How long does a balance transfer take?

Information verified correct on May 25th, 2016
balance-transfer-process

Applying for a balance transfer? Discover how long it can take and learn how to speed up the process here.

A balance transfer allows customers to move their outstanding credit card balance to a new credit card with a promotional rate of interest that is sometimes as low as 0% p.a. for the first year. While there are some instances where you might not be able to do a balance transfer between cards, this option can be very useful for consolidating debt at a lower interest rate. But how long does this process take? Use this guide to find out exactly how long it’ll take to complete a balance transfer and plan your repayments accordingly.

How long does it take for the bank to process my balance transfer application?

Processing times vary from bank to bank. To help you compare the balance transfer application process, we’ve summarised how Australian banks manage balance transfers and the processing times you can expect.

Processing time for popular Australian banks

BankApprox. Days to ProcessMore on their balance transfer process
American ExpressUp to 13 business daysAmerican Express credit card balance transfer guide
ANZUp to 15 business daysANZ credit card balance transfer guide
BankwestUp to 5 business daysBankwest credit card balance transfer guide
CitibankUp to 10 business daysCitibank credit card balance transfer guide
CommBankUp to 10 business daysCommonwealth Bank credit card balance transfer guide
HSBCUp to 10 business daysHSBC credit card balance transfer guide
NABUp to 10 business daysNAB credit card balance transfer guide
St.GeorgeUp to 14 daysSt. George Bank credit card balance transfer guide
VirginUp to 10 business daysVirgin Money credit card balance transfer guide
WestpacUp to 7 daysWestpac credit card balance transfer guide

What is the balance transfer process for each bank?

American Express

American Express offers a useful way for new customers to manage debt at 0% p.a. interest during the introductory period. When applying for your new credit card, you can opt to balance transfer the lesser of $10,000 or 70% of your credit limit from a non-American Express card to your new American Express account. A one-time 1% credit plan establishment fee applies, among other conditions.

Your balance transfer approval process commences 72 hours after your credit card application is approved. If it is approved, your balance transfer will be completed within 10 working days.

ANZ

If you’re a new ANZ customer, make sure to complete the balance transfer section of your credit card application form. You will be asked to provide details about your existing account, including the issuer’s name, card type, account number, BPAY biller code and the amount you’re transferring, so make sure to have these handy. If your application is approved, a new ANZ credit card will be sent to you for activation. Once the card has been activated, you may receive a phone call to verify the details of your balance transfer.

If you are an existing ANZ cardholder, you can request a balance transfer from a non-ANZ credit card by calling 1800 007 511 (8am-8pm, Mon to Fri), or by completing and mailing in a balance transfer application form. Once approved, the balance transfer can take between three to 15 business days to process, depending on which bank you are transferring a balance from.

Bankwest

Bankwest allows balance transfers from non-Bankwest credit cards at amounts from $500 up to 95% of your current credit card limit. Existing customers can request a balance transfer by visiting a Bankwest branch in person, or by completing and mailing in a Balance transfer request form. New customers should fill in the optional section of their credit card application form that offers to ‘transfer balances from your existing credit card(s)’. Your balance transfer request will only be processed after you have received your new credit card and activated it. The balance transfer process can take up to five working days.

Citibank

Existing Citibank cardholders can apply for a balance transfer by calling 13 24 84 or by signing into online banking and going to ‘My offers’. New customers can request a balance transfer from another financial institution when applying for a new Citi credit card. Citibank allows balance transfer amounts from $500 up to 80% of your available Citi credit card limit. The balance transfer can take up to 10 business days to process, and you should allow additional time for cheques to be received at the other financial institution.

Commonwealth Bank

Existing cardholders can request a balance transfer online by logging into Netbank. Hover over “More”, select “Manage accounts” and then “Manage my accounts” to reveal the “transfer a credit card balance” option. Follow the prompts to complete the balance transfer processAlternatively you can download and complete a paper to be mailed in, or call 13 22 21 anytime.

New customers can requesta balance transfer when applying for a new Commonwealth Bank credit card. Once your application is approved, it can take up to 10 business days for the card to be delivered. If you didn’t have the option to apply for a balance transfer during the application, you can do so once your card is activated by visiting your local branch or calling 132 221. The balance transfer process takes between 5-10 days.

