Balance transfer credit cards

Use a credit card balance transfer to move expensive debt to a new credit card with a low or 0% interest rate so you can pay off your debt faster.

By   |   Verified by David Boyd   |   Updated 18th May 2022

Comparing balance transfer credit cards

NAB Low Rate Card

On NAB's website

Balance transfer

32 months at 0% p.a.

Balance paid off in

Calculate your repayments

Purchase rate

12.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • Enjoy 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 32 months with no balance transfer fee. Reverts to cash advance rate of 21.74% p.a. after the promotional period.
  • $0 first-year annual card fee ($59 p.a. thereafter).
  • Get a response in 60 seconds.

Pros

  • 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 32 months.
  • No balance transfer fee.
  • The waived annual fee for the first year.
  • Additional credit card is free.

Cons

  • No rewards program for this card.
  • No insurance coverage.
St.George Vertigo Visa

On St.George's website

Offer extendedApply by 30 June 2022

St.George Vertigo Visa

Balance transfer

32 months at 0% p.a.

Balance paid off in

Calculate your repayments

Purchase rate

13.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • Enjoy 0% for 32 months on Balance Transfers with a 0% balance transfer fee. Reverts to cash advance rate of 21.49% p.a.
  • 13.99% p.a. low variable interest rate on purchases.
  • $0 first-year annual card fee ($55 p.a. thereafter).

Pros

  • 0% p.a. for 32 months on balance transfers with no balance transfer fee.
  • 13.99% p.a. low variable interest rate on purchases.
  • $0 first-year annual card fee ($55 p.a. thereafter).

Cons

  • Balance transfer rate reverts to 21.49% p.a. after 32 months.
  • There are no rewards program for this card.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Visa

On Bank of Melbourne's website

Offer extendedApply by 30 June 2022

Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Visa

Balance transfer

32 months at 0% p.a.

Balance paid off in

Calculate your repayments

Purchase rate

13.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • Enjoy 0% for 32 months on Balance Transfers with a 0% balance transfer fee. Reverts to cash advance rate of 21.49% p.a.
  • 13.99% p.a. low variable interest rate on purchases.
  • $0 first-year annual card fee ($55 p.a. thereafter).

Pros

  • 0% p.a. for 32 months on balance transfers with no balance transfer fee.
  • 13.99% p.a. low variable interest rate on purchases.
  • $0 first-year annual card fee ($55 p.a. thereafter).

Cons

  • Balance transfer rate reverts to 21.49% p.a. after 32 months.
  • There are no rewards program for this card.
Westpac Altitude Platinum Credit Card (Altitude)

On Westpac's website

Balance transfer

24 months at 0% p.a.

Balance paid off in

Calculate your repayments

Purchase rate

19.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$49.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • Receive 110,000 Altitude bonus points when you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days of card approval. Terms and conditions apply.
  • 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers (1 % balance transfer fee applies). Reverts to cash advance rate of 21.49% p.a.
  • $49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($150 p.a. annual fee thereafter).

Pros

  • 110,000 bonus Altitude Points when you spend $3,000 in 90 days.
  • 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers.
  • Additional savings with the $49 first year annual fee ($150 p.a. thereafter).
  • Comes with complimentary travel insurance.

Cons

  • There is a 1% balance transfer fee.
  • Only up to 45 days interest-free on purchases.
Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard

On Bankwest's website

Balance transfer

34 months at 0% p.a.

Balance paid off in

Calculate your repayments

Purchase rate

14.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • No annual fee.
  • 0% p.a. for 34 months on balances transferred (2% balance transfer fee applies). Reverts to 14.99% p.a. thereafter.
  • No foreign transaction fees and complimentary international credit card travel insurance.
  • New customers only. Limited time. Other fees and charges, T&Cs apply.

Pros

  • No annual fee to pay — ever.
  • Very long interest-free balance transfer offer.
  • No fees on purchases in a foreign currency.
  • Complimentary international travel insurance.

