These days banks are competing harder and harder to gain your business, which in the credit cards space means there are some impressive balance transfer deals on offer.
To give an idea of the recent increase in balance transfer offers, in September 2015, Canstar found 23 balance transfer deals that offered the consumer a duration of 12 months or longer at the 0% p.a. rate.
The number of 0% balance transfer offers available has since increased exponentially, and now there are 87 cards on the market trying to woo customers with a balance transfer offer of 0% for 12 months or longer (as of 4 April 2017).
A quick reminder about how balance transfers work
A balance transfer involves transferring your credit card debt to a new credit card with a low interest rate, often a promotional rate, and paying off the debt before the end of the low-rate period.
The lowest rates are 0% – but it’s worth noting that some 0% credit card balance transfer offers can come with an annual fee that reduces the benefits of the 0% rate. See below for a list of things to consider before signing up for a balance transfer, including annual fees, the balance transfer fee, and revert rates.
The average length of a 0% Balance Transfer deal on CANSTAR’s database is 11 months, but there are cards offering up to 2 years interest-free.
Find out whether your spending profile is suited to a balance transfer. If you decide a balance transfer is the way to go, compare balance transfer rates and fees here to find a card that might suit your needs.
What credit card balance transfer deals are on offer?
If you’re looking for a 0% balance transfer credit card deal, you can compare balance transfer credit card offers here.
Warning: You might end up feeling slightly spoilt for choice! As we mentioned, our database currently shows the best part of a hundred different credit card balance transfer offers, so there’s plenty to choose from. Thankfully, you can use the filters to narrow your search.
But for a handpicked selection of some of the more impressive credit card balance transfer deals on offer as of 31 March 2017, read on…
Top 10 balance transfers on our database
The following table shows 10 balance transfer options on offer with a 5-star rating from CANSTAR, based on a transfer amount of $5,000 paid off over 2 years. We’ve ranked the offers by their total repayment amount (in that scenario).
|Company||Card||Rate||Fee||Period||Revert Rate||Annual Fee||Annual Fee First Year||Monthly Payment Required||Total Repaid|
|Northern Inland CU||Low Rate Visa Credit Card||0.00%||–||12 months||8.99%||$0||$0||$213.36||$5,120.64|
|Victoria Teachers Mutual Bank||Visa Classic Credit Card||0.00%||–||12 months||12.94%||$0||$0||$215.53||$5,172.72|
|Police Bank||Visa Credit Card||0.00%||–||12 months||10.76%||$30||$0||$215.62||$5,174.88|
|Bankwest||Breeze MasterCard||0.00%||2.00%||21 months||12.99%||$59||$59||$218.00||$5,232.00|
|Australian Military Bank||Low Rate Visa Card||0.00%||–||12 months||10.99%||$49||$49||$218.66||$5,247.84|
|American Express||Essential Credit Card||0.00%||1.00%||12 months||14.99%||$0||$0||$218.81||$5,251.44|
|Woolworths||Everyday Platinum Credit Card||0.00%||–||14 months||21.99%||$49||$0||$218.94||$5,254.56|
|G&C Mutual Bank||Low Rate Visa Credit Card||0.00%||–||12 months||15.49%||$50||$0||$219.08||$5,257.92|
|Beyond Bank||Low Rate Visa Credit Card||0.00%||–||12 months||12.49%||$49||$49||$219.50||$5,268.00|
Rates and fees correct as at 4 April 2017. Monthly payments assume the card is not used for purchases. Only the cheapest balance transfer offer from each issuer is shown.
See more deals on offer on our balance transfer comparison pages:
What should I look for in a balance transfer?
Obviously a long interest free period with low or no annual fee is the Holy Grail. But consumers need to think carefully and check the annual fee, revert rate, and likely cost over the long-term before signing up for a deal that sounds too good to be true.
You should also consider avoiding temptation by cancelling your previous credit card and not making any new purchases with the balance transfer card. For a full checklist on what you should consider, check out our article on balance transfers.
Concentrate on paying off as much of the debt as possible during the interest-free period. Check the reversionary interest rate and if it’s pretty high, think about your options for managing this debt once the interest-free period has expired.
