Low and 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Updated 4 December 2019

Pay down your credit card faster with a balance transfer card, choosing from a range of 0% balance transfer offers up to 26 months.

With the right balance transfer card, you could pay down your credit card debt faster by taking advantage of a 0% offer. By transferring the balance from your existing credit cards and store cards, you can benefit from a much lower rate on that transferred amount. Then, as you are paying less in interest, you can clear your debt faster.

To find the right balance transfer card, you need to compare. At CreditCard.com.au, we make it super easy to compare the options. We use visual comparison to show you quickly and easily what the strongest offers are from the big banks, plus many of the smaller providers too. On desktop, simply look for the most filled-in circle. On a mobile device, look for the most filled-in bar below the feature.

When comparing offers, the balance transfer rate and introductory period are both important, but be sure to check for any transfer fee and the annual fee as well. 0% balance transfer offers can provide a great deal, with introductory periods that range from a few months to over two years. With such a wide range, you can easily find and apply for the card that works best for you.

When it comes time to apply, you will usually provide details of the balance transfer to your new provider during the application process. If approved, the transfer will be arranged and you can start working on clearing that transferred amount. If you reach the end of the intro period and still have some to pay off, another balance transfer could be an option, subject to credit approval.

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What is a balance transfer and how does it work?

A balance transfer is a credit card feature that allows new cardholders to save money when they transfer a balance from an existing credit card, to enjoy a lower introductory rate of interest on that balance for a specified period of time.

Balance transfer periods typically vary from six months to two years, with introductory interest rates starting at 0% p.a. Used correctly, the right balance transfer offer could give you the opportunity to pay down more of your balance, while saving on interest.

So, if you were to choose a 12 month 0% balance transfer offer, you could transfer the balance from your existing credit card to pay zero interest on that balance for 12 months. Any balance remaining after that intro period would revert to the card’s purchase rate or cash advance rate.

Balance transfers in a nutshell

A balance transfer offer can be a fantastic money-saving tool. But, it needs to be used wisely. Compare the options on Creditcard.com.au to find the balance transfer that works best for you, then put all your energy into paying off the transferred balance. Not only could you save heaps in interest, you could also be debt-free at the end of intro period. Now wouldn’t that feel good?

Presented as an introductory offer, balance transfers are designed to entice new cardholders, so there is usually plenty of competition within the market. This means you can compare a number of balance transfer offers to find the right one for you.

But to do that effectively, you need to know what to compare. Here are the most important factors you should consider when comparing balance transfer offers, to help you find the balance transfer that best meets your needs.

Balance Transfer Rate: Not to be confused with the card’s purchase rate or cash advance rate, the balance transfer rate is the introductory interest rate applied to any balances transferred onto the card as part of the balance transfer offer. Try to choose the balance transfer offer with the lowest balance transfer rate, as this should save you the most in interest.

Length of Introductory Period: Each balance transfer offer is offered over a specified period of time. Choosing the longest possible introductory period should give you more opportunity to pay down your transferred balance. Be careful not to be too relaxed with a longer introductory period. Set out a repayment plan from the start, to steadily pay down your balance and make the most of the offer.

Revert Rate: At the end of the introductory period, any transferred balance left unpaid will attract the card’s revert rate. This may be the card’s purchase rate, which is usually lower, or the card’s cash advance rate, which is usually higher. If you think you may have a balance remaining at the end of the intro period, the card’s revert rate is important. The higher the rate, the more you will pay in interest.

Balance Transfer Fee: Many cards now charge a fee on balances transferred. This balance transfer fee is either a fixed amount, or a percentage of the transferred balance. Be sure to calculate the cost of the balance transfer fee before you apply to make sure the offer is still worthwhile.

Balance Transfer Limits: When you transfer a balance, you may be limited in the amount you can transfer. This is usually expressed as a percentage of your approved credit limit. So, if you are approved for a $10,000 credit limit with a balance transfer limit of 90%, you may transfer up to $9,000 as a balance transfer.

Annual Fee: When you transfer a balance, it’s usually to save money. However, the money you are saving on interest may be cancelled out by a high annual fee, especially if you are paying off the balance transfer over a number of years. A card with a lower annual fee may help you to save more in the long run.

