Paying Off An Overseas Credit Card

What's the cheapest option for paying off debt on an overseas credit card?

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A user wrote in with this question:

International Credit Cards

Hi there,

I have recently moved to Australia from New Zealand. I still have a credit card in New Zealand and am now finding it expensive to pay it off from Australia. I am having trouble finding a company that allows balance transfers from other countries, would you know if this is even possible? And if so, could you please let me know where I can start looking.

Thank you for your time.

Michelle


Is it possible to pay an overseas debt with a balance transfer?

This is a question that's been asked more and more recently: how does a person moving country a) bring their debt with them when they move and b) consolidate that debt into one low interest rate like with a balance transfer?

A balance transfer is one of the most popular options for Australians looking to get ahead with their credit cards, but the rules around accepted balance transfers can be restrictive.

  1. The balance must come from an Australian credit card or store card.
  2. The balance must not come from a credit card related to the institution you're transferring to.
  3. You can only transfer up to approximately 95% of your approved credit limit on your new card.

A balance transfer from a New Zealand (NZ) credit card to an Australian credit card is out of the question and consolidating the debt through a personal loan with lenders is also not an option. Much like credit card providers offering low interest balance transfer promotions, these institutions will not 'buy' overseas debt and 'resell' it to a customer at a low rate of interest.

To answer Michelle's question, an option for her is to balance transfer from her existing NZ credit card to a new NZ credit card taking advantage of a balance transfer promotion - they do exist in the NZ credit card market. This works much the same way had she performed a balance transfer to an Australian credit card. She would transfer the debt, receive a low rate of interest for a set period of time and use the low interest period to pay off as much of the outstanding balance as possible - she would do this from Australia, converting Aussie dollars to NZ dollars to pay off her card. This is the only way to pay her card from Australia, but international money transfers can be fraught with fees and charges.
Ordering online with a credit card

Paying a credit card from another country

Because Michelle is set up with a NZ account, she should be able to easily access her NZ Bank's online banking facility from Australia. There are a couple of ways she can send money from Australia to her New Zealand account, the two most common are via International Money Order or via an Australian banking institution. We will make an assumption that Michelle isn't going to be able to pay her card off in one go and subsequently will be looking to go for the cheapest option.

International money transfer

An international money transfer is the process of sending money from one country to another. These services specialise in foreign exchange services. Generally, you open an account with the service and deposit the money you want to send via your local bank account so you're not charged any fees. Then, you indicate what country you want to send the funds to by providing the recipient's IBAN/SWIFT number, BSB and account number. The service then processes the transaction for you, which is usually at a better exchange rate and with lower fees due to economies of scale.

Compare international money transfer services

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
GBP 0 1 - 2 days AUD 0.00 0.743 USD
7,426
Azimo sends money directly to a bank account or over 280,000 cash pick-up points. It also has fast transfers to 50+ countries. Go to site Show details
AUD 2,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.745 USD
7,448
TorFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Conditions apply.
TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Go to site Show details
AUD 2,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.745 USD
7,448
Better exchange rates for Finder customers.
WorldFirst sends 60+ currencies at competitive rates. If you find a better eligible quote, WorldFirst will beat it.
Go to site Show details
AUD 2,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.745 USD
7,448
Send guarantees to match any competitor’s exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.
Go to site Show details
AUD 250 1 - 2 days AUD 0.00 0.745 USD
7,448
$0 transfer fees for Finder customers.
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 1 day AUD 52.00 0.744 USD
7,402
Pay no fees on your first two transfers, up to $3,000.
SingX offers the real exchange rate every time you make a transfer and can help you send money across the world.
Go to site Show details
AUD 10 Within an hour AUD 2.99 0.74 USD
7,394
Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 Same day AUD 0.00 0.744 USD
7,441
XE has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools. Go to site Show details
AUD 200 1 - 2 days AUD 50.00 0.747 USD
7,433
New customers sending over AUD 500 from Australia use code FINDER50 to get AUD 50 off. Valid till 30th June 2021. T&Cs apply.
InstaReM offers simple transfers with a flat 0.5% transfer fee for most transfers.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 Same day AUD 3.99 0.739 USD
7,385
Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 1 - 2 days AUD 45.00 0.745 USD
7,414
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 50+ currencies. Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

Done through the bank

The potentially ideal way for Michelle to pay off her NZ credit card from Australia is to use her Australian bank account's online facility to pay her NZ credit card directly. It's better for her to use an online banking facility because it's less expensive than going in person to a bank branch to send the cash overseas.

Fees are as follows:

CBA: $22 / $30 if done over the counter.

ANZ: No fee via online banking.

NAB: $22 / $35 if done over the counter.

Westpac: $20 / $32 if done over the counter.

More guides on Finder

International Money Transfer Offers

Important Information*
Logo for Azimo International Money Transfers
Azimo International Money Transfers

Azimo sends money directly to a bank account or over 280,000 cash pick-up points. It also has fast transfers to 50+ countries.

