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% for 7 months, reverts to 13.99% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Save with 0% p.a. for 7 months on purchases, 0% p.a. interest for 22 months on balance transfers and a $0 first-year annual fee. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
BankSA Vertigo
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% for 7 months, reverts to 13.99% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Enjoy a 0% p.a. for up to 22 months on balance transfers and up to 7 months on purchases. Plus, $0 first-year annual fee. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
0% p.a. for 20 months with 2% balance transfer fee
12.99% p.a.
$59
Receive an introductory 0% p.a. interest rate for 20 months on balance transfers, Visa Entertainment offers and a competitive $59 ongoing annual fee.
St.George Vertigo Classic Rainbow
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% for 7 months, reverts to 13.99% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
All the great low cost features of the Vertigo Visa with a rainbow design in support of the LGBT community.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - 0% Interest Offer
0% p.a. for 6 months
0% for 14 months, reverts to 20.74% p.a.
$64 annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Enjoy 0% p.a. interest on purchases for 14 months, a reduced first-year annual fee and Velocity Points per $1 spent. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
St.George Amplify Platinum - Qantas
0% p.a. for 6 months
19.74% p.a.
$99
Earn 60,000 bonus Qantas Points, plus enjoy 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 6 months and complimentary insurance covers. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
St.George Amplify Platinum
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% for 7 months, reverts to 19.74% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Save with 0% p.a. interest rates on purchases and balance transfers. Plus a $0 first-year annual fee. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
Westpac Altitude Platinum Qantas
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1% balance transfer fee
20.49% p.a.
$99 annual fee for the first year ($200 p.a. thereafter)
Get 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $3,000 within 90 days. Plus, a first-year annual fee discount and a long-term balance transfer offer.
Westpac Altitude Platinum Card
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1% balance transfer fee
20.49% p.a.
$99 annual fee for the first year ($150 p.a. thereafter)
Earn 80,000 bonus Altitude Points when you spend $3,000 within 90 days. Plus, a first-year annual fee discount and a long-term balance transfer offer.
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Platinum
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
0% for 7 months, reverts to 19.74% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Enjoy 0% p.a. on purchases and balance transfers along with a $0 first year annual fee waiver. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
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4 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    PamJuly 17, 2013

    I have an equity account owing $30,000. If I transferred $9,000 to my credit card then transferred to 0% transfer x 3 transfers would that work?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JacobJuly 17, 2013Staff

      Hi Pam. Probably not. There are a couple of reasons why. At the time of writing, with the exception of Citibank and Virgin, all other credit card issuers allow you to transfer from a credit card, store card or charge card only. Citibank and Virgin do allow you to transfer from a line of credit or a personal loan – you will have to double check with them first as to whether they will accept a balance transfer from an equity account. Furthermore, most card issuers (but not all) will only allow you to transfer at the promotional rate of interest if you apply for the transfer at the time of applying for the card. I hope this has helped, let us know if you have any more questions on balance transfers. Jacob.

  2. Default Gravatar
    DianneMarch 20, 2013

    I have just been informed that Citibank Australia is not accepting any balance transfers from other banks. Why is this?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JacobMarch 21, 2013Staff

      Hi Dianne. This is news to us. Can you tell us exactly what the Citibank representative told you? We have double checked with Citibank and this is not the case. Thanks.

Credit Cards Comparison

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Purchase rate Balance transfer rate Annual fee
Skye Mastercard - Exclusive Offer
23.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 25 months
$99
Finder Exclusive
Save with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 25 months, up to 110 days interest-free on purchases and flexible instalment plan options.
ANZ Low Rate - Exclusive Offer
12.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 25 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$0 annual fee for the first year ($58 p.a. thereafter)
Finder Exclusive
Save with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 25 months (with a one-time 1.5% BT fee) and $0 first year annual fee. Ends 30 Sept 2020.
NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$295 annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
Collect up to 130,000 bonus Qantas Points. Get 100k when you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases in the first 60 days and 30k after 12 months.
ANZ Platinum Credit Card
0% for 17 months, reverts to 20.24% p.a.
20.24% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter)
Receive a 0% purchase rate offer for 17 months and a $0 first-year annual fee. Plus, complimentary overseas travel and medical insurance.
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* 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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