These days banks are competing harder and harder to gain your business which, in the credit cards space, means there are some great balance transfer credit card deals on offer. At the moment, the Cooperative Bank and ASB are offering 0% balance transfer offers for six months, and Westpac has a 5.95% rate going for the life of the balance(s) transferred. Canstar lays out what’s on offer in our table below.
How balance transfer cards work
A balance transfer involves transferring your credit card debt to a new credit card with a lower 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 best balance transfer credit card deals on offer
Here are some of the more impressive credit card balance transfer deals around:
|Company||Card||Deal Rate||Deal Period||Revert Rate||Annual Fee|
|ASB||ASB Visa Light||0%||6 months||13.5%||$0|
|Westpac||Westpac Low Rate Mastercard||5.95%||Life of transferred balance||12.9%||$0|
|ANZ||ANZ Low Rate Visa||1.99%||24 months||12.9%||$0|
|Kiwibank||Kiwibank Zero Visa||1.99%||6 months||12.9%||$30|
|The Cooperative Bank||Fair Rate Credit Card||0%||6 months||12.95%||$20|
|Rates and fees correct as of 12/01/22.|
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 there are a few other things to consider when signing up for a balance transfer credit card. You need to think carefully and check the:
- Annual fee
- Revert rate
- Long-term cost of the card
You should also avoid temptation by cancelling your previous card and not making any new purchases with your new balance transfer card. 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 expires.
Balance transfers offers aren’t to be taken lightly!
Credit card balance transfer deals aren’t always a bad thing. They can definitely make it easier for you to pay off your credit card debt if used wisely.
But the emphasis here is on the words wisely. While they can be an effective debt management tool, they can also be just another form of credit card debt. Make sure you consider all your debt reduction options.
What to think about before getting a balance transfer
Before you sign up for a balance transfer card, think about your current situation and goals, and decide which offer will benefit you the most. Don’t forget to check the interest rate the card reverts to after the introductory period has expired. This is 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 of your balance transfer.
Also, consider 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 or a home loan in the not-too-distant future?
About the author of this page
This report was written by Canstar’s Editor, Bruce Pitchers. Bruce began his career writing about pop culture, and spent a decade in sports journalism. More recently, he’s applied his editing and writing skills to the world of finance and property. Prior to Canstar, he worked as a freelancer, including for The Australian Financial Review, the NZ Financial Markets Authority, and for real estate companies on both sides of the Tasman.
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