What is a balance transfer fee?

Information verified correct on October 1st, 2016
balance transfer fee

What is a balance transfer fee? Discover what you’ll have to pay when you consolidate your debt.

Balance transfers can be a useful way to consolidate your debt without the cost of high interest. While you’ll save on balance transfer rates, this doesn’t mean that balance transfers are cost-free. As well as the standard card fees, you might also have to pay a one-off balance transfer fee. Here we explain what this fee is and how you can confirm what you’ll have to pay when you transfer your balance.

What is the balance transfer fee?

A balance transfer fee is charged when transferring your existing credit card debt to a new credit card. It is usually 1-3% of the entire balance transfer amount.

When you conduct a balance transfer, you may be asked to pay a one-time balance transfer fee. It’s generally 1% to 3% of the total balance being transferred. Sometimes, this fee is capped and you’ll be required to pay the larger of the two. Usually, a balance transfer fee will be capped between $25 and $100. So if the fee had been capped at $75 and the balance transfer fee was 2%, then the 2% would be applied to any balance up to, say, $4,250. After this amount, you’d be required to pay the $75.

If you’re wondering if your card will charge a balance transfer fee, check the relevant product disclosure statement (PDS) and you should be able to locate your answer under the ‘fees and rates’ section. If you’re still unsure, contact the provider’s customer service team to confirm what you’ll be expected to pay.

Comparison of credit cards without a balance transfer fee

Rates last updated October 1st, 2016
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Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee Interest Saved
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 18 months and also earn 2 bonus Velocity Points in the first 3 months on everyday spend.
0% p.a. for 18 months 20.74% p.a. $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Receive a full annual fee refund and save $149 if you meet the $6,000 spend requirement. Enjoy a balance transfer offer and platinum card benefits such as complimentary insurances and concierge services.
0% p.a. for 15 months 19.99% p.a. $149 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Visa
Introductory offer of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers and 1% p.a. for 12 months on purchases, plus a low annual fee.
0% p.a. for 18 months 1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) $55 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ First Visa Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
Take advantage of this exclusive offer and enjoy 0% p.a. for the first 12 months on balance transfers and 0% p.a. for the first 3 months on purchases.
0% p.a. for 12 months 0% p.a. for 3 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.) $30 p.a. Go to site More info
Westpac Low Rate Card
A no frills credit card with an introductory rate of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers and 1% p.a. for 12 months on purchases.
0% p.a. for 18 months 1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.49% p.a.) $59 p.a. Go to site More info
Westpac 55 Day Platinum Credit Card
Enjoy platinum benefits offering complimentary insurances, 24/7 concierge, balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 16 months, purchase rate offer of 1% p.a. for 12 months with $0 annual fee for the first year if applied by 11 October 2016.
0% p.a. for 16 months 1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 19.84% p.a.) $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($90 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Visa Credit Card
Enjoy a low annual fee combined with 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 18 months and 1% p.a. for up to 12 months on purchases.
0% p.a. for 18 months 1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) $55 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Platinum
A platinum card with a balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 18 months and an introductory purchase offer of 1% p.a. for 12 months with an annual fee waiver for the first year.
0% p.a. for 18 months 1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 12.74% p.a.) $99 p.a. Go to site More info
Citi Clear Platinum Card
A low rate platinum credit card with a low interest rate on purchases and balance transfers.
0% p.a. for 9 months 0% p.a. for 9 months (reverts to 14.99% p.a.) $99 p.a. Go to site More info
BankSA Vertigo Platinum
Enjoy 0% balance transfer rate for 18 months and 1% purchase rate for 12 months if you apply and are approved by 4 January 2017.
0% p.a. for 18 months 1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 12.74% p.a.) $99 p.a. Go to site More info

Balance transfer review and frequently asked questions

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2 Responses to What is a balance transfer fee?

  1. Default Gravatar
    Ricky | November 15, 2011

    Are you aware of any credit cards in the Australian market that currently charge a balance transfer fee? I’ve shopped around and I can’t find any at present…

    • Staff
      Jeremy | November 17, 2011

      Hi Ricky

      The HSBC Credit Card currently charges a 2% balance transfer fee.

      Cheers

      Jeremy

Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated October 1st, 2016
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 18 months and also earn 2 bonus Velocity Points in the first 3 months on everyday spend.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ME Bank frank Credit Card
Enjoy a low and consistent interest rate on purchases and cash advances, combined with no annual fee.
11.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Visa
Introductory offer of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers and 1% p.a. for 12 months on purchases, plus a low annual fee.
1% p.a. for 12 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 18 months $55 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Receive a full annual fee refund and save $149 if you meet the $6,000 spend requirement. Enjoy a balance transfer offer and platinum card benefits such as complimentary insurances and concierge services.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months $149 p.a. Go to site More info

* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards CreditCardFinder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.

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