When comparing balance transfer offers, take into account any fees you will have to pay. Doing this should make it easier for you to work out how much the offer could save you overall, and whether you could save more by opting for a different offer.

One of the most important fees to look out for is the balance transfer fee. Not all balance transfer cards charge balance transfer fees, so if it’s not obvious, check the fine print to make sure. A balance transfer fee may be charged as a flat rate, but it is more commonly charged as a percentage of the transferred amount.

So, if you were to transfer $5,000 with a balance transfer fee of 2%, your fee would come to $100, and you would have a total of $5,100 to pay back overall. It’s worth mentioning that balance transfer fees may not attract the promotional rate of interest. Check with your provider if you are unsure.

As the number of balances you can transfer onto a new balance transfer card varies, it’s a good idea to read the small print before you apply. If you can’t find a conclusive answer, check with the provider.

You may find some providers allow for the transfer of a number of balances, while other providers only allow one transfer. You may also want to check where you can transfer balances from. Providers typically prohibit transfers from other credit cards within their network, but you should be able to transfer from other providers’ credit cards, and in some cases, from store cards, personal loans and other forms of credit.

You may find you are unable to transfer a balance from one card provider to another, especially if they are within the same financial group.

American Express

No balance transfers from other American Express accounts.

ANZ

No balance transfers from other ANZ accounts.

Bank of Melbourne

No balance transfers from BankSA, St.George or Bank of Melbourne credit cards as all of these banks are under the Westpac Banking Corporation. Balance transfers from Westpac are permitted.

BankSA

No balance transfers from BankSA, St.George or Bank of Melbourne credit cards as all of these banks are under the Westpac Banking Corporation. Balance transfers from Westpac are permitted.

Bankwest

No balance transfers from other Bankwest accounts. While Bankwest is a division of CommBank, you can still request a balance transfer from a CommBank credit card to Bankwest.

BOQ

No balance transfers from other BOQ accounts, or from other Citi-issued credit facilities, including Citi, IMB and Suncorp Bank.

Citi

No balance transfers from other Citi accounts or Citigroup accounts, including cards from Coles Mastercard, Suncorp Bank, IMB, Qantas Money and Virgin Money.

Commonwealth Bank

No balance transfers from other CommBank accounts. Balance transfers between CommBank and Bankwest are permitted.

Coles

No balance transfers from other Coles credit cards and other Citigroup credit cards.

IMB

No balance transfers from other IMB accounts or Citigroup accounts, including Citi, Suncorp Bank and Virgin Money.

Jetstar

No balance transfers from other accounts issued by Jetstar Mastercard, Macquarie or Card Services.

Latitude Financial Services

No balance transfers from other Latitude accounts or its associated entities, including Gem Visa, 28 Degrees Platinum Mastercard, GO Mastercard and Latitude Infinity.

Macquarie Bank

No balance transfers from other accounts issued by Macquarie Bank. This includes other Macquarie and Card Services accounts.

Myer

No balance transfers from Macquarie Bank or Card Services accounts.

NAB

No balance transfers from other NAB accounts.

St.George

No balance transfers from BankSA, St.George or Bank of Melbourne credit cards as all of these banks are under the Westpac Banking Corporation. Balance transfers from Westpac are permitted.

Suncorp Bank

No balance transfers from other Suncorp Bank accounts or Citigroup accounts, including Citi, IMB and Virgin Money.

Virgin Money

No balance transfers from other Virgin Money accounts or Citigroup accounts, including Citi, IMB and Suncorp Bank.

Westpac

No balance transfers from other Westpac accounts. Balance transfers from BankSA, St.George or Bank of Melbourne credit cards are permitted.

Woolworths

No balance transfers from other Woolworths credit cards, Macquarie or Card Services accounts.

Luckily, your new provider will do most of the legwork when you request a balance transfer. However, you still have an important part to play. Follow these steps to enjoy a hassle-free balance transfer, so you can get on with paying down your debt.

