Can you do a balance transfer from an overseas credit card?

By   |   Verified by Nilooka Dissanayake   |   Updated 29 Sep 2023

Can you do a balance transfer from an overseas credit card

Relocating to Australia comes with its fair share of excitement and challenges. Managing your finances are right up there with the most important.

But if you've already moved to Australia and want to tidy up an overseas credit card debt using a credit card balance transfer, your options are somewhat limited.

Key takeaways

  • Australian banks do not support balance transfers from international credit cards.
  • There is a potential alternative option, but it is not as cheap.

Australian banks' policy

Unfortunately, Australian banks and credit card issuers do not support the direct balance transfer of overseas credit card debt to an Australian credit card. That is to say that overseas to domestic credit card balance transfers are not possible.

This limitation is primarily due to the complexities involved in currency conversion, differing financial regulations, and the inherent risks associated with international transactions.

One of the few exceptions is American Express, who have a program called Global Card Transfer. If you are an Amex cardholder, you may be able to transfer your overseas account — and stash of Membership Rewards Points — to a corresponding card and account in Australia. Though convenient, don't expect there to be a low rate balance transfer on offer.

Alternative option

While a credit card balance transfer is off the table, you're not out of options to consider.

Rather than using a credit card, you could think about getting a personal loan in Australia, then transferring money to pay off the overseas card.

This has the added benefit of consolidating the debt under a potentially lower interest rate and in a single currency, making it cheaper and easier to manage.

The downside is that personal loan interest rates are not as low as what's on offer with an introductory balance transfer credit card.

Check out our money transfer comparison if you're considering an overseas money transfer. It's usually significantly more expensive to use your bank than what's available online.


Why don't Australian banks typically allow balance transfers from overseas cards?

Australian banks don't typically allow balance transfers from overseas cards due to the complexities of international financial regulations, currency conversion rates, and the risks associated with international debt.

Is it possible to transfer debt from an Australian credit card to an overseas card?

This depends on the overseas bank's policies, which may be different than those of Australian banks.