Balance Transfer Credit Cards

A balance transfer credit card helps you save on interest by offering a low or 0% introductory rate for existing balances you move to the new card.

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Balance transfer credit card comparison

A balance transfer credit card can help you save money on interest charges, simplify your payments and reduce your annual fees. The longest 0% balance transfer available on Finder right now is 32 months.

Name Purchase rate p.a. Annual fee Balance transfer rate p.a. Amount Saved
Purchase rate p.a.
12.49%
Annual fee
$0 first year ($58 after)
Balance transfer rate p.a.
0% for 28 months with 2% balance transfer fee, then 21.24%
Amount Saved
$1,771.59 over 28 months
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Save with a 0% p.a. balance transfer for 28 months (with a one-time 2% BT fee). Plus, a $0 first-year annual fee.
ExclusiveKogan Rewards Program
Purchase rate p.a.
0% for 14 months, then 20.99%
Annual fee
$0
Balance transfer rate p.a.
0% for 14 months, then 21.74%
Amount Saved
$1,067.35 over 14 months
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Get 0% p.a. interest for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers (with no BT fee). Plus points per $1 on eligible spending.
Purchase rate p.a.
13.74%
Annual fee
$59
Balance transfer rate p.a.
0% for 28 months with 2% balance transfer fee, then 21.49%
Amount Saved
$1,768.59 over 28 months
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Save with a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for 28 months. Plus, a low 13.74% purchase interest rate. Ends 14 June 2023.
Flybuys
Purchase rate p.a.
19.99%
Annual fee
$0
Balance transfer rate p.a.
0% for 12 months, then 19.99%
Amount Saved
$927.32 over 12 months
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Get up to 70,000 bonus Flybuys points (worth $350 Flybuys Dollars) and save with an ongoing $0 annual fee.
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Purchase rate p.a.
19.99%
Annual fee
$349 first year ($399 after)
Balance transfer rate p.a.
0% for 12 months, then 21.99%
Amount Saved
$578.32 over 12 months
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Earn up to 80,000 bonus Qantas Points. Plus, save with a reduced first-year annual fee and 0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers.
HSBC Rewards Plus
Purchase rate p.a.
19.99%
Annual fee
$29 first year ($129 after)
Balance transfer rate p.a.
0% for 12 months with 2% balance transfer fee, then 21.99%
Amount Saved
$898.32 over 12 months
Go to siteMore Info
Save money with a 0% balance transfer rate for 12 months (with a one-time 2% BT fee), a first-year annual fee discount and free travel insurance.
Purchase rate p.a.
12.49%
Annual fee
$0 first year ($59 after)
Balance transfer rate p.a.
0% for 32 months, then 21.74%
Amount Saved
$1,989.63 over 32 months
Go to siteMore Info
Get a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 32 months (with no BT fee). Plus, save with a $0 first-year annual fee.
Purchase rate p.a.
0% for 15 months, then 12.99%
Annual fee
$0 first year ($49 after)
Balance transfer rate p.a.
0% for 15 months with 2% balance transfer fee, then 12.99%
Amount Saved
$1,037.92 over 15 months
Go to siteMore Info
Save with 0% p.a. on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (with a 2% BT fee). Plus, a $0 first-year annual fee.
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What is a balance transfer credit card?

A balance transfer credit card offers you a low or 0% interest rate for an introductory period when you move your existing debt to the new credit card account. This introductory period gives you breathing room from interest charges and can allow you to pay off your debts faster (and for less interest).

When you apply for a balance transfer credit card, you will be asked to give the details of your old card. When you're approved, the new provider will effectively "pay off" your current card's debt. It's then up to you to close the account if you choose, and also to pay off any remaining debt if there was some that wasn't able to be transferred.

Finder's best balance transfer offers for June 2023

EXPERTREVIEW

Updated 1 June 2023 by Finder's senior credit card writer, Amy Bradney-George.

Australians now have $18.6 billion of credit card debt accruing interest, according to Reserve Bank of Australia data. And Finder analysis shows that this national debt has increased by around $362.7 million in the 12 months to February 2023.

