Most people use a balance transfer to save money by transferring debt from your existing card to a new card with a lower interest rate.
However, the amount you can transfer between cards varies. So before you apply, find out how it works.
Check what you can get before applying. Compare balance transfer cards on Finty.
Rules that affect how much you can transfer
Several factors limit the amount of debt you can transfer as a credit card balance transfer. Some of these are not obvious if it’s your first balance transfer.
Your new balance transfer credit card’s credit limit
The most obvious limit on a credit card balance transfer is the credit limit of your new card.
The bank sets your credit limit based on your credit history, credit score, other lines of credit available to you, and so on.
For example, If your new card has a credit limit of $3,000, the amount of debt you can transfer to it cannot be more than $3,000, as a maximum.
The credit limit of your new card will not be available until the bank has reviewed your application. It is possible that the credit limit it sets may be less than the amount of debt you want to transfer.
Your new balance transfer credit card’s balance transfer limit
You may not be able to use your new credit card’s entire credit limit for balance transfers.
Banks set a limit on the amount of debt you can transfer as a credit card balance transfer. That limit is known as a balance transfer limit.
If there is a balance transfer limit, it typically ranges from 80 - 100% of the credit limit.
So, for example, if your new card has a credit limit of $3,000 but the bank sets a balance transfer limit of 90 percent, you can only transfer up to $2,700 of debt from your old card.
Your existing credit card account’s status
When the bank is processing your application, the current status of your old credit card account is taken into consideration.
If you are currently behind on payments or have defaulted on your payments, it is unlikely that your application will be approved.
If your application has been approved and you are behind or have defaulted on your old card, it is very unlikely that the balance transfer request will be approved.
How much you can transfer per bank
|Bank||Minimum balance transfer amount||Maximum balance transfer limit|
|ANZ||$100||95% of your credit limit|
|BankSA||$200||80% of your credit limit|
|Bankwest||N/A||95% of your credit limit|
|Bank of Melbourne||$200||80% of your credit limit|
|Bank of Queensland||N/A||80% of your credit limit|
|Citi||N/A||80% of your credit limit|
|Coles||N/A||80% of your credit limit|
|Commonwealth Bank||$500||100% of your credit llimit|
|HSBC||N/A||90% of your credit limit|
|ME||N/A||$100 less than your credit limit|
|NAB||$200||90% of your credit limit|
|Qantas Money||N/A||80% of your credit limit|
|St.George||$200||80% of your credit limit|
|Virgin Money||N/A||80% of your credit limit|
|Westpac||$200||80% of your credit limit|
Can I balance transfer more than my credit limit?
No. The credit limit on your new card represents the maximum amount you can balance transfer.
What do I do if my credit limit is lower than what I need to transfer all my debt?
One option is to balance transfer what you can and pay off what’s left on your old card as quickly as you can.
As an alternative, consider applying for a personal loan for debt consolidation. Interest rates on personal loans are not as low as they are for balance transfers, but you can spread the repayments out over a longer period.