HSBC

Existing cardholders can make a balance transfer online by logging into Online Banking and selecting “Balance transfers” from the left-hand menu when viewing your credit card details. New customers can request a balance transfer while applying for their new HSBC credit card. If your application is approved, someone from the HSBC applications team will call to let you know how much of your balance transfer amount has been approved for the new card. The balance transfer process itself will take 5-10 working days.

NAB

Existing cardholders can request a balance transfer by contacting NAB. Call the number on the back of your credit card or call 13 22 65 (8am-7pm, Mon-Fri; 9am-6pm, Sat-Sun AEST). New customers can request a balance transfer when applying for a new credit card. Once your application is approved, it will take five to seven days for your credit card to be processed. The balance transfer process itself will take up to 10 business days.

St. George

Existing cardholders can transfer up to two balances from a non-St. George account if you meet the minimum requirements for balance transfers. Simply call 13 33 30 or complete and mail in the balance transfer request form. You can also request a balance transfer through Internet Banking by logging in, selecting ‘Transfer & payments’, and then selecting ‘Pay out a credit card held with another bank.’

New customers can request a balance transfer when applying for a credit card. The balance transfer will only be processed after your card has been activated and your identification check, if required, has been completed at a St. George branch. The balance transfer can take approximately 14 days to be processed.

Virgin

Existing customers can discuss and request a balance transfer by calling 13 37 19. New customers can request a balance transfer when applying for a credit card. If you don’t include a balance transfer request on your application, you can still get a balance transfer at the special offer rate within 30 days of having your card approved. Call 13 37 39 if that’s the case. Balance transfers start from $500 and can go up to 80% of your maximum available credit limit on the day the transfer is completed. The balance transfer itself can take up to 10 working days.

Westpac

Westpac allows balance transfers of $200 up to 95% of your available Westpac credit card limit on the day the balance transfer is processed. Existing cardholders can apply for a balance transfer by downloading, completing and sending in the balance transfer form. This request will take a minimum of 10 working days to be processed.

New customers can request balance transfers when applying for a new Westpac credit card. Once your application is approved, it can take up to six days for the card to arrive and an extra two days for the balance transfer to be finalised.

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How to ensure a quicker process for your application

Four tips for speeding up the process

Being organised is the key to avoiding any speed bumps during the balance transfer process. Know what details the bank needs and ensure that your accounts are in order so your balance transfer can be completed as quickly as possible. Use the following steps as a guide:

  1. Do your research. Every bank and credit card has different interest rates, one-off fees, balance transfer limits and introductory offer time periods. Compare your options to discover which one works for your situation.
  2. Meet the eligibility requirements. You need to meet eligibility requirements such as minimum income and good credit history to be approved for a balance transfer. Make sure you meet these conditions before applying. There are also some banks that only accept balance transfers from certain institutions. Check which banks you’re eligible to transfer your balance from.
  3. Collect the required information. Each bank has a different application process and will require you to provide specific information and documents. To avoid stalling the application process, research what you will need and prepare the relevant paperwork before applying. Some commonly required information includes the existing account name and type, card/account number, balance transfer amount, issuing bank’s name, biller code and reference number.
  4. Have your accounts in order. Having large debts or cash advances owing on your credit cards won’t look good to the bank. Ensure your accounts are all in order to increase your chances of approval, and show that you have been making repayments regularly and managing your debts well.

Balance transfer information, tips and comparison

Things to be cautious of when using the balance transfer option

  • Interest free or low interest period. If you are doing a balance transfer at a special rate, make sure you know when the promotional period ends, and how much interest you will be charged after that time. Be sure to set reminders for when your promotional period will end, and aim to payg down your balance before then to avoid a high interest rate that could lead to further debt.
  • Card purchase interest free days. Depending on your card and card provider, you may only be entitled to interest free days on purchases after you’ve paid off your balance in full every month, including any balance transfers. This means that you should avoid making purchases on your credit card until you’ve paid off the full balance. Otherwise, you could be charged interest from the day you make a purchase, so check with your card provider to find out if you’re entitled to interest free days after your balance transfer.