If you're paying interest on a credit card right now, a 0% balance transfer offer gives you a way to save on interest during the introductory period, which can be over 30 months on some cards. Here's our pick of offers available through Finder:

Tips for making the most of your balance transfer:

  1. Make sure you can transfer enough of your balance
  2. Pay off the full balance before the end of the promotional period (auto-payments can help)
  3. Don't spend on the new card

How to compare balance transfer credit cards

There are lots of balance transfer credit card deals available in Australia and there isn't one that is the "best", but some will offer you better savings than others. These tips will help you find a balance transfer card that suits you best:

  • Look for a long offer. The longer the offer term, the more time you'll have to pay off your debt for a low or 0% rate. Make sure the first thing you do is compare credit cards.
  • Watch out for the transfer fee. Cards that charge a balance transfer fee can affect your potential savings by adding an upfront cost worth between 1% to 3% of the amount you transfer.
  • Find a low rate. Most balance transfer credit cards in Australia offer 0% interest for the promotional period. Typically, the lower the rate, the more you'll save.
  • Take note of the revert rate. If you haven't paid off the balance transfer by the end of the offer period, the higher revert interest rate will be charged on your leftover debt.
  • Check the eligibility. You can usually transfer a balance from Australian-issued cards or accounts, as long as they are from a different issuer. Some cards also allow you to transfer debts from personal loans and lines of credit. See our guide to the banks you can and can't transfer between for more information.
  • Know your limits. On some cards you can only transfer up to a percentage of your approved credit limit (usually 70% - 100%). You can see Finder's guide to balance transfer limits for more information.

How does a credit card balance transfer work?

balance transfer credit cards

Most balance transfer credit cards let you move debt from existing credit cards or store cards. A few cards also accept debt from personal loans.

The actual balance transfer process is simple: when you apply for a balance transfer credit card, you need to include details of the existing account and the amount of money you want transferred. If your application and balance transfer are approved, then your new credit card provider will move the balance to your new account.

After the balance is transferred, you can pay it off without having to pay interest (or with a very low rate of interest) for a set period of time. At the end of the introductory period, any remaining debt from your balance transfer will attract a higher, ongoing interest rate.

Watch our 1 minute explainer video to find out more about transferring credit card balances.

Is there risk when transferring credit card balances?

As with any credit card application, there is some risk to consider when transferring a credit card balance. Primarily, there is the chance of your application being rejected. This would impact your credit score and lower your chance of approval for a different card, at least for the short-term.

The other risk is "putting off" paying down the debt. While you're only required to make the minimum payment on a card, it's wise to pay off the whole debt when you have the low or 0% balance transfer rate. Otherwise, you could end up paying more interest when the introductory period ends – even if that's 3 years from now.

How much can I save with a balance transfer credit card?

The amount you'll save with a balance transfer credit card depends on how much you owe, your current interest rate, the balance transfer offer and your monthly repayments (among other things). Using the calculator at the top of the comparison table above will show you how much you could save with each current offer. But let's take a look at an example.

Example: A 0% balance transfer card vs paying off your current card

We've compared a common balance transfer offer with monthly repayments on a standard credit card. The current balance and interest rates are based on Australian credit card statistics and data in 2022. We assume that the annual fee on both cards is the same and no new purchases are being made, and the result is savings over $300.

0% balance transfer cardStandard credit card
Current balance$2,907$2,907
Interest rate0% p.a.19.94% p.a.
Period or term12 monthsOngoing
Balance transfer fee1.5%N/A
Monthly repayment$242.25$242.25
Time to pay off12 months13.49 months
Interest paid$0$361.96

These savings are based on making the same repayments for either card and paying the one-off balance transfer fee separately (which would cost $43.61 in this example).

Want to see how much you could save? Put your balance and interest rate into the balance transfer table's calculator, or use Finder's credit card repayment calculator to help set your repayment goals.

Pros and cons of balance transfer credit cards

Pros

  • Save on interest costs. You can transfer your existing balance to a new card and get a low or 0% interest rate for a while. This will almost always be lower than the interest rate you're currently paying and will save you money on interest charges.
  • Pay off debt faster. By not paying interest (or paying a much lower rate), you should be able to get rid of your balance a lot faster.
  • Simplify your payments. If you have several debts, you can use a balance transfer card to combine them so you only have to keep track of one credit card bill. Not only will this help you manage your debt, it can also save you money on annual fees and other card costs.
  • Complimentary extras. If you want to use the card after you have paid off your balance, perks like credit card travel insurance or rewards could help you get more value out of the card in the long run.

