Westpac launches 0% for 30 months balance transfer offer

Sally McMullen 22 January 2018

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The bank boosts the balance transfer game with the longest interest-free promotion on the market.

At this time of year, it’s not uncommon to see an increase in long-term balance transfer offers as Aussies struggle to repay their post-Christmas debts. But if you thought 0% for 26 months was generous, Westpac changed the game last week with the 0% for 30 months promotional offer on its Low Rate credit card.

That’s two and a half years to pay your debt without any interest, which is currently the longest interest-free balance transfer promotion on the market. This offer is available to cardholders who apply online by 28 February 2018. The card has no annual fee for the first year, which reverts to $59 after that.

So, what’s the catch? The card charges a 2% balance transfer fee, a one-time cost that’ll nibble into your savings when you first move your balance. And at the end of the promotional period, any remaining balances will collect the standard cash advance rate.

This interest-free offer couldn’t come at a better time, with many Australians struggling to get their credit card debt under control in the post-Christmas period. According to a new forecast of Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) data analysed by finder, Aussies borrowed $29 billion on credit cards in December 2017. That boils down to an equivalent of $1,727 in purchases per card. So, long-term 0% balance transfer credit cards can help cardholders clear their debts without the burden of additional interest costs.

Previously, the Citi Rewards Platinum and the finder exclusive NAB Premium Card boasted the longest 0% offers with 26 months and 25 months interest-free respectively. Plus, there are a handful of other cards offering no interest for 24 months. However, this offer from Westpac proves that banks are fighting for attention by lengthening their interest-free promotions.

But is the card with the longest interest-free offer the best one for you? The answer is: it depends. Ultimately, the best card for you will usually depend on which one offers you the highest interest savings. You can use finder’s balance transfer calculator to see how much you could save with the current offers on the market. You just need to enter the size of the debt you wish to transfer, the current interest rate you’re paying and then check the amount saved column to see how much you could save if you clear the debt within the repayment period.

As you can’t conduct a balance transfer with the same provider you’re already with and each card has specific terms and conditions, the right card for you will also vary depending on which you can actually apply for.

So, before you’re swayed by the promise of paying no interest for 30 months, make sure to compare a few 0% balance transfer credit card offers to make sure that your final decision is the right one for you.

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