Cons

  • There is a 2% fee on balance transfers.
  • You can't earn rewards points.
Westpac Altitude Black Credit Card (Altitude)

On Westpac's website

Apply by 30 June 2022

Westpac Altitude Black Credit Card (Altitude)

Balance transfer

24 months at 0% p.a.

Balance paid off in

Calculate your repayments

Purchase rate

19.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$99.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • Receive 140,000 Altitude bonus points when you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases within 120 days of card approval. Exclusions apply
  • Transfer your balance at 0% p.a. for 24 months (1 % balance transfer fee applies). Reverts to cash advance rate of 21.49% p.a.
  • $99 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($250 p.a. annual fee thereafter).

Pros

  • 140,000 bonus Altitude Points when you spend $6,000 in 120 days.
  • 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers.
  • Additional savings with the $99 first-year annual fee ($250 p.a. thereafter).

Cons

  • The high annual fee of $250 p.a. after the initial year.
Bankwest Zero Mastercard

On Bankwest's website

Balance transfer

34 months at 0% p.a.

Balance paid off in

Calculate your repayments

Purchase rate

14.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Pay no annual fee as long as you hold the card.
  • 0% p.a. for 34 months on balances transferred (2% balance transfer fee applies). Reverts to 14.99% p.a. thereafter.
  • Up to 55 days interest-free on purchases.
  • New customers only. Limited time. Other fees and charges, T&Cs apply.

Pros

  • There is no annual fee for as long as you keep the card.
  • The current balance transfer offer is extremely competitive.
  • Interest on purchases is comparatively low.

Cons

  • Balance transfers incur a one-off fee.
  • You cannot earn credit card points.
Westpac Altitude Platinum Credit Card (Qantas)

On Westpac's website

Offer extendedApply by 30 June 2022

Westpac Altitude Platinum Credit Card (Qantas)

Balance transfer

24 months at 0% p.a.

Balance paid off in

Calculate your repayments

Purchase rate

19.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$99.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • Receive 75,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases within 90 days of card approval. Terms and conditions apply.
  • Transfer your balance at 0% p.a. for 24 months (1 % balance transfer fee applies). Reverts to cash advance rate of 21.49% p.a.
  • $99 p.a. annual fee for the first year then $200 p.a. annual fee thereafter (inclusive of $50 Qantas Rewards opt-in annual fee).


From 1 January 2022, earn 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 up to a maximum of $100,000 spent on eligible purchases annually. Bonus Qantas Points not included in the cap.


Pros

  • 75,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $4,000 in 90 days.
  • 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers.
  • Additional savings with the $99 first-year annual fee ($200 p.a. thereafter).
  • Comes with complimentary insurance covers which include overseas medical and purchase security.

Cons

  • There is a 1% balance transfer fee.
  • Only up to 45 days interest-free on purchases.
Bendigo Bank Low Rate Credit Card

On Bendigo Bank's website

New offerApply by 31 July 2022

Bendigo Bank Low Rate Credit Card

Balance transfer

20 months at 0% p.a.

Balance paid off in

Calculate your repayments

Purchase rate

20 months at 0% p.a.

Annual fee

$45.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • 0% p.a. up to 20 months on purchases (reverts to 11.99% p.a.).
  • 0% p.a. up to 20 months in Balance Transfers (reverts to 11.99% p.a.).
  • Save with its low annual fee of $45 p.a. ongoing.
  • No fees for additional cardholders.

Pros

  • 0% p.a. up to 20 months on purchases.
  • 0% p.a. up to 20 months on Balance Transfers.
  • Low annual fee of $45 p.a.
  • No fees for additional cardholders.

Cons

  • There is a 2% Balance Transfer fee.
  • You can't earn credit card rewards.
  • No complimentary insurances.
BankSA Vertigo Credit Card

On BankSA's website

Offer extendedApply by 30 June 2022

BankSA Vertigo Credit Card

Balance transfer

32 months at 0% p.a.

