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How to make a balance transfer when applying for a new credit card
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How to make a balance transfer when applying for a new credit card

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Applying for a balance transfer allows you to transfer the balance from your existing credit cards onto a new card, and pay a lower rate of interest on the balances transferred for a certain period of time. It can allow you to pay off more of your credit card balance while paying less in interest, so you should be able to pay off your debt faster.

However, each credit card provider deals with balance transfers differently. Each will have a different application process, a different processing time, and different things to be aware of (such as balance transfer fees and balance transfer limits).

To make the process of applying for a balance transfer card somewhat easier, we’ve put together all the information you need to know about balance transfers with the big banks, and some of the smaller ones.

ANZ

When you apply for an ANZ balance transfer card, you simply complete the balance transfer section on the credit card application form, stating which balance transfers you want from which card. Once your application has been approved, you will receive your new ANZ credit card.

In order to start the balance transfer process, you need to call ANZ to activate the card. ANZ may call you once the card has been activated to verify the balance transfer details. If not, the balance transfer process will begin automatically once the card is activated.

The balance transfer process takes between 3 and 15 business days, depending on the institutions the funds are being transferred from. Once the balances have been transferred, you should see them on the ‘Accepted Promotions’ section on your ANZ credit card statement.

Bear in mind:

  • You cannot take advantage of interest free days on your card until the transferred balance has been paid off.
  • The minimum balance transfer is $100.
  • You cannot transfer balances from another ANZ credit card account, from credit cards issued outside Australia, or if you are in default with any other ANZ account, or any of the accounts you want to transfer from.

Westpac

Similar to ANZ, when you apply for a Westpac credit card, you can complete the balance transfer section if you want to bring across balance transfers. The minimum balance transfer amount is $200, and the maximum amount is up to 95% of the credit limit available on new the Westpac credit card.

Again, you must activate the card to activate the balance transfer process, and the balance transfer process takes at least 10 working days. If you are transferring onto a 55 Day Westpac credit card (Classic, Gold and Platinum) on the promotional balance transfer rate, you will pay a balance transfer fee of 1%.

You cannot do a balance transfer from another Westpac credit card, or from a credit card issued outside Australia.

Commonwealth Bank

If you want to transfer a balance onto a Commonwealth Bank credit card, you can call the bank or complete a credit card balance transfer form and hand it in to a branch, or mail it in. If you are a Commonwealth Bank customer registered with NetBank, you can request a balance transfer online.

There is a minimum balance transfer amount of $500, while the maximum transfer amount depends on your approved credit limit. You won’t have to pay a fee to make a balance transfer (unless it specifically says so), and the balance transfer request will take five to ten working days to process.

NAB

To apply for a balance transfer with NAB, simply fill in a credit card application form and complete the balance transfer section. The minimum transfer amount is $200, and the maximum transfer depends on your new NAB credit card limit (however you cannot transfer 100% of your credit limit).

You can only transfer the balance from a maximum of two credit cards. Balance transfer requests are not accepted from other NAB cards, cards issued outside Australia, and cards that are currently in default. You can only take advantage of interest free days once the transferred balance has been paid off.

BankWest

To apply for a BankWest balance transfer, just fill in the credit card application form detailing the balance transfers you want to make, and fax or post it to Bank West. When you receive your new BankWest credit card, you must activate it to start the balance transfer process. This process usually takes less than five working days.

BankWest doesn’t accept balance transfers from any BankWest credit cards, from credit cards currently in default, or from credit cards issued outside Australia. Balance transfers can only be made up to 95% of your new BankWest credit card limit.

St George

To apply for a St George balance transfer, fill in the credit card application form for the St George credit card you want, and complete the balance transfer section. You can request as many transfers from non-St George cards as you like, with a minimum transfer of $200, up to a maximum of 95% of the available credit on the new card.

Once you receive your new card, you must activate it to activate the balance transfer process (the balance transfer process takes up to 14 days). You can’t transfer a balance from other St George or Bank SA credit cards, from a card in default, or from a card issued outside Australia. You also cannot take advantage of interest free days until the transferred balance has been paid off.

Other Credit Card Providers

To find out the balance transfer process, rules and regulations on credit cards from other providers, just visit their site or contact them for more information.

Bear in mind that when you make a balance transfer from and to any credit card provider, it’s up to you to close down the old account. Your new provider won’t do that for you.

Photo source: Shutterstock, Getty Images
Founder - Roland B Bleyer

Roland Bleyer

Founder of Creditcard.com.au. Roland has extensive knowledge about credit cards in Australia. Known as a credit card expert, he has been featured on tv and in various publications. Some popular offers on our site right now include the ANZ Low Rate. This special offer has no annual fee first year, a low purchase rate and long 0% balance transfer. Have a look also at the huge 0% for 30 months balance transfer from Citi with no balance transfer fees.

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