Cons

  • Balance transfer fee. This one-time fee can range from 0% to 3% of your balance transfer amount, when it applies. That would mean a fee of $0 to $300 on a $10,000 debt.
  • Revert rate. If you don't pay off your whole balance transfer during the introductory period, this is the interest rate you'll pay on the remaining balance. Typically, it is higher than the purchase interest rate.
  • Balance transfer limits. Depending on the card and how much debt you want to transfer, you may not be able to move it all onto the new card. You could still be saving money, but you'll also have to manage your existing card.
  • Credit score impact. Every time you apply for a new credit card, an enquiry is recorded on your credit report. If you already have a weak credit score, this could decrease it further and you may not be approved.

How long does a balance transfer take?

The balance transfer process typically takes between 5 and 14 days from when you activate the new card, although it does depend on the credit card provider.

If you want to know how long a balance transfer can take with a particular bank or credit card brand, we've also summarised how Australian card issuers manage balance transfers and the processing times you can expect in a table.

Frequently asked questions


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29 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    catchMay 24, 2023

    Hi there,

    I was just wondering if there is any Banks/ financial institutions that would issue a balance transfer credit card to international students (subclass 500 visa) although holding permanent residency bridging visa.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      AmyMay 29, 2023Staff

      Hi Catch,
      Every financial institution in Australia has a different approach to credit cards for temporary residents, although Finder’s guide does have some specific visa details and information. If there is a credit card you are interested in, you may want to call the financial institution directly to discuss your situation and whether you’re eligible to apply. If you have further questions about debt or your money situation, you can also speak to a financial counsellor for free by calling 1800 007 007 or using the chat service on the National Debt Helpline website. I hope that helps.

    Default Gravatar
    sueOctober 21, 2019

    $0 credit card no fee lowerest interest rate

      Default Gravatar
      NikkiOctober 23, 2019

      Hi Sue,

      You may refer to page about low rate credit cards. There, you will find a table that compares the key features of each credit card including purchase rate, annual fee, interest-free periods, and balance transfer rate. This is an easy place to start your comparison and find a card that suits you.

    Default Gravatar
    DOctober 17, 2019

    Hi,

    I’ve narrowed my choice down to either St. George Vertigo Classic, BankSA Vertigo or Bank of Melbourne BT as they are all 0% pa for 18 months, with an annual fee of $55 per year which suits me. The purchase rate is different on each, however my question is this: “As long as I don’t purchase anything on any of these cards (I don’t usually on a BT because otherwise it never gets paid!) during the time I have it and also during the promotional period, I won’t get charged any purchase rate? So basically, only if I purchase?”

    Just trying to choose which of these 3 cards is best as I have no intention of buying anything once I’ve transferred my debt.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniOctober 19, 2019Staff

      Hi D,

      That’s correct. If you don’t make any purchases, you won’t be charged the purchase interest rate on anything. You can check our guide about managing purchases on a balance transfer card if you’d like more details.

    Default Gravatar
    sueAugust 2, 2019

    What are the hidden costs paying off a credit card this way. I have a $4500.00 balance on my credit card. About a quarter of what I pay goes on on charges, a payment of $45.50 plus goes in charges just to make the payment. I got into this card with the whole own it now and now with no interest on purchases. And when I got it I realized it was just a credit card, with huge interest on purchases. Silly me I guess. But how many people actually read the terms, they seem like a whole lot of words nobody has heard of .. I will be reading them with a magnifying glass from now on.

      Default Gravatar
      NikkiAugust 3, 2019

      Hi Sue,

      There aren’t really any hidden costs. But when it comes to interest on new purchases, a lot of cards don’t offer interest-free days when you have a balance transfer. This should be clearly disclosed by the bank. For now, if you can, you should focus on paying back that money as quickly as you can and then avoiding any new purchases on the card until the balance transfer is paid off.

    Default Gravatar
    KarmaJune 5, 2019

    Do you have to have good credit rating to transfer balance?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezJune 5, 2019Staff

      Hello Karma,

      Yes, you’ll usually need to have at least a good credit rating to be approved for a balance transfer credit card.

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