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Paying Off An Overseas Credit Card

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

Updated

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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
AUD 2,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.709 USD
7,092
TorFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. Conditions apply.
Send 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 0.709 USD
7,092
SendFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
Fee-free transfers in 30+ currencies to over 200 countries.
Go to site Show details
AUD 2,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.709 USD
7,092
Better exchange rates for Finder customers.
Send 60+ currencies at competitive rates and no fees. If you find a better eligible quote, WorldFirst will beat it.
Go to site Show details
AUD 250 1 - 2 days AUD 0.00 0.709 USD
7,092
$0 transfer fees for Finder customers.
No-maximum limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies. No transfer fee over AUD$10,000.
Go to site Show details
GBP 3,000 1 day AUD 0.00 0.709 USD
7,092
Global Reach will match any competitor's exchange rates. Conditions apply.
Get no fees for both business and personal transfers when you send your money overseas with Global Reach.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 1 day AUD 52.00 0.708 USD
7,048
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 0 Same day AUD 2.99 0.704 USD
7,040
Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Affordable transfers around the world with both express and economy options. Express transfers delievered in as little as 10 minutes for an extra fee.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 Same day AUD 0.00 0.708 USD
7,084
Get fast transfers with no fees and a range of foreign currency tools. Go to site Show details
AUD 200 1 - 2 days AUD 50.00 0.711 USD
7,077
Exclusive: Use code FINDER10 to receive US$10 off your first transaction.
Quick and simple international money transfers with a flat 0.5% transfer fee for most transfers. Zero-margin rates on some currencies.
Go to site Show details
AUD 5 1 - 2 days EUR 3.00 0.705 USD
7,047
Special offer: Zero fees on your first 10 transfers.
Get bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
Go to site Show details
AUD 1 Same day AUD 3.99 0.703 USD
7,032
Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply.
An online money transfer service with cash pick-up, bank account to bank account and airtime transfers available.
Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers


The "Rate" and "Amount Received" displayed are indicative rates that have been supplied by each brand or gathered by Finder.

Exchange rates are volatile and change often. As a result, the exchange rate listed on Finder may vary to the actual exchange rate quoted for the brand. Please confirm the actual exchange rate and mention "Finder" before you commit to a brand.

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 TorFX International Money Transfers
TorFX International Money Transfers

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

Logo for SendFX International Money Transfers
SendFX International Money Transfers

SendFX guarantees to match any competitor's exchange rate. T&Cs apply.
Fee-free transfers in 30+ currencies to over 200 countries.

Logo for WorldFirst International Money Transfers
WorldFirst International Money Transfers

Better exchange rates for Finder customers.
Send 60+ currencies at competitive rates and no fees. If you find a better eligible quote, WorldFirst will beat it.

Logo for OFX (Ozforex) International Money Transfers
OFX (Ozforex) International Money Transfers

$0 transfer fees for Finder customers.
No-maximum limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies. No transfer fee over AUD$10,000.

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26 Responses

  1. 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 successfully application.

      In your case, although you have a valid address in UK, the bank might have a question 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 on this page 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 UK. Listed on this page are loan options available to temporary residents.

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

      Best regards,
      Liezl

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

      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

  6. Default Gravatar
    AmandaMarch 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

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ShirleyMarch 10, 2015Staff

      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

  7. Default Gravatar
    patrickJune 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

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ShirleyJune 19, 2014Staff

      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

  8. Default Gravatar
    MikeGMarch 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.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ShirleyMarch 21, 2014Staff

      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
      MikeGMarch 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).

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MarcMarch 24, 2014Staff

      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.

  9. Default Gravatar
    NicoleJanuary 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).

  10. Default Gravatar
    RickNovember 18, 2013

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

    Thanks

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MarcNovember 18, 2013Staff

      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.

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