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Do you currently have credit card debt across one or more cards that you are struggling to pay off? If so, you might benefit from a balance transfer credit card. 

A lot of Australians struggle with credit card debt, so you're not alone. A balance transfer moves your existing debt to a new credit card, to reduce your monthly repayments and the total interest you have to pay. This could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in debt, especially if you only make the minimum repayment every month.

The main reason people use a balance transfer credit card is to take advantage of 0 per cent balance transfer periods, which can be anywhere from 6 to 26 months.

Calculate how much you could save by transferring your balance to a 0% card balance deal

Credit card holders who transfer their balance to a new card could save an average of $1262 in interest and fees and pay their debt off 6 months earlier. Calculate your savings and compare balance transfer deals today*

Credit card balance


Monthly repayment


Current interest rate


How does the balance transfer calculator work?

Credit card debt happens to the best of us, and one way you can try and get on top of it is through a balance transfer.

The RateCity balance transfer calculator can help you see how much you might save by switching from your current credit card to a balance transfer card. The calculator shows you multiple balance transfer options, and the potential savings for each card.

Here’s how it works:

  • Enter your current credit card balance (debt)
  • Enter your monthly credit card repayment
  • Put in your current credit card interest rate
  • Hit Enter

The rate table below will update to show you a list of credit cards and the potential savings you could make if you were to switch. 

The table also includes information like annual fee, other fees and interest charges, as well as the balance transfer rate, and details of any 0 per cent balance transfer period.

Why use a balance transfer calculator?

Determining how much you’ll save on a balance transfer can be tricky, especially when there are so many choices available on the market. 

Fortunately, the RateCity credit card balance transfer calculator eliminates the guesswork by showing you: 

  • Potential savings you will make by switching to another credit card;
  • How much you could save by choosing to make higher repayments; and
  • How much interest you’ll pay after the promotional interest period is over.

How do I choose the best balance transfer offer?

There are a few factors to keep in mind when choosing the best balance transfer offer for your financial situation, and the balance transfer calculator can be a great asset in your decision making. 

  • Interest free period: the period of time that you are not charged interest will indicate just how much breathing room you have to pay back your debt. This could range from as low as 6 months to 12 months, and climb as high as 18 months to 24 months interest free. 
  • Interest rates: not only should you take into consideration the purchase rate charged on new purchases and cash advance rate, but also the balance transfer rate charged upon using the account. Looking for a low rate option once your balance transfer period has ended may help you continue to keep debt at bay. 
  • Fees: including annual fees, balance transfer fees (bt fees), foreign transaction fees, late payment fees, and more. These will impact the ongoing cost of your balance transfer card, regardless of if you're still in an interest free period. 
  • Card issuer: your card provider should play a role in your decision making. If you want a credit card that is bundled with your home loan, or with the same bank as your personal loan, you'll only be considering offers from the one lender. Or, you may want a card from a newer, online lender for ease of application and access to the latest fintech. And it's not just the bank you need to consider, but also whether you want a Visa, Mastercard or American Express. 
  • Perks and rewards: once you've paid your balance transfer amount in full, will your new card offer you any perks and rewards? This could include a rewards program, travel insurance, a high number of interest free days, cash back and more.

What happens if I don't pay off my balance transfer in time?

If you come to the end of your balance transfer period, or even the end of a 0 per cent introductory period on a standard card, and you still have money owing, you will begin to accrue interest on this balance.

This is why it's so important that cardholders carefully review their repayment terms before applying for a balance transfer card. This includes:

  1. Knowing exactly how long the balance transfer period is. 
  2. Knowing exactly what purchase rate the balance will be charged if it's not paid in full. 
  3. Knowing exactly what potential ongoing fees may be charged. 
  4. Knowing that if you make any new purchases on your balance transfer card, you will immediately be charged interest on these purchases. 

The latter point can be a serious blind spot for a lot of struggling Aussies trying to get on top of their debt. This is why experts generally recommend that once you transfer your balance to your new card, you put it in the freezer or lock it in a drawer so you're not tempted to use it until the debt has been repaid.

If you believe that you won't be able to pay your balance in full by the end of the interest free period, or if you want to continue using a credit card after the balance has been paid, it may be worth considering low rate credit card options. 

