Who else wants to pay 0% on balance transfers? Find one of the longest balance transfers available today.
One way to tackle your credit card debt is to apply for a balance transfer credit card and transfer your balance at a low interest rate for a set period of time.The longer the term of a balance transfer, the more time you’ll have to be able to pay off your debts before the balance transfer period expires and reverts to a higher interest rate.
Listed below are longer term month balance transfer options.
Long Term Balance Transfer Credit Cards Comparison
Rates last updated May 27th, 2015
What is a long term balance transfer?
A balance transfer offer on a credit card allows you to transfer your current credit card balance to a new card and repay it at a lower interest rate for a set period of time. However, one catch is the cost of the new credit card’s annual fee.
A longer term balance transfer is a type of credit card offer that allows customers to transfer their existing credit card balance to a new credit card for a long period of time – typically 9, 12 or more months. The balance transferred over is charged at a lower fixed promotional interest rate for the balance transfer period.
How does a longer term balance transfer work?
Customers can apply for a long term balance transfer credit card and elect to do a balance transfer in the online application (or sometimes apply for one after approval).
Their new credit card provider submits a request payout for your existing debt with your existing credit card provider and transfers that amount to the new balance transfer credit card.
Balance transfer customers can then benefit from a lower interest rate for however long the period lasts.
Credit card providers essentially provide this offer as an incentive to attract new customers. However, it’s important to pay off your debt during this period because after the balance transfer period, the interest rate reverts to the much higher standard interest rate or cash advance rate.
What are the types of long balance transfer period credit cards are available?
- No frills balance transfers. You can choose to balance transfer your debt onto a standard credit card that doesn’t have any features you won’t use. If you’re seriously dedicated to paying off your debt, then these type of credit cards won’t motivate you to spend anymore because of the lack of rewards and features. The interest rate is typically either;
- 0% p.a. interest on balance transfers for 9, 12 months or more
- A low balance transfer interest rate (e.g: 0.99%, 1.9%, 3.9%) for a longer period of time e.g: 12, 15, 18 or 24 months
- Platinum balance transfers. If you have a high credit limit you may want to balance transfer your debt onto a Platinum credit card. These types of credit cards often have complimentary travel insurance as well as a range of features to motivate you to spend more. They are often linked to a rewards system as well so these aren’t a great idea if you’re dedicated to paying off your debt.
- Rewards and frequent flyer balance transfers. These type of credit cards allow you to earn points on your eligible purchases. While you don’t earn points for transferring your balance, you still get more value out of your purchases made on the card. Be mindful that if you have a balance on a rewards credit card, the interest charges will often negate the benefits that the rewards points provide
How to compare credit cards that offer a long balance transfer deal
- Promotional interest period. If you’re looking for a balance transfer period that is considered a longer term, then you’ll need to look for one that is nine months or longer.
- The balance transfer interest rate This is the interest rate that is charged on balance that you’ve transferred. Some of the better offers have a 0% rate, but you’ll find that longer period may go up to 6% for up to two years. This is when you can use your best judgement to determine how long you’ll need to repay your credit card debt to get the best interest rate.
- Balance transfer amount and limit. A rule for long term balance transfers is that you can’t balance transfer more than your approved maximum credit limit. A common industry limit is 95% of your approved credit limit. So for an approved credit limit of $10,000, the maximum amount that can be transferred to the new card is $9,500. A few balance transfer credit cards have minimum and maximum amount of balance that can be transferred limits, such as a minimum of $500 and a maximum of $20,000.
- Fees. In the past, some card providers charged balance transfer fees, but these aren’t charged on any of the major balance transfer credit cards on the market at the time of writing. The only fee for a balance transfer is if there’s an annual fee on the credit card.
- The revert rate. Have a look at whether the balance transfer rate reverts to the purchase rate or cash advance rate. The purchase rate is generally lower than the cash advance so if you do forget you won’t be charged as much interest.
Pros and cons of a long term balance transfer
- More time to pay off your debts. One year is a much more generous amount of time for customers to get on top of their finances and make the smart move to pay down bad debt.
- Pay less interest. Using a long term balance transfer can be great for customers with a sizable credit card debt who want a full year on the one card to save money in interest and pay down their debt.
- Revert rate. The revert rate of your balance transfer is either the purchase rate or cash advance rate so it’s important to have your balance paid off before the balance transfer period end or that any leftover balances are transferred again if you are in a position to apply for another balance transfer credit card.
Things to avoid when transferring your balance for a longer term
- Making extra purchases. If you still have a balance outstanding on your credit card and make a purchase interest is charged on the day of the purchase. This defeats the purpose of trying to pack back your original debt.
- Leaving unpaid balances after the set period. Interest on a balance transfer will revert to either the purchase rate, or more commonly, the cash advance rate of interest after the promotional period. This can vary from card to card, but commonly, the interest will revert to in excess of 20%p.a.
- Transferring to the same bank. Most credit card providers don’t allow you to balance transfer to the same bank or its affiliates unless specifically stated in their terms and conditions.
Frequently asked questions about long term balance transfers
- Am I eligible for a long term balance transfer credit card? Generally if you have a good credit rating, are over 18 years of age and you’re a permanent Australian resident or citizen you have a higher chance of being accepted.
- Why can’t I balance transfer my existing debt to a long term balance transfer card from the same provider? Most credit card providers only allow new customers to balance transfer or balances transferred from another provider.
- Where can I find shorter term 0% p.a. balance transfer credit cards? eg. 0% p.a. for 6 months Please see our comparison of 0% balance transfer credit cards.
- Where can I find a comparison of balance transfer credit cards? Please see our comparison of balance transfer credit cards.