How long is the longest balance transfer credit card deal?

Compare the longest balance transfer promotions here and learn how these offers can help you deal with credit card debt.

If you’re looking for the longest balance transfer offer available, you probably already know how a balance transfer works. When you transfer existing debts on to a credit card with a balance transfer promotion, you save money by paying lower or no interest on your transferred debt for the period of the promotion. At the end of that period, any remaining debt from the transfer will be charged interest at the standard rate for that card (which is usually much higher).

Depending on the size of your debt, the difference between a 6-month and 24-month 0% balance transfer promotional period could mean hundreds or thousands of dollars saved on interest charges. That said, the longest offers aren’t necessarily right for everyone. This guide will take you through the other factors to consider when comparing long balance transfer deals.

NAB Premium Card

NAB Credit Card Offer

Receive a long-term 0% p.a. offer on balance transfers, a competitive standard purchase rate and up to 44 interest-free days on purchases.

  • $90 p.a. annual fee
  • 19.74% p.a. on purchases
  • 0% p.a. for 20 months with 2% balance transfer fee on balance transfers
  • Cash Advance Rate of 21.74% p.a.
  • Up to 44 days interest free

Compare 9-24 month Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Rates last updated June 26th, 2017.

NAB Low Rate Credit Card

Balance transfer period changed from 18 to 16 months, and is valid until 1 October 2017.

June 1st, 2017

NAB Premium Card

BT period has been changed to 20 months, and is valid until 1 October 2017.

June 1st, 2017

Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Exclusive Offer

0% p.a. for 18 months exclusive balance transfer offer has been extended until 31 July 2017.

June 15th, 2017

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Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee Interest Saved
NAB Premium Card
Enjoy Platinum benefits including complimentary travel insurance, a 24/7 concierge and Visa Front Line Access.
0% p.a. for 20 months with 2% balance transfer fee 19.74% p.a. $90 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Platinum
A low rate Platinum card with up to 55 interest-free days on purchases and access to Visa's Platinum Concierge service.
0% p.a. for 20 months 12.74% p.a. $99 p.a. Go to site More info
Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card
Earn Citi Reward Points on everyday spend and receive complimentary travel insurance.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee 20.99% p.a. $49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
Bankwest Breeze Mastercard
Offers a low ongoing purchase rate and up to 55 days interest-free on purchases.
0% p.a. for 21 months with 2% balance transfer fee 12.99% p.a. $59 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Visa
Save with a low variable purchase rate and up to 55 interest-free days.
0% p.a. for 14 months 13.24% p.a. $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Exclusive Offer
Earn 2 Velocity Points on top of the standard earn rate per $1 spent in the first 3 months, plus a $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher each year.
0% p.a. for 18 months 20.74% p.a. $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
BankSA Vertigo Visa
Save with a low ongoing purchase rate and enjoy up to 55 days interest-free.
0% p.a. for 14 months 13.24% p.a. $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
An exclusive credit card offer through finder.com.au that includes complimentary insurance covers.
0% p.a. for 12 months 0% p.a. for 3 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.) $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Offers an annual fee refund with a yearly minimum spend of $6,000.
0% p.a. for 22 months with 2% balance transfer fee 19.99% p.a. $99 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Low Fee Card
Receive up to 44 interest-free days on purchases and complimentary Purchase Protection Insurance.
0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee 19.74% p.a. $30 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Low Rate Credit Card
Enjoy the benefits of the home&Away Privilege Program and the ability to pay using Apple Pay.
0% p.a. for 15 months with 2% balance transfer fee 13.25% p.a. $55 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
Receive up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and access to Visa Global Customer Assistance Services.
0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee 13.99% p.a. $59 p.a. Go to site More info
Westpac Low Rate Card - Online Only Balance Transfer Offer
Offers a low introductory rate on purchases and up to 55 interest-free days.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 2% balance transfer fee 13.49% p.a. $59 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Essential®  Credit Card
Earn 1.00 Membership Rewards point per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee 14.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Go to site More info
Suncorp Clear Options Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
Earn Suncorp Rewards Points per $1 spent and enjoy complimentary international travel insurances.
0% p.a. for 18 months 20.74% p.a. $99 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Platinum
Receive a range of complimentary insurances and access to a 24/7 Visa Platinum Concierge.
0% p.a. for 20 months 12.74% p.a. $99 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Low Rate Platinum
A platinum card with a competitive low rate and a range of complimentary insurances.
0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee 11.49% p.a. $99 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Low Rate
Receive up to 55 days interest-free on purchases, up to 3 additional cardholders at no cost and Mastercard PayPass.
0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee 12.49% p.a. $58 p.a. Go to site More info
Virgin Money Low Rate Credit Card
Enjoy a low ongoing purchase rate and the optional protection of CreditShield Edge.
0% p.a. for 12 months 11.99% p.a. $99 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
Receive 100,000 bonus Velocity Points on eligible spend within the first 3 months.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee 20.74% p.a. $375 p.a. Go to site More info
Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard
Receive complimentary travel insurance & pay no foreign transaction fees.
2.99% p.a. for 9 months 17.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Explorer® Credit Card
Receive 50,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points on eligible spend within the first 3 months of card membership.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee 20.74% p.a. $395 p.a. Go to site More info
Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card
Receive a $100 eGift Card when you apply by 30 June 2017 and make an eligible purchase by 31 July 2017.
0% p.a. for 14 months 19.99% p.a. $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($49 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info

How to compare long balance transfer offers

It’s always important to research and compare your options when choosing a credit card. When specifically looking at balance transfer credit cards, these are the key features to consider:

