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Paying Off An Overseas Credit Card

Rates and Fees verified correct on September 29th, 2016

What’s the cheapest option for paying an overseas credit card?

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


Paying off the debt using a 'cheque to self' from Citibank

The Citibank Ready credit is very unique and allows you make a 'cheque to self' which can be used to then payoff any of your debts. You can read our full review on the Citibank ReadyCredit here to find out more about the product and see whether or not you're eligible.

Rates last updated September 29th, 2016
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
Citi Ready Credit
A competitive interest rate on purchases and a long term balance transfer offer of 7.9% p.a. for 24 months for a $149 one-off establishment fee and $0 annual fee.
19.99% p.a. 7.9% p.a. for 24 months $0 p.a. More info

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.
Balance Transfer Process

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 like Fox Symes or GE Money 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.

Paying a credit card from another country

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 (Western Union) 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 Order

This can be done through an Australia Post outlet and the money is transferred through the Western Union wire service. It costs approx. $30 to send $1,000 to a New Zealand Western Union outlet or New Zealand bank account.

Done though the bank

The potentially ideal way for Michelle to pay off her NZ credit card from Australia is to open a new account with an Australian bank and use their online banking 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.

ANZ: No fee via online banking.

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

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


Travel money card comparison

Rates last updated September 29th, 2016
Available Currencies ATM Withdrawal Fee Reload Fee Initial Load Fee
ANZ Travel Card
ANZ Travel Card
AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, USD, AUD 3.50, CAD 3.00, EUR 2.20, GBP 2.00, HKD 20.00, JPY 260, NZD 4.50, SGD 4.00, THB 95, USD 2.50 1.1% of the value purchased $0 Go to site More
Flight Centre Key to the World Currency Card
Flight Centre Key to the World Currency Card
AUD, USD, SGD, NZD, JPY, THB, GBP, EUR, HKD, CAD USD 2.50, EUR 2.50, GBP 2.00, NZD 3.50, THB 80.00, CAD 3.50, HKD 18.00, JPY 260.00, SGD 3.50, AUD 3.50 1.1% of the total amount $0 Go to site More
NAB Traveller Card
NAB Traveller Card
AUD, CAD, EUR, GBP, HKD, JPY, NZD, SGD, THB, USD $0 per withdrawal on international ATMs and $3.75 per withdrawal at any Australian ATMs $0 $0 Go to site More
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22 Responses to Paying Off An Overseas Credit Card

  1. Default Gravatar
    Leo | June 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.

    • Staff
      Shirley | August 11, 2016

      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.

  2. Default Gravatar
    Liz | December 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.

    • Staff
      Sally | January 4, 2016

      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

  3. Default Gravatar
    Drew | July 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?

    • Staff
      Sally | July 20, 2015

      Hi Drew,

      Thanks for your comment.

      As finder.com.au is a comparative financial service, we can’t actually recommend one specific service or product to our users as the best option depends entirely on your own financial situation.

      However, as you will see on our Paying Off An Overseas Credit Card page, there are a few options available to you.

      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 options available on our Paying Off an Overseas Credit Card page, 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

  4. Default Gravatar
    Amanda | March 9, 2015

    Hello, I have recently moved to Australia from the UK but unfortunately just on a working holiday visa, I have a credit card in the UK and was curious to whether there were any options of transferring the debt to a Australian credit card, as it is costing me a fortune to send it home.

    Thanks in advance
    Amanda

    • Staff
      Shirley | March 10, 2015

      Hi Amanda,

      Thanks for your question.

      Typically you can’t balance transfer an overseas credit card but there are other options available.

      Please see our page, paying off an overseas credit card to see what options are available to you.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

  5. Default Gravatar
    patrick | June 18, 2014

    When asked to provide your credit number to an overseas merchant what additionals are the most important details I should receive from the overseas merchant before I provide the credit card numbers for the transaction.
    Thank you

    • Staff
      Shirley | June 19, 2014

      Hi Patrick,

      Thanks for your question.

      There should be some indicators on the merchants site, for example, there could be a Verified by Visa symbol, Verisign, or it could be linked to Paypal.

      Using Paypal is relatively safe, as there are policies in place to protect the buyer.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

  6. Default Gravatar
    MikeG | March 21, 2014

    My son is living in Australia but has a UK credit card debt after returning to live in Australia and he is struggling to repay the debt. He has no credit card in Australia. I would like to pay some of this credit card debt off to make life easier for him. Is there any way that I can do this directly from my Australian bank account? I realize that I could just gift him the money and let him do the credit card payment but I want to ensure that the funds are actually used to pay some off his UK credit card debt by doing the transaction myself.

    • Staff
      Shirley | March 21, 2014

      Hi Mike,

      Thanks your question.

      Yes there are a few ways you can pay off your son’s credit card, these include BPay, cheques and online banking.

      It’s probably a good idea to get a copy of your son’s credit card statement because it lists all the ways that you make payments, then you can choose which one is best for you. On his credit card statement it will list all the relevant biller codes and account numbers so you transfer the money to the right account.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

    • Default Gravatar
      MikeG | March 21, 2014

      Thanks so much for this. I wasn’t aware that one could transfer money directly from my Australian Bank account to a UK credit card (not in my name).

    • Staff
      Marc | March 24, 2014

      Hi MikeG,
      I’m glad this information has been of use. One thing you might want to be careful about is the exchange rates and fees you might be charged for making an international funds transfer. We’ve carried out a comparison of international money transfer providers which you might want to read.

      I hope this helps,
      Marc.

  7. Default Gravatar
    Nicole | January 10, 2014

    If you’re living in another country, you can’t apply for another credit card in Australia (say if you’re living in the UK) as the application requests your current pay rate and institution and there is no overseas employment address available. It seems you have to be a Australian resident in order to apply for a credit card (even if just purely for balance transfer purposes).

  8. Default Gravatar
    Rick | November 18, 2013

    what is the best solution for paying an Australian credit card from the UK?

    Thanks

    • Staff
      Marc | November 18, 2013

      Hello Rick,
      thanks for the question.

      Generally speaking you can’t transfer debt between overseas credit cards, so here are two other suggestions.
      1. Conduct a balance transfer to another Australian credit card and then pay this off taking advantage of a lower rate
      2. Make additional payments towards your card using a good money transfer service with low fees and exchange rate margins.

      I hope this helps,
      Marc.

  9. Default Gravatar
    chris | September 7, 2013

    this is not the case, I just rang ANZ and they told me that they do charge for international money transfers. both over counter and online banking.

  10. Default Gravatar
    Keri | July 1, 2013

    To pay an Australian credit card off from New Zealand, can I keep my Australian bank account open and transfer money from New Zealand account to Australia online and have a direct debit payment set up from this account to pay the credit card?

    • Staff
      Jacob | July 1, 2013

      Hi Keri. Thanks for your question. Yes, you can do this; however, there will be fees for transferring money between international accounts. Currently, there are no products that will allow fee free international transfers between New Zealand and Australia. Sorry we can’t be of more assistance with this one. Jacob.

    • Default Gravatar
      Ray | July 15, 2014

      I moved to Aus in Feb 2013 and transferred my NZ credit card debt to Aus with a Virgin Money Credit Card. They sent me a chq for the amount I specified, which I then deposited into my NZ account to pay off the balance. So it is possible.

    • Default Gravatar
      HAmish | July 20, 2014

      Hi ray

      Good to know. If you have just moved to Australia for the first time, is it easy to get a credit card? I might not have income (only NZ based) and wondering who to go for when I arrive to get a credit card.

      Thanks

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