1. Compare

Use CreditCard.com.au to compare your options. Pay close attention to the card’s balance transfer rate and revert rate, how long the introductory period lasts, and whether there is a limit placed on the amount transferred. Be sure to take into account the card’s annual fees, and check whether there is a balance transfer fee.

If you plan on keeping the card in the long term, it’s a good idea to compare other factors, such as the card’s purchase rate, and the various features on offer.

2. Confirm the amount owing

Before you apply, take time to confirm the amount you want to transfer to the new balance transfer card, especially if you are transferring a number of balances. Depending on the card you choose, you may be limited in the amount you can transfer. Transfer limits are usually expressed as a percentage of your approved credit limit, for example, 80% or 90%.

3. Submit your application

When you’re ready to apply, simply click through to the card provider’s website to begin your application. Online applications usually take around 10 minutes to complete, during which, you will be asked to detail your income, assets, debts and other relevant information.

4. Request the balance transfer

The process for requesting a balance transfer can vary. Some providers ask that you provide details of the transfer when you apply for the card, while others allow you to request the transfer after your application has been approved. For those balance transfer requests, you typically have a limited time to apply, either using a paper application or online banking.

5. Confirm the transfer

Once you have been approved for your new card, you will need to activate it, and then confirm the transfer has been made. After you have checked there are no new transactions pending on the old card, you are free to close that account.

You can choose whether you keep the old card or cancel it. If you think you may be tempted to spend on the old card now you have cleared the balance on it, you may be better off closing the account to avoid spending money you don’t have. But, whether you choose to cancel it or keep it, this is the time to focus on paying down your transferred balance – not spending more.
You are allowed to spend up to your credit limit, so if you have credit available, you can spend on your card. However, you have to be aware that with a balance transfer on your account, you will not receive any interest free days on new spending. That means, not only will you have to pay down your transferred balance, you will also have to pay off your new purchases plus the interest they accrue from the day they’re made.

Common Mistakes To Avoid

Balance transfer offers are awesome. But only if you choose the right offer, and treat it correctly. If you want to get the most out of your balance transfer offer, here are some common mistakes you should try to avoid.

Mistake #1. Thinking that 0% interest means no payments

Even with a 0% p.a. balance transfer offer, you still need to make repayments on the card. As with any credit card, you will have minimum repayments to make each statement period. If you want to pay off your transferred balance within the introductory period, it’s a good idea to set up a repayment plan, where you pay off as much as you can afford each month.

Mistake #2. Only paying minimum repayments

Only making the minimum repayments on any credit card is not recommended. Your credit card statement will show you how long it would take to pay off your debt making only the minimum repayments. By only paying the minimum, not only will you stay in debt longer – sometimes decades longer – you will also pay much more in interest, even with a balance transfer offer.

Mistake #3. Making new purchases on your card

This applies to both your new card and your old card. When you have a balance transfer offer, you should focus on paying your transferred balance off within the intro period. If you start spending on either card, you have even more to pay off month-to-month.

Worse still, any repayments on your new card automatically go towards paying off the balance with the highest interest first. So if you’re spending on that card, you may only be paying off your new balance while the transferred balance remains.

Mistake #4. Not cancelling your old card

When you transfer a balance from an old card, it can be tempting to spend. After all, you now have a credit card with $0 balance and a full credit limit available to you. As we said before though, this can only create more problems. Avoid the temptation to spend by closing your old card, and focus on paying down your balance transfer.

Recently Asked Questions

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872 questions (showing the latest 10 Q&As)

Sarah

Sarah

4 December 2019
I have a joint credit card with my partner and would like to do a 0% balance transfer. Can I transfer joint debt into a single applicant credit card?
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    6 December 2019
    Hi Sarah, no you can't. A balance transfer must be between the same legal person. You would need to look at a 0% balance transfer offer that accepts joint applications. If you want to assume the debt. Then looking at a low rate personal loan could be the answer. Post this and I suggest 6 months later. You can then apply for a balance transfer that accepts loans. At that time all the debt would be in your name.
Sidge