Balance transfers to a new credit card can minimise your interest fees and get your savings back on track. Applying for a balance transfer is simple, but you should do your research, know your requirements, compare your options and organise the necessary information for speeding up the application process and increasing your chances of approval.

Balance Transfer Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated May 25th, 2016
$
% p.a.

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Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Purchase rate (p.a.) Annual fee Interest Saved
American Express Essential Credit Card
Receive a $50 credit when you apply online by and repay your credit card balances over 12 months with 0% p.a. interest. Plus enjoy $0 annual fee for life.
0% p.a. for 12 months 14.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Visa
Benefit from a low interest rate on your everyday purchases combined with a long term 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 18 months.
0% p.a. for 18 months 0.99% p.a. for 4 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) $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.
0% p.a. for 15 months 19.99% p.a. $149 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
The NAB Low Interest Visa Card offers 0% p.a. purchase and balance transfer offers for 15 months. Also comes with a low annual fee.
0% p.a. for 15 months with a one off 2% balance transfer fee 0% p.a. for 15 months (reverts to 13.99% p.a.) $59 p.a. Go to site More info
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Offers 0% p.a. interest rate on balance transfers for 14 months to help you manage your existing credit card balance. Earn 10,000 bonus Velocity Points in the first 3 months.
0% p.a. for 14 months 20.74% p.a. $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
Coles Low Rate MasterCard
A low rate MasterCard with a competitive rate on purchases and a low annual fee.
0% p.a. for 6 months 9.99% p.a. $49 p.a. Go to site More info
Coles No Annual Fee MasterCard
Get a balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 6 months, enjoy paying no annual fee ever, and earn flybuys points on everyday purchases.
0% p.a. for 6 months 19.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Go to site More info
Virgin No Annual Fee Credit Card
Enjoy a long term balance transfer plus a $100 cashback offer (spend criteria applies) and never pay an annual fee for this card.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee 18.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Go to site More info
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Visa Credit Card
Enjoy a low annual combined with 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 18 months and 0.99% p.a. for 4 months on purchases.
0% p.a. for 18 months 0.99% p.a. for 4 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) $55 p.a. Go to site More info
St.George Vertigo Platinum
Manage your credit card debt with 0% for 20 months on balance transfers.
0% p.a. for 20 months 0.99% p.a. for 4 months (reverts to 12.74% p.a.) $99 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Low Fee Card
Get 0% p.a. on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months.
0% p.a. for 15 months with a one off 2% balance transfer fee 0% p.a. for 15 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.) $30 p.a. Go to site More info
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Platinum
A platinum card with a low balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. interest for 20 months and 0.99% p.a. for 4 months on purchases combined with complimentary insurances and 24/7 concierge.
0% p.a. for 20 months 0.99% p.a. for 4 months (reverts to 12.74% p.a.) $99 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Premium Card
Enjoy purchasing with 0% for 15 months during your long term balance transfer offer with Platinum credit card advantages.
0% p.a. for 15 months with a one off 2% balance transfer fee 0% p.a. for 15 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.) $90 p.a. Go to site More info
Citi Rewards Credit Card - Platinum Card
A long term balance transfer offer with the Citi Rewards Platinum Card. Earn extra points on overseas spend and includes travel insurance.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee 20.99% p.a. $199 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($249 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
Receive 5,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points and no annual fee for the first year. Plus, enjoy 0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers. Apply by 30 May 2016.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee 20.74% p.a. $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($195 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ANZ Low Rate
Save with a low rate on purchases and balance transfers with a low annual fee and ongoing purchase rate.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 3% balance transfer fee 13.49% p.a. $58 p.a. Go to site More info
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2 Responses to How long does a balance transfer take?

  1. Default Gravatar
    Dan | April 23, 2013

    How long does a balance transfer take once the card is activated?

    • Staff
      Jacob | April 23, 2013

      Hi Dan. Thanks for the question. Typically, it takes two days. Watch this video for information on this topic. Jacob.

Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated May 25th, 2016
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
St.George Vertigo Platinum
A platinum card with a balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 20 months and an introductory purchase offer of 0.99% p.a. for 4 months with a low annual fee.
0.99% p.a. for 4 months (reverts to 12.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 20 months $99 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Essential Credit Card
Receive a