Balance paid off in

Calculate your repayments

Purchase rate

13.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • Enjoy 0% for 32 months on Balance Transfers with a 0% balance transfer fee. Reverts to cash advance rate of 21.49% p.a.
  • 13.99% p.a. low variable interest rate on purchases.
  • $0 first-year annual card fee ($55 p.a. thereafter).

Pros

  • 0% p.a. for 32 months on balance transfers with no balance transfer fee.
  • 13.99% p.a. low variable interest rate on purchases.
  • $0 first-year annual card fee ($55 p.a. thereafter).

Cons

  • Balance transfer rate reverts to 21.49% p.a. after 32 months.
  • There are no rewards program for this card.
Westpac Low Rate Cashback Credit Card

On Westpac's website

Apply by 30 June 2022

Westpac Low Rate Cashback Credit Card

Balance transfer

12 months at 6.99% p.a.

Balance paid off in

Calculate your repayments

Purchase rate

13.74% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$59.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Get up to $400 cashback when you apply online by 30 June 2022. $100 cashback will be awarded for every month $1000 or more is spent on eligible purchases for the first 4 statement periods from card approval. Terms and Conditions apply.
  • Low 13.74% p.a. interest rate on purchases.
  • $59 p.a. annual fee.

Pros

  • Get up to $400 cashback when you meet the criteria.
  • Low 13.74% p.a. interest rate on purchases.
  • $59 p.a. annual fee.

Cons

  • The cash advance rate for this card is 21.49% p.a.
ANZ Low Rate

Balance transfer

30 months at 0% p.a.

Balance paid off in

Calculate your repayments

Purchase rate

12.49% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • 0% p.a. for 30 months on balance transfers with 0% balance transfer fee. Reverts to 21.24% p.a.
  • No annual fee for the first year ($58 thereafter).
  • Low 12.49% p.a. ongoing rate on purchases.
  • Up to 55 days interest free on purchases when you pay your account in full each month.

Pros

  • 0% p.a. on balance transfers up to 30 months with no balance transfer fee.
  • $0 annual fee for the first year ($58 p.a. thereafter).
  • Take advantage of the low purchase interest rate of 12.49% p.a.

Cons

  • No purchase or travel insurance included.
  • No rewards program.
Westpac Low Rate Credit Card

Offer extendedApply by 25 May 2022

Westpac Low Rate Credit Card

Balance transfer

28 months at 0% p.a.

Balance paid off in

Calculate your repayments

Purchase rate

13.74% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • Enjoy 0% p.a. for 28 months on balance transfers with a 1% balance transfer fee. Reverts to variable cash advance rate of 21.49% p.a.
  • Low 13.74% p.a. interest rate on purchases.
  • $0 first year annual card fee ($59 p.a. thereafter).

Pros

  • 0% p.a. for up to 28 months on balance transfers.
  • Low 13.74% p.a. interest rate on purchases.
  • $0 first year annual card fee ($59 p.a. thereafter).

Cons

  • Balance transfer reverts to cash advance rate of 21.49% p.a. after 28 months.
  • You won't earn rewards with this card.

Overview

Want to know more about what a balance transfer credit card is and how it works? Here's what you need to know.

What is a balance transfer credit card?

A balance transfer is when one bank pays off the outstanding debt at your old bank and transfers it to a new account with them. Typically, banks offer promotional deals with low interest rates for a period of time to attract new customers. The promotional offer can save a significant amount of money, which many people use to repay their debt faster.

A credit card balance transfer occurs when an amount of debt is transferred from an existing credit card, charge card, or store card to another card held by the same cardholder. In theory, most Australian credit cards are balance transfer credit cards, although some cards specifically exclude a balance transfer option. Where balance transfers are allowed, in the absence of an introductory interest rate offer the transferred balance immediately begins to incur interest charges at the card’s purchases or cash advance interest rate.