— CANSTAR (@CANSTAR) November 16, 2016
Balance transfers offers aren’t to be taken lightly!
Credit card balance transfer deals aren’t inherently a bad thing; they can definitely make it easier for you to pay off your credit card debt if used correctly and wisely.
But the obvious key words there are ‘correctly’ and ‘wisely’, which some people don’t seem to quite understand when it comes to credit card balance transfer offers. While they can be an effective debt management tool, they can also be just another thing keeping you on the credit card roundabout, which obviously isn’t any good for you or your finances.
What to think about before getting a balance transfer
Before you sign up to anything, think about your current situation and your goals, to help you decide which offer will benefit you the most, or even to decide that none of them are right for you. Here are some things to think about when considering a balance transfer.
And don’t forget to check the interest rate the card reverts to after the introductory period has expired. This is the interest rate that your new credit card will revert to once the balance transfer honeymoon period is finished. In other words, it’s the interest that will be charged on any remaining debt that you haven’t managed to pay off during the interest free (or low interest) period.
On the cards on our database, the revert rate can range from 7.99% to 21.99% p.a. at the time of writing, which could be substantially more interest than you were paying beforehand!
Credit card balance transfer deals come with a whole slew of tricks and traps, of which revert rates are just one. Some of the other potential hidden nasty surprises could come in the form of:
- A balance transfer fee: Some cards will charge a fee of up to 3% of the balance being transferred when you switch your debt across. That’s a lot of money!
- An annual card fee: Check whether the balance transfer credit card comes with an annual fee. Annual fees can range right up to $700/year.
- Purchase interest rate: While the initial debt that you transfer over to the new credit card might not attract any interest, any extra purchases you make on that card could attract interest from the get go, at an interest rate as high as 24.50% p.a..
Also consider the fact that a credit card balance transfer might deal a blow to your credit rating, so think about how much that matters to you before going ahead with any balance transfer. For example, will you be applying for a personal loan, car loan, or home loan in the not-too-distant future?
If you are considering a credit card balance transfer, you can compare what’s available in our comparison table below with direct links to the providers website. This table is based on a monthly spend amount of $2,000 filtered by reward features and sorted by purchase rates (lowest-highest).
A credit card balance transfer deal isn’t the only way to solve debt problems
Once you’ve looked at what’s on offer and considered your personal circumstances, you might come to the conclusion that a credit card balance transfer offer isn’t the right solution for you – and that’s fine! If not used correctly, a credit card balance transfer can end up hurting more than helping.
But credit card balance transfer deals aren’t the only way to solve your debt woes. Canstar has a handful of articles concerning various ways you can deal with credit card debt, including:
- 3 different ways to consolidate and repay credit card debt: A balance transfer is just one of the debt consolidation methods we explain in this article.
- Our 7-step plan for getting out of credit card debt: This article highlights ways to pay less interest and repay your credit card debt.
- A guide to debt consolidation: This guide could be handy for those stressing over multiple credit cards.
If you do decide that a credit card balance transfer deal is the way you’re going to deal with your credit card debt, why not use CANSTAR’s comparison tool to find the credit card balance transfer that could work best for you?
Canstar provides an information service. It is not a credit provider, and in giving you information about credit products Canstar is not making any suggestion or recommendation to you about a particular credit product. See Canstar’s Financial Services and Credit Guide (FSCG), detailed disclosure, important notes and liability disclaimer.
Sponsored products are paid advertisements and do not include all providers. Canstar receives a fee for referring you to the advertiser. Canstar may receive a fee for referral of leads from these products. See How We Get Paid for further information. Canstar is an information provider and in giving you product information Canstar is not making any suggestion or recommendation about a particular credit card product. If you decide to apply for a credit card, you will deal directly with a financial institution, and not with Canstar. Rates and product information should be confirmed with the relevant financial institution. For more information, read our detailed disclosure, important notes and additional information.
The Star Ratings in this table were awarded in October, 2016. The search results do not include all providers and may not compare all features relevant to you. View the Canstar Credit Cards Star Ratings Methodology and Report. The rating shown is only one factor to take into account when considering products.