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Banks making it easier to escape credit card debt

Banks making it easier to escape credit card debt

Some credit card providers are wooing balance transfer customers with interest-free periods of 14 months and more.

HSBC is offering a 0 per cent period of 20 months with its Low Rate Credit Card, although it is charging a balance transfer fee of 2 per cent (see table below).

Suncorp Bank is offering a shorter interest-free period of 14 months with its Platinum Card (Qantas Rewards), but is not charging a balance transfer fee.

Virgin Money, Qantas Money and St George Bank are some of the other providers that are offering balance transfer deals with interest-free periods of more than one year*.

ProviderProductBT rateBT periodBT feeBT limit
HSBCLow Rate Credit Card0%20 months2%90% of credit limit
Virgin MoneyVirgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card0%18 months$080% of credit limit
Qantas MoneyQantas Premier Platinum0%18 months$080% of credit limit
St George BankVertigo Platinum0%18 months$080% of credit limit
Suncorp BankClear Options Platinum Credit Card (Qantas Rewards)0%14 months$080% of credit limit

Data accurate as at 11 September 2019. Some credit cards will revert to a cash advance rate after the promotional period is over. Make sure to check the PDS before applying and consider any additional fees and charges that may apply.

Comparing balance transfer credit cards

There are several other criteria you might wish to weigh up when comparing credit card balance transfer offers, including

  • Balance transfer limit
  • Ongoing interest rate (once the balance transfer period ends)
  • Annual fee

You should also remember that the interest-free period generally applies to old debt that you transfer across from your old credit card. In other words, new spending on your new credit card will generally be subject to the normal interest rules.

Another point to remember is that you might wish to cancel your old credit card once the balance transfer is complete. That way, you won’t be charged two annual fees and there will be less temptation to rack up debt.

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This article was reviewed by Business & Finance Writer Rachel Wastell before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.

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