Most references to a balance transfer credit card assume that the card receiving the transferred balance has a special introductory offer of a zero or very low interest rate on the transferred balance for a specified period, usually between six and 24 months, occasionally longer. On this page, the term ‘balance transfer credit card’ refers to cards with that type of introductory offer.

What are credit card balance transfers for?

Many people use a balance transfer card to consolidate their debts, particularly high-interest debt. If you choose a card which allows you to make a balance transfer from multiple credit or store cards (and most do), you can consolidate your debts into one easily manageable location and also enjoy a break from interest charges. This should allow you to make larger repayments of your debt, since the repayments are not being eaten up by interest charges.

Bear in mind that the total of your transferred balances will normally need to be no greater than 70-80% of the credit limit on your new card, and that American Express credit cards have a maximum transfer amount of $10,000.

How to do a balance transfer

How to do a balance transfer [STEPS]

Transferring credit card balances is quite a simple process. If credit card balance transfers are new to you and you aren't sure how they work, here's a step-by-step guide to explain it.

  1. Compare offers and pick a card. At any given time, many of Australia's main banks will have a balance transfer offer. You can compare many of them in the table above. Note that you cannot balance transfer between cards with the same bank.
  2. Check you are eligible. Make sure you earn enough, have a good enough credit score, and meet the minimum criteria.
  3. Apply. This is when you'll provide details on the balance transfer. You'll also need your ID. The bank may also require some additional proof of income such as a bank statement or recent payslip. The fastest and most convenient way to apply is online.
  4. Activate your new card. Some banks will not carry out the balance transfer until your card has been activated.
  5. Decide what to do with your old card. You don't have to close old cards, but it can save on annual fees and helps you from overspending.

What is the best balance transfer credit card?

There is no single "best" balance transfer credit card that will suit everybody's individual financial circumstances. These are the characteristics of a good balance transfer credit card, which you can compare to find the best balance transfer credit card for your needs.

  • A low interest rate on balance transfers. The obvious attraction of a balance transfer card is that it allows you to save a large amount of money by avoiding high interest charges on existing credit card debt for a prolonged period. This is particularly beneficial if the debt is sitting on a card with an interest rate of 20% p.a. or more, before being transferred. Most balance transfer credit cards in Australia have a 0% p.a. introductory rate.
  • A long introductory period. The basic rule of thumb is that the longer the introductory period is, the better. When combined with a low interest rate, you can use the introductory period to save more money and get out of debt.
  • A low or no balance transfer fee. Some balance transfer offers come with a fee attached, a fee payable upfront as a credit establishment or processing fee. If a fee is charged, it is typically 1% or 2% of the amount being transferred. So if you’re transferring a balance of, say, $10,000, and the balance transfer fee is 1%, you’ll pay a $100 fee. Learn more about how balance transfer fees work.
  • A low revert rate. It’s a good idea to use the interest-free period on your balance transfer to pay off as much of your debt as you possibly can. That’s because you’ll start paying interest on any remaining balance, at the revert interest rate, as soon as the offer period expires. The revert interest rate will be either the card’s ongoing purchases interest rate or the even higher cash advance interest rate.
  • A balance transfer limit that's high enough for you. It is not possible to balance transfer any more than your new card's credit limit. Most banks also have a limit for how much of the credit limit can be used specifically for balance transfers, known as the balance transfer limit, which can range from 70 - 100%.
  • Support for your preferred transfer. Due to complexities with banking relationships, it may not be possible to transfer between the banks you prefer. Check that the card you want to apply for can balance transfer from your existing card.
  • Ability to transfer non-credit card debt. Some credit card providers, including Citi, Coles, Qantas Money and Virgin Money, allow personal loan debt as well as credit, charge, and store card debt to be transferred to a balance transfer credit card. This allows you to make your debt consolidation more complete.

Balance transfers for existing customers

If you have multiple credit cards already, it may be possible to transfer a balance from one existing card to another. However, interest rates on existing customer balance transfers do not compare favourably with those for new customers (such as those compared in the table above).