Logo for TorFX International Money Transfers
TorFX International Money Transfers

TorFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Conditions apply.
TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.

Logo for WorldFirst International Money Transfers
WorldFirst International Money Transfers

Better exchange rates for Finder customers.
WorldFirst sends 60+ currencies at competitive rates. If you find a better eligible quote, WorldFirst will beat it.

Logo for Send International Money Transfers
Send International Money Transfers

Send guarantees to match any competitor’s exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
Send provides fee-free transfers via its 24/7 multi-currency payments platform with real-time quotes.

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26 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    JennerMarch 28, 2018

    Hi, I have debt in the UK and I am still a citizen however, I now reside in Australia. I still have my parents address in the UK where I get all my UK banking sent. However, whenever I’ve looked at applying for English credit cards to consolidate my English debt and make use of the 0% balance transfers. It asks for if your an English resident and then how much you make. How do I get an English credit card to make use of the 0% balance transfers if I am not living there. Just need to pay off old foolish debt.
    Thanks!!

      Default Gravatar
      LiezlMarch 29, 2018

      Hi Jenner,

      Thanks for visiting Finder.

      When applying for a credit card, whether it’s a balance transfer, low interest, or a regular credit card, the banks will require that you meet their basic eligibility requirements: age, income, residency, and credit score. It’s important that you meet these criteria in order to have a successful application.

      In your case, although you have a valid address in UK, the bank might have a question about your residency if your salary certificate or proof of income documents are issued from Australia. It’s a good idea to contact the bank directly and discuss your eligibility with them. Meanwhile, you may go through our credit card application guide for some practical tips on applying for a credit card.

      As an option, you may want to consider applying for a personal loan to pay off your credit card debt in the UK. You may refer to our list of loans for temporary residents. Please use our comparison table to help you find the lender that suits you. When you are ready, click the “Go to Site” button to be redirected to the lender’s website where you can proceed with your application.

      Before applying, please ensure that you meet all the eligibility criteria and read through the details of the needed requirements as well as the relevant Product Disclosure Statements/Terms and Conditions when comparing your options before making a decision on whether it is right for you. You can also contact the provider if you have specific questions.

      I hope this information helps. Feel free to drop us a note anytime if you have questions.

      Best regards,
      Liezl

    Default Gravatar
    BrigJanuary 23, 2017

    Hi – just wondering if you know of any debt consolidation solutions (such as balance transfer 0% credit card) for credit card debt in Australia when I now live and earn income in the UK?

    Am I right in assuming that for any Australian credit card I would need to have an Australian income stream?

    Thanks!

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      DeeJanuary 24, 2017Staff

      Hi Brig,

      Thanks for your question.

      Most of the balance transfer credit cards in our panel require that applicants must be a permanent Australian resident.

      You may want to check out some of the financial institutions in the UK if they have options for your borrowing needs like a personal loan that you can use to repay your credit card debt in Australia and the like.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

    Default Gravatar
    LeoJune 12, 2016

    Hi all,

    General question;

    When attaining a mortgage in New Zealand, are you able to consolidate Australian credit card debt into that loan?

    Thanks.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ShirleyAugust 11, 2016Staff

      Hi Leo,

      Thanks for your question.

      Generally you can’t consolidate international debts, though if your mortgage and credit card is with the same bank, i.e. ANZ this may be possible.

      You may want to contact your lender for more information.

    Default Gravatar
    LizDecember 19, 2015

    I want to pay some money into my sister’s UK credit card with my Australian credit card, how can this be done? Please suggest.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      SallyJanuary 4, 2016Staff

      Hi Liz,

      Thanks for your question.

      If you try to use your credit card to send funds to your sister, this will be considered a cash advance and will charge you high cash advance interest rates. Instead, you might like to send your sister funds using your debit card which she can then use to pay off her credit card in the UK.

      I hope this has helped.

      Cheers,

      Sally

    Default Gravatar
    DrewJuly 20, 2015

    Hello, I’m currently living in finland and I owe money on 2 credit cards in Australia I have managed to keep up the repayments so far but is quite expensive and would like to have both credit cards into one debt but not planning on coming back to Australia anytime soon. What should I do?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      SallyJuly 20, 2015Staff

      Hi Drew,

      Thanks for your comment.

      The best way to combine two credit card debts into one debt is usually via a balance transfer. Although you generally can’t do a balance transfer between an Australian and international credit card, you may want to consider conducting a balance transfer to another Australian credit card and then pay this off taking advantage of a lower rate.

      Alternatively, you could also make additional payments towards your card using a competitive money transfer service with low fees and exchange rate margins.

      You may want to read over some of the option, such as Citibank Ready Credit or an international money transfer to consider which strategy is best for you.

      Alternatively, if you’re having trouble paying back your balance, you should contact your bank directly to discuss your options.

      I hope this has helped.

      Thanks,
      Sally

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