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Is it possible to do a second balance transfer?

Information verified correct on December 5th, 2016

Everything you need to know before you apply for a second balance transfer credit card to get your debt in control.

There’s technically no restriction on the number of times you can transfer your credit card balance, but there are conditions you need to be aware of before doing so. For example, each application will be listed on your credit file and you can’t transfer your debt to a credit card within the same financial institution. There are also balance transfer limits you need to consider before doing a second balance transfer. This guide covers the terms and conditions you need to be aware of so that you can get another break on your credit card interest repayments.

How to conduct 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. 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 balance transfer promotional period.
  2. Compare balance transfer credit cards on the market and look at the length of the promotional 0% balance transfer offer and any fees on the card to determine whether it’ll benefit you.
  3. Double check the eligibility requirements by reading our balance transfer credit card review and application pages.
  4. Apply for a balance transfer credit card and enter your current credit card details when prompted by the online application.

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.

Jose's second balance transfer

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Jose has been using his credit card for purchases and to pay important bills and now has a debt of $14,000. He applied for and was approved for a balance transfer to a new card at 0% for six months. In the six month promotional period, he paid his debt down to $11,000.

Now that the balance transfer deal is over, the remaining $11,000 will accrue interest at 19% p.a. Instead of paying this high interest rate, Jose decides to apply for a new credit card that also offers 0% for six months on balance transfers.

He’s approved for the new card and spends the next six months throwing all of his extra money onto the debt, eventually getting it down to $6,000.

Remember, the $5,000 Jose has paid on this balance has gone purely towards paying off his debt, so (with the exception of the annual fee) he hasn’t paid any other fees. If he had continued to pay off his balance of $11,000 at 19%, in six months he would’ve paid approximately $900 in interest.

Now, Jose can either apply to move the money to another credit card with a balance transfer promotion, or simply try to pay off extra each month to offset the interest charges that apply once the promotional period is over.

Five factors to consider before applying for a second balance transfer

  1. Is the bank eligible? To be eligible for a balance transfer promotion, you must transfer your debt to a credit card from a different bank. For example, if you have a Westpac Low Rate Credit Card, you can transfer a balance from a Citibank credit card but not another Westpac credit card.
    There are also restrictions if the financial institution is part of a banking group. For example, you’re ineligible to transfer a balance from a BankSA credit card to a St.George credit card because both banks are part of the Westpac Group.
  2. Do you meet the credit card eligibility requirements? Every credit card has a list of application requirements that you need to meet to be eligible to apply. Credit card application requirements include Australian residency, minimum age and minimum income requirements. Generally, if you’re eligible for a credit card, you’re also eligible for a balance transfer to that card. See our guide on how to ensure your balance transfer application is successful for more tips on the information you'll need to improve your likelihood of approval.
  3. Is there a balance transfer limit? There is a minimum and maximum amount you can balance transfer. The minimum amount is around $500 and the maximum balance transfer amount varies depending on the institution and your financial circumstances. As such, the maximum balance transfer amount is expressed as a percentage of your credit limit, for example, you could be able to use up to 80% of your approved credit limit towards a balance transfer.
    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.
  4. How will this impact your credit rating? Every application for credit is recorded on your credit report. A healthy credit report is key to your chances of getting approved for credit in the future. Too many applications for credit 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. After all, they are typically looking for customers that will stay with them beyond the honeymoon period.
  5. Are there balance transfer fees? Some financial institutions charge a balance transfer fee for specific credit card offers. This fee could be 1-4% of the total amount you wish to transfer and is deducted from your remaining credit limit. 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.

If a balance transfer promotional period is finished and you still have debt to pay off, you may want to transfer the balance again to avoid interest charges. As there are some risks with doing a second balance transfer. make sure you weigh up all of the factors above. Remember that any balance transfer card you apply for will be subject to approval and recorded on your credit file, so it'll pay to do your research first.

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4 Responses to Is it possible to do a second balance transfer?

  1. Default Gravatar
    Pam | July 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?

    • Staff
      Jacob | July 17, 2013

      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
    Dianne | March 20, 2013

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

    • Staff
      Jacob | March 21, 2013

      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.

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