A credit card rollover is also referred to as a balance transfer. Basically it involves rolling one debt or more over to a new card.
The new balance transfer credit card allowing you to roll over your existing credit cards in to one, would offer a much lower rate of interest so that you have time to clear off your debt without having to worry about high interest being added to your balance month after month. It is a lifesaver when debt has become a major problem that affects other areas in your life.
Comparison of Credit Card Rollover Credit Cards
Credit card rollover basics
It is very common for most Australians to have to battle with credit card debt at some point in their lives. Unexpected emergencies can often happen or debt can just pile up silently and become overwhelming at some point. The good news is that there is a fast and easy solution to handle the debt. Balance transfer cards are offered in most major banks in Australia as a way of getting new customers. This is indeed a win-win situation for both the banks and cardholders that need debt relief.
Types of rollover credit cards
As you start looking through the different balance transfer cards being offered you will see a big difference between interest rates, features and conditions. Although it can seem can confusing at first, there are really only a few different kinds of offers being presented.
0% balance transfer cards
These rollover credit card deals offer a 0% rate of interest for the balance transferred. Most of these offers and deals will give you six months to pay off your debt without paying any interest. Some promotions offer less than six months so it is a good idea to check and make sure that the deal you are interested in lasts at least six months.
You can transfer over debts from different credit cards to consolidate everything into one balance. Many Australians choose to put all their debt into one card, not only to save money, but for easier debt management. It is much easier to remember one repayment due date than having to remember several at a time.
Rollover credit cards with a low interest rate
These types of cards come with an extremely low rate of interest. Usually you are given a year to pay off the balance that you have transferred. You can find credit card rollover deals that offer an interest rate as low as .99% for 12 months. If you don’t feel that you can pay off your debt within six months but can pay it off in a year then you should look for these kinds of cards. If you think that you may be able to pay off your debt within the six-month time frame but are not quite sure, your best bet is to go with a balance transfer card that gives you a year to pay it off with a low interest. This way, if it does take longer than six months, you will have a safety net of an extra six-months to work with.
Balance transfer cards for life
Sometimes debt has become completely out of control or other situations have occurred such as losing a source of income or an extreme emergency. In these cases you are better off looking at long-term solutions like a lifetime balance transfer credit card. These cards give you as long as you need to pay off the debt.
Even if it takes you more than 10 years to get your balance handled, you can work with this rollover credit card to get caught up. The interest rates will be slightly higher than you would find on a 12 month balance transfer card, but for severe debt situations these cards are the answer.
If you compare the interest rate you are currently paying on your credit card, which may be as high as 20%, getting a lifetime interest of only 2.99% or slightly higher is an incredible deal. Since you are given as much time as you need to pay off the debt, your stress level will be reduced and you will be much more confident dealing with your finances.
How to pick the right rollover card
It is important that you pick the right credit card rollover deal before you go ahead and apply for a card. If you pick a credit card that does not give you enough time to pay off your debt in full, you will have to pay the standard rate of interest once the promotional time period has expired. This rate is usually high on balance transfer cards, which means you will be back in the same situation you were in before you made the transfer.
The best thing to do is take a look at your budget before comparing cards. How much money can you afford to pay on a credit card repayment every month? Make sure that this is a comfortable amount and that you have left room for unexpected situations that may arise on any given month.
By examining your budget you will be able to figure out how long it would take you to pay off the balance you owe on your different credit cards. Then you can start comparing the different card offers by looking at the rollover credit cards that give the promotional time period that you require.
The order of payments
If you plan on using your balance transfer card to do more spending while you are paying off the balance, think again. The balance transfer card has been designed for one initial use only, in most cases, and that is for transferring a balance. If you start spending with the card you will end up in more trouble then you began with.
Most cards have a policy that any repayments are made only to the balance with the lowest interest rate. This means that using the card for purchases is a bad idea. If you purchase a $100 item using your new card, this $100 purchase balance will stay on hold until your balance transfer has been paid off. All your payments will be put towards the balance transfer and your purchase balance will start to accrue interest.
The interest on your purchase balance is usually much higher then the interest you’re paying on your credit card rollover. It can be as high as 20%. As fast as you are paying off the balance you have transferred, your purchase balance will be growing at a phenomenal rate. If you really want to do more spending with a credit card, which is not advised since this is what started all the trouble in the first place, consider getting a second card to be used only for purchases.
How to compare credit card rollover deals
Here are some of the main points you should look for when you’re doing a comparison between balance transfer credit cards.
How long is the balance transfer promotional rate?
Remember to look for an introductory time period that meets your needs.
How high is the interest?
Once you know how long you need the promotional period to last you can compare interest rates between these cards. Some balance transfer cards will give you a low rate for six months, but you can do better than that by looking for a 0% six-month transfer card.
How high is the annual fee?
This will vary between cards. There is a wide difference between annual fees from one card to the next so make sure that you pick the card that is appropriate that comes with the lowest annual fee.
What are the other features on the card?
If you are getting a 0% balance transfer card for six months you should look at the other features on the card. Once you have finished paying off the balance you may want to start spending on the card. If you want a credit card that offers a rewards program or a low standard rate of interest, look for cards with these features.
Why banks offer these balance transfer cards
At this point you may be wondering why any bank would want to offer this type of card. The bank won’t be making a lot of money with interest charges so what would prompt them to offer these deals in the first place?
The bank wants you to get their credit card and become their customer. They are counting on the fact that you will keep this card after your balance has been paid off and remain a loyal customer for many years. Once the balance transfer has been paid the credit card company can start charging a standard rate of interest on your purchases.
You cannot get a balance transfer card from the same bank that you have gotten your original credit card from. You must switch banks and that is what these financial institutions are looking for. They want you to switch your credit card provider and become loyal to your new one. Many major banks in Australia are offering this kind of promotion so it is a competitive market. That is why the offers are so enticing and luring. They are the real deal and the offer is a winning opportunity for both parties.
How to apply
Applying for a rollover credit card balance transfer is easy. After you have made a proper comparison between credit card offers you can go to the official credit card website and submit an application. You will need your personal details, information about your income and the credit card number and provider of your current card. You will also have to enter in the amount of the balance that you want to transfer.
Most credit card providers will let you know within a matter of 60 seconds whether you have been approved for your new balance transfer card or not. This is by far the fastest way to get your application handled and it is completely secure.
If you prefer to submit an application by phone or by mail you can certainly do that as well. You will usually have to wait a week or two to find out whether your application was approved, but if you are not in a hurry then you can apply this way.
Using your new card
As mentioned earlier, you should avoid making any purchases with your new balance transfer card. You should also put the card away in a safe place so you won’t have the temptation of spending with it. Make sure that you make all your minimum payments at least, and more if you have set up a budget to get the debt paid off within the introductory time frame provided. Make sure that you mark down the due date for your payments so that you do not miss any or send any payments in late.
According to the terms and conditions on most balance transfer credit cards, if you make one late payment that card provider has the right to revoke the balance transfer deal and start charging the standard rate of interest on the transferred amount. Make sure that you read through all the conditions before applying for the card so that you know exactly what you’re dealing with, the balance transfer goes through smoothly and you get a chance to pay off your debt in full.
There are a lot of credit card rollover promotion deals available right now since competition is high amongst Australian banks for new customers. Make use of it while it is still hot and get your debt reduced. A lifestyle without heavy credit card debt is much saner and possible to achieve with a balance transfer credit card.