Although you probably won't get as low interest rates, one of the major benefits of an existing customer balance transfer is not having to apply for another card, for which you may be rejected anyway, and the potential effect that may have on your credit score.

The pros and cons of balance transfer credit cards

A balance transfer card can reduce interest, save money, and make it easier to get out of debt. However, there are benefits and drawbacks to be aware of.

Pros

  • Pay less interest and save money. You can use a credit card balance transfer to reduce or eliminate interest, which means paying less each month during the introductory period.
  • Free up money that can be used to get out of debt. With less money being spent on interest, you can increase what you repay to pay off the balance owed faster.
  • Simplify your finances. While it's often overlooked, the ability to combine debt from several cards onto a single card with a low rate not only makes it cheaper, but also easier and less stressful to manage.

Cons

  • The balance transfer fee. If charged, this one-off fee means having to pay around 2 - 3% of the amount being transferred. That may not matter much for small balance transfers, but if you are transferring a lot, it can add up.
  • High interest after the introductory period ends. When the introductory period is over, any balance left will attract interest at the purchase or cash advance rate.
  • Your new card's credit limit may not be enough to transfer everything across. Furthermore, you won't know what that credit limit is before applying.
  • 0% introductory offers are for new customers only.
  • You may use the card to spend with. Doing so means you may end up with more debt.

Getting the most from a credit card balance transfer

Once you get an interest-free balance transfer card, there are a few things to do in order to maximise its benefits.

Things to do

  • Get the balance transfer offer. If you did not request a balance transfer during the application, some cards allow you to request it after approval. However, if this is an option, it's usually for a limited period after approval.
  • Use the interest-free intro period to pay off debt. Unlike a loan with fixed monthly repayments, you only have to make the minimum monthly repayment. Calculate what to pay each month so that the balance has been paid off before the introductory offer ends (our comparison table includes a calculator that does this).
  • Don't spend on your new card. Do what you can to be disciplined with regards new purchases. Use the balance transfer card and it's interest-free offer to get out of debt rather than as a reprieve.

Things not to do

  • Avoid applying for more than one card around the same time. Doing this can have a negative impact on your credit score since it can appear irresponsible. If it does affect your report, it can take some time for it to recover and may make it more difficult to get approved in future.
  • Do not make minimum repayments only. This is one of the worst things you can do with your credit card since it means you'll carry a for longer and pay more interest.
  • Don't spend on your old card. If you choose to keep your old card, avoid spending on it.

After the balance transfer offer ends

Once the balance transfer period has expired, your options depend on what balance remains.

If you've repaid the balance in full

  • You're out of debt. You'll have more money left over each month, which you can use to build your wealth.
  • You can the keep the card. If you don't mind paying the annual fee and won't start spending on it again, you could keep it.
  • Or close it. If you want to avoid debt, then you can close the account and make additional savings because there'll be no annual fee to pay.

If you still have a balance

  • The revert rate begins. Any debt that was transferred and has not been repaid will incur interest at the purchase or cash advance rate.
  • You can do another balance transfer if you need to. If you still have a lot left to repay, then you could consider transferring to another card with a different bank.

Learn about balance transfer credit cards

What is a balance transfer and how do they work? Find out how you can use one to save money and get out of debt.

  • FAQs

  • Tips

What happens when the introductory balance transfer period ends?

When the low balance transfer rate expires, the amount that you transferred over will be subject to either the ongoing purchase rate or the cash advance rate. Our comparison tables will show which rate the balance transfer rate reverts to for each card.

Can you transfer store card debt to a balance transfer credit card?

Yes, most credit cards allow balance transfers from store cards, e.g. a Coles or David Jones credit card.

Can I balance transfer from my spouse's credit card?

Yes, but you and your spouse will both need to be named as joint primary cardholders prior to filing for a balance transfer. Adding yourself as a joint primary cardholder can typically be done easily via phone or online banking.

Will a balance transfer hurt my credit score?

