Media Release

Crushing plastic debt: Aussies taking advantage of balance transfer deals

  • The average credit card balance accruing interest has dropped by 20% over 5 years
  • Cardholders are being charged interest on balances of $1,957, down from $2,454
  • Balance transfer cards: Exclusive offers available on finder.com.au

7 August, 2017, Sydney, Australia – Australians are paying off more of their credit card debt and flocking to new, cheaper credit cards, according to finder.com.au, the site that compares virtually everything.

A finder.com.au analysis of Reserve Bank of Australia data found the average credit card balance accruing interest has fallen by 20% in five years (2012 - 2017).

The average cardholder is being charged interest on balances of $1,957 per credit card, which is down from $2,454 in 2012.

As Australians get better at paying of their balances, lenders are issuing competitive products to help cardholders manage their plastic bill.

The NAB Premium balance transfer credit card1, which boasts 0% interest for 24 months and comes with no transfer fee, is one product helping cardholders climb out of debt quickly.

In the second half of the 2016-17 financial year, there was a 30% surge in the number of people searching for balance transfer deals on finder.com.au, which shows cardholders are becoming more savvy by comparing their options online.

Bessie Hassan, Money Expert at finder.com.au, says considering your debt consolidation options is a smart move, especially with Christmas fast-approaching.

“For consumers trying to knock out credit card debt as fast as possible balance transfer cards are key. When comparing your options, look at the interest-free period, as well as the revert rate and any fees, such as whether there’s a balance transfer fee as this can range from 1-3% of the transfer amount.”

The research shows in May 2012 almost three quarters (73%) of all credit card debt was accruing interest, but this has dropped significantly to 63% in May 2017.

Ms Hassan says Australians are becoming smarter with their plastic debt.

“Cardholders are being proactive about servicing their plastic debt and taking advantage of interest-free offers.

“For those paying a high purchase rate on existing debt, deals like this can be a get-out-of-gaol-free card – but do remember that 0% periods to come to an end, so do your best to repay the entire debt during the interest-free term.”

Ms Hassan admits although balances accruing interest are decreasing, the amount of overall credit card debt is significant – $52.3 billion nationally or $3,122 per card.

She urges customers to shop around for the best balance transfer offer.

“We’re now well into the second half of the year and lenders are aware of the upcoming spending season,” she says.

“Be conscious of your debt management. When your balance transfer is approved make sure you cancel your old credit card, and resist the temptation to increase your credit card limit ,” she says.

Currently, there are three exclusive balance transfer deals available on finder.com.au.

Exclusive balance transfer credit cards on finder.com.au

Credit CardPurchase rateBalance transfer rateAnnual feeBalance transfer fee
NAB Premium Card19.74%0% for 24 months$90$0
Suncorp Clear Options Platinum Card20.74%0% for 18 months$99**$0
ANZ Platinum Card19.74%*0% for 12 months$0***$0

*0% purchase rate for the first 3 months

**Reverts to $129 per annum after first year
***Reverts to $87 per annum after the first year
Source: finder.com.au

1 Exclusive to finder.com.au

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Disclaimer

The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on finder.com.au's review pages for the current correct values.

About us

More than 3 million Australians turn to finder.com.au every month to save money, time and make important life choices. We compare virtually everything from credit cards, phone plans, health insurance, travel deals and much more.

Our free service is 100% independently-owned by two Australians: Fred Schebesta and Frank Restuccia. Since launching in 2006, we’ve helped our users make more than 17 million decisions.

We continue to expand and launch around the globe, and now operate in the United States and United Kingdom. For further information visit www.finder.com.au.

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