It's also worth keeping in mind that you triple check your old credit card account has been closed, and nothing is still owing once you've transferred to your new card. 

  • Remember, having a maxed out credit limit and only making minimum monthly payments on your debt can seriously impact your credit score. By choosing to get on top of it with a balance transfer card, you're potentially not only improving your financial situation, but also your credit rating.

What are the pros and cons of balance transfers?

Overall, there are a variety of reasons to consider a balance transfer. However, it’s important to be aware of sneaky fees and revert rates that can hit you after the promotional period. 

The benefits of balance transfers

  • Pay off your debt quicker: switching to a credit card with a lower interest rate or 0 per cent balance transfer rate can help you pay off your debt faster.
  • Easier debt management: if you have multiple debts across different cards, it can be hard to keep track of repayments. Consolidating debt can make debt simpler to manage.
  • Lower interest rates: transferring your debt to a card with lower interest rates could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in interest.

The disadvantages of balance transfers

  • Additional fees and charges: credit cards can come with many different fees and charges, including bt fees. Read the Product Disclosure Statement before you apply to better understand these costs.
  • Higher rates after promotional periods: Once your interest-free period ends, you may incur a high interest rate on any outstanding balance. Make sure you work off any debt before this period ends.
  • Risk of more debt: purchases made on balance transfer cards will still accrue interest when you make purchases, so you could be at risk of accumulating more debt.

What is a balance transfer credit card?

A balance transfer credit card lets you transfer your debt balance from one credit card to another. A balance transfer credit card generally has a 0 per cent interest rate for a set period of time. When you roll your debt balance over to a new credit card, you’ll be able to take advantage of the interest-free period to pay your credit card debt off faster without accruing additional interest charges. If your application is approved, the provider will pay out your old credit card and transfer your debt balance over to the new card. 

How to pay a credit card from another bank

Paying or transferring debt from one lender to the other is called a balance transfer. This involves transferring part or all of the debt from a credit card with one lender to a credit card with another. As part of the process, your new lender will pay out the old lender, so that you now owe the same amount of money but to a new institution.

Many credit card providers offer an interest-free period on balance transfers to help new applicants better handle their debt. During this period, cardholders are not required to pay interest on the debt they brought over from the other card. This can be a great opportunity for consumers to pay off credit card debt with no interest. There are often fees associated with balance transfers; normally, these are a percentage of the amount transferred.

So make sure you read the terms and conditions of the card before transferring any debt across.

How is credit card interest charged?

Your credit card will be charged interest when you don’t pay off the balance on your credit card. Your card provider or bank charges you the individual interest rate that is associated with your card, which is usually between 10 and 20 per cent. 

The interest will be added onto your bill each month or billing period if you don’t pay off the balance, unless you are in an interest-free period.

You will be charged interest on anything that hasn’t been paid for inside the interest-free period. Usually you will receive a notice on your bill or statement saying you will be charged interest so you have some form of notice before you’re charged.

How does credit card interest work?

Generally, when we talk about credit card interest, we mean the purchase interest rate, which is the interest charged on purchases you make with your credit card.

If you don’t pay your full balance each month (or even if you pay the minimum amount), you are charged interest on all the outstanding transactions and the remaining balance. However, interest is also charged on cash advances, balance transfers, special rate offers and, in some cases, even the fees charged by the company.

The interest rate can vary, depending on the credit card. Some have an interest-free period, otherwise you start paying interest from the day you make a purchase or from the day your monthly statement is issued. So avoid interest by paying the full amount promptly.

Can I transfer money from my American Express credit card to my bank account?

If you’re an American Express credit card customer, you may not be able to transfer money from your credit card to your bank account. However, you may be eligible for cash advances, which involves withdrawing money through an ATM. 

To qualify for a cash advance, you’ll likely have to enrol for American Express Membership Rewards. Consider checking your online credit card account to see if you can withdraw a cash advance and, if so, the fees and charges you’ll incur for this transaction. 

You should remember that cash advances are different from balance transfers, which were available with some American Express credit cards earlier. Balance transfers allow customers to consolidate debt from high-interest credit cards to a credit card offering a lower interest rate. If you only recently applied for an American Express credit card, balance transfers may not be available irrespective of the card you own.