  • Introductory offer. Introductory offers are typically worded like this: “Enjoy X% balance transfer interest for Y months”. In general, you will want the lowest X and the highest Y, ie, the lowest promotional interest rate over the longest term.
  • Revert rate. This is the regular rate that interest reverts to once the promotional period ends. It’s usually the standard cash advance rate for that card, and sometimes the purchase rate. This is important in case you still have outstanding debt on your card when the revert rate applies.
  • Balance transfer fee. Some credit cards charge a one-time balance transfer fee ranging from 1-2.5% of your balance transfer amount. Be aware that cards with longer promotional periods tend to charge a higher balance transfer fee.
  • Balance transfer provider. This is important because balance transfers are often prohibited between affiliated banks and cards issued by the same card issuer. Learn more about which banks you can transfer your balance to and from.
  • Maximum transfer amount. This could be your new card’s credit limit, or even up to a certain percentage of your credit limit, ranging from 75-90%. For example, if you are approved for a credit limit of $5,000 on a card that allows transfers of up to 75% of your limit, the maximum amount you could move to the new card would be $3,750.
  • Other balance transfer conditions. This varies with each card, but there may be other conditions limiting where you can transfer your balance from. For example, some cards only allow balance transfers from other credit cards and store cards, while some accept debts from personal loans as well.
  • Combined offers. Some promotional offers combine perks to offer more attractive savings or rewards. For example, a card could offer a 0% balance transfer rate and a 0% purchase interest rate, or a 0% balance rate and bonus frequent flyer points. Usually there are conditions to being eligible for each introductory offer, such as spending requirements to get bonus points. Make sure you’re aware of the requirements for each offer, so that you know exactly what you need to do to get all the benefits you want as a new cardholder.
  • Annual fee. Credit card annual fees can have an impact on the value you get from a balance transfer offer, so make sure your savings more than offset any card fees.
  • Late payment fees. If you don’t pay at least the minimum amount by the statement due date, you could be charged a late payment fee and a black mark could be placed on your credit file. These types of charges typically range from $5-$35 and will start accruing interest right away.
  • Overlimit fees. Some cards charge a penalty fee if you go over the available credit limit on your account. Remember that the higher the percentage of your limit that’s taken up by a balance transfer, the greater the potential risk of maxing out your card, so it’s important to be aware of the fees that could apply.

Finding a long balance transfer offer

sandra-portraitSundari has a credit card debt of $8,000 on a card that charges an interest rate of 18% p.a. She wants to clear the debt as quickly as possible, and calculates that she can afford to pay $500 a month towards it.

If Sundari made these payments on her current card, it would take her 19 months to pay off the debt and cost her $1,060 in interest charges. But, if she was paying 0% interest on the balance, it would only take her 16 months to clear the debt.

With this in mind, Sundari compares balance transfer cards offering 0% interest for 16-24 months. She decides to apply for a card offering 0% for 18 months, which gives her an extra 2 months of flexibility if other expenses come up in the meantime.

Other factors to consider

While the following factors are not usually a major priority when considering a balance transfer credit card, they should still generally be factored into choosing a new card.

  • The purchase rate. This is very important for balance transfer cards with a long promotional period, since there’ll be a greater chance of wanting or needing to make new purchases with it during this time. Most cards offer interest-free days on purchases, but this only applies if you have paid your full account balance. This means that interest will start accruing on new purchases immediately if you have a balance transfer. If you know you’ll need to make purchases with the new card straight away, you may want to look at 0% balance transfer and 0% purchase rate credit cards – just make sure you know when each of the promotional periods end as the purchase rate promotional period is usually shorter than that of the balance transfer.
  • The cash advance rate. This is the interest rate you’ll be charged when you get cash from an ATM or for cash-equivalent purchases such as travellers’ cheques or gambling tokens.
  • Cash advance fee. A charge of 1-3.5% of your transaction amount is applied for every cash advance transaction you make on your card. This is in addition to the cash advance interest rate.
  • Complimentary extras. Many credit cards include additional perks to sweeten the deal, such as complimentary travel insurance or concierge services. These extras are usually reflected in the cost of the annual fee, so make sure you’re not paying for things you don’t need and eroding your interest savings.
  • Rewards. Some cards have their own rewards programs or frequent flyer programs, which let you earn points for new spending on your credit card. Since they often come with higher annual fees, carefully consider what you need and what you’re actually paying for. Note that balance transfers are not eligible for these points, and remember that new purchases could attract high interest charges if you already have a balance transfer on the card.
  • Foreign transaction fees. This fee applies when you use your card abroad or for online purchases from an international retailer. It’s usually around 2-3% of each transaction.

Tips for making the most of a long balance transfer offer

To get the most out of your balance transfer, consider the following tips:

  • Close your old account. Closing your old account will prevent you from being charged any further costs, such as the annual fee, that could add to your existing debt and it will eliminate the temptation of using your old credit card. To cancel your account, wait until the balance transfer is processed, make sure the total balance is cleared and then call your issuer to request account closure.
  • Make regular repayments. Make full use of the interest-free period by drawing out a schedule of regular repayments. Aim to pay off your full balance within the promotional period if possible, and follow that schedule responsibly to achieve your debt freedom.
  • Use savings to help pay down the balance. Channel all resources towards paying off your debts, including spare cash and savings. Note: This tip is especially relevant if you’re near the end of the balance transfer promotional period and you still have debt remaining.
  • Avoid making new purchases. Apart from being potentially charged interest on your new purchases, your best strategy is to dedicate all available resources towards paying down your debt. Even if the card is offering 0% interest on purchases, remember that any new purchases will add to your debt, instead of reducing it.

Using these tips, you can now compare long-term balance transfer credit cards to find the one that most suits your personal needs and circumstances. Sit down, research the options and do the maths to see which card will deliver the greatest savings and convenience in the long run. Remember to only buy what you need and spend the rest on repaying that debt. Good luck!

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