In short, it depends. If you apply for multiple credit cards in a short period of time, and want to consolidate a large outstanding debt, your credit score will be lowered. This is further compounded if some of your applications have been declined and you continue to apply for more offers. It is best to spread out your applications for new accounts as much as you can while keeping your existing accounts in good order by not missing payments or spending too much.

Sign up here to track your credit score for free on Finty.

How does my credit limit affect the amount I can transfer?

Your credit limit, or the amount of money you are allowed to borrow, does come into play. If you intend to consolidate debt from multiple accounts onto a single card using a promotional offer, you may not be able to transfer the entire outstanding amount because your credit limit is not high enough. Should this happen to you, you can still transfer as much of your outstanding balance as possible to take advantage of the low interest rate and work towards paying it off. If you manage to pay off some of what you owe on your new card and essentially free up some space on it, you could move some of the amount still owed from your old card to your new card, but most likely at a rate that is higher than the promotional rate. As long as you space out your applications adequately, you could apply for another credit card and move the rest of your outstanding debt to it.

Should I transfer a balance to a card with an annual fee?

Assuming that you want to apply for a balance transfer credit card and use the low interest rate to pay back your debt faster, you’ll also want to avoid other fees as much as possible. An annual fee is one such charge you would rather avoid. However, if you are planning to move a very large balance at a low rate, the impact of the annual fee is diminished because of the amount of money saved per month on interest alone. Conversely, if you are moving a relatively small debt, the annual fee may practically wipe out any potential savings. Ideally, you are looking for a really cheap and prolonged balance transfer deal without an annual fee. The potential savings are calculated by our comparison tables and make it easier to see how much you could save.

Can you transfer personal loan debt to a balance transfer credit card?

No. With the exception of Citi it is not possible to do that. Most banks do not allow you to put your personal loan debt or line of credit onto a credit card. Other than Citi, your best bet might be to find a cheaper personal loan with lower interest rates to save on interest repayments.

Can you transfer overseas credit card debt to a balance transfer credit card in Australia?

No. It is not possible to transfer overseas credit card debt to a balance transfer credit card in Australia.

Can I request a balance transfer after submitting my application?

You have two choices when switching to a new card. Either you fill in the details of the balance you would like to transfer on the application form, or you wait until the account has been opened and then initiate the process. You’ll typically get the same interest rate regardless, but you should be wary about delaying because most banks insist that you start the balance transfer within a set window of time if you want to get the introductory deal.

Rules for when you can request a balance transfer and get the introductory rate vary from bank to bank. As the balance transfer is typically a promotional rate aimed at attracting new customers, some banks are quite strict in terms of when they make it available. To be safe, include the details of your balance transfer when applying.

  • ANZ: If you do not provide details of your balance transfer as part of your application, ANZ will not make the promotional balance transfer deal for that particular card available post-application. Instead, you'll get the standard balance transfer offer made available to existing holders of the card, which will be a lesser offer.
  • Bankwest: You can get the promotional balance transfer offer after application on a pro-rata basis, i.e. if your card had a 12-month balance transfer offer and you applied for a balance transfer 3 months after approval, you would still get the promotional interest rate, but it would only last for another 9 months (12 - 3 = 9).
  • Citi: You have up to 3 months to apply for a balance transfer after approval. The full promotional offer will be made available.
  • NAB: Special promotion balance transfer must be applied for at the point of full card application.
  • Virgin Money: The promotional balance transfer offer is available for up to 30 days after you've been approved for the card.

Most people take immediate advantage of a balance transfer offer and include the details of their debts in their application. Failing to use the promotional offer when applying for a new card means your outstanding balance, which will still be on your old card, will be charged the standard interest rate. Therefore, you would unnecessarily be paying interest instead of saving money.

Is it OK to make purchases on a balance transfer credit card?