Sidge

4 December 2019
I received a loan from a family member a few years ago to purchase a car. I owe $5000. I am looking at balance transferring a credit card at 0% and wondering if I could pay out the loan to the family member, we well as the credit card, as part of the balance transfer?
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    6 December 2019
    Hi Sidge, a balance transfer must be between the same legal person. As the loan is in the family members name. You will not be able to balance transfer it. What you can look at is getting an unsecured low rate personal loan. You can then pay off the 5k plus the credit card (if desired). Then you can later look to get a Citi issued balance transfer. Citi will accept non-Citi loan debt as part or all of the transfer. The risk with this is if you are not approved for the Citi balance transfer offer.
Iftakhar

Iftakhar

27 November 2019
Hi I have a small credit card loan which i want to balance transfer and I need a small loan to pay some money to someone. Can I apply these type of cards? Will be much appreciated your answer Thanks
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    28 November 2019
    Hi Iftakhar, small varies depending on the person. How much do you want to balance transfer and how much do you need to pay someone? Does the person you need to pay need cash. Or can they process a credit card purchase as payment?
Alison

Alison

26 November 2019
If i balance transfer a balance, i end up $200 better off because I am half way through paying my car loan, this doesnt include set up fees, is there any way i can save more dollars?
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    26 November 2019
    Hi Alison, I am not sure. It will depend on your loan fees and interest rate payable. How much are you looking to transfer? $200 sounds like very low interest, even if it is just half of it. With balance transfers you need to make sure you pay off the balance in full. Before the intro period expires. Otherwise you could end up paying more in interest. Citi are the only issuer that will accept loan debt as part or all of the transfer.
Stacey

Stacey

23 November 2019
Hello, I'm just enquiring on the process for doing a balance transfer for a personal loan and credit card to consolidate. I understand the lenders may be limited on this, I was wondering if you knew of any that would offer this? Thanks for your help.
Julie

Julie

22 November 2019
Which is the easiest balance transfer to get
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    25 November 2019
    Hi Julie, how much are you looking to transfer and from what credit card(s)?
Leeroy

Leeroy

22 November 2019
I want to apply and check if I can get a balance transfer without effecting my credit score
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    25 November 2019
    Hi Leeroy, if you apply for one piece of credit every 6 months or so. It will have very little impact on your credit score. Where it can be affected is when you apply for a range of credit in a relatively short period of time. Bottom line, you need to apply and be accessed before you can be sure you get approved. There is no pre-approval whereby you are guaranteed a balance transfer without going through the full application. What cards are you looking to transfer from and what amount?
Fah

Fah

21 November 2019
I applied the credit card last night. I put wrong mobile number
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    22 November 2019
    Hi Fah, I would give whichever bank you applied with a call and update this information with them. If you search the credit card name, then customer service, you should be able to get the details. Or let me know the card and I can provide.
Mel

Mel

19 November 2019
If I don’t have any debts but want say $5000 credit card limit with 0% interest for a longer period of time can I get that?
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    20 November 2019
    Hi Mel, with no debts, a balance transfer offer is of no use. Have a look at the St George Vertigo Platinum. It has a special offer of 0% on purchases for the first 15 months. It has a minimum credit limit of 6k. Thus it should meet your requirements. Best of luck with your application.
Barbara

Barbara

18 November 2019
Can I transfer a debt from a Debt Consolidation Advisor Company to a 0% Credit Card?
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    18 November 2019
    Hi Barbara, it sounds unlikely. Issue would be if your credit has been affected. You need good credit to get approved with a balance transfer. Secondly, what form the debt is. Do you have a bpay number for it? Citi are the only issuer that can accept non-Citi loan debt. Though your credit will need to be in good shape. As well as good income v expenses and asset v liability ratios.
Giuliano

Giuliano

18 November 2019
Who offers the best transfer credit card on a personal loan
Christopher

Christopher

10 September 2019
can you get a Business Visa net debit card with an IAT code instead of the usual BIN code
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    11 September 2019
    Hi Christopher, I am not very familar with business debit cards as we focus on the credit side of things. The visa equivalent is Bin. IAT is for ach networks. Mastercard is ICA. As you are looking for a Visa card. Then you only should get the BIN. You will need to research further with banks to see if any can provide you with a solution.
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