This really depends on your financial situation. If you want to open a new account in order to pay less interest and use the money saved to pay off your debt, then no, it’s best not to spend with the card. If your new card has a combined promotional interest rate on balance transfers and purchases, and you can afford to pay for what you buy plus make a repayment on the debt, then you can use the card to buy with. However, in general it’s best to live within your means, pay off your debt first and only buy things with your credit card that you can pay off fully each month.

How much should I pay off each month?

Beyond the minimum, it’s totally up to what works best for your personal financial circumstances. Be aware that paying off only the minimum each month will translate into a long time paying off your balance.

Is there an early repayment fee for paying off the balance before the introductory period ends?

No. Balance transfer cards are different to fixed schedule personal loans and home loans. There are no early payment penalties for clearing your credit card debt on time or ahead of time.

Can I get another balance transfer card if I can't transfer everything to one card?

Yes - you are free to do a follow up balance transfer to another card with a different bank. If you have a bigger debt, you should look for cards with longer balance transfer periods.

Will there be monthly payments with a 0% balance transfer?

You’ll still need to pay the minimum each month, even with an interest-free balance transfer. Typically it’s about 2-3% of your balance. But, given the debt-busting potential of a well managed balance transfer, you should try to pay back as much as you can afford each month while the interest rate is low.

Do you have to close an old card after its balance has been transferred?

That is up to you. Once you’ve been approved for your new credit card and you've had confirmation that the balance has been transferred over, unless you plan on keeping your old card to continue spending on it then you should probably cancel the old card(s).

The new bank will not make you close your old card.

Do balance transfers earn rewards points?

Unfortunately, you can't earn points on balance transfers from one credit card to another. For example, if you transferred $4,000 of debt from one card, you will not earn any points on that $4,000. Note: this is a rule of thumb for all balance transfers.

Use the interest-free period to reduce your debt as much as possible

Instead of just treating the introductory offer period as a holiday from interest charges, it’s best to make a serious attempt to pay off as much of your debt as possible during this time. Don’t make just the minimum monthly repayments. Otherwise you’ll be facing the revert interest rate on a debt that’s still very large at the end of the offer period.

Look for a card that combines introductory offers on both balance transfers and purchases

You may want to use your balance transfer credit card for purchases while you still have an unpaid balance transfer, especially if it’s a rewards points card or if it has complimentary benefits or first-purchase bonus points which require you to make purchases in order to be eligible. But most cards will charge interest on your new purchases from the transaction date, because the presence of the unpaid balance transfer means that your monthly interest-free days are forfeited.

But there is a way to have a balance transfer and still make interest-free purchases. Look for a card with combined introductory offers on both balance transfers and purchases. Take note of the offer expiry dates though – the purchases offer may expire before the balance transfer offer does, in which case you’ll start paying daily interest on purchases if you haven’t repaid the balance transfer at this point.

Consider choosing a card with a low or zero annual fee

If you really want to minimise costs, choose a balance transfer offer with no balance transfer fee and no annual fee (or a low annual fee) for the card. Cards with this low-cost combination are unlikely to have the longest promotional interest-free periods, however, and won’t have many extra trimmings like rewards points or complimentary benefits that you can use when your transferred balance has been repaid.

Make a note of the offer expiry date

Check with your credit card provider to find out exactly when the introductory period expires for your transferred balance. If the introductory interest rate lasts for nine months, for example, will that be nine months from the card account approval date, nine months from the card activation date or nine months from the date the balance is transferred? Once you have established the date, make a note of it in your diary and plan to pay off your debt on or before that date.

You can close your old credit card account if you want to

Your new credit card provider will contact your existing card provider(s) and make all the necessary arrangements to transfer the balance(s). But they will not close your old card accounts. That’s your job, so first of all make sure the balance is zero, and also transfer to another account any direct debits you had set up on your old card. Then close the old card account to avoid paying an annual fee for a card you won’t be using.

Note that closing a credit account that you've had for a long time can temporarily affect your credit score. Leaving it open with nothing owing or a very small balance will help your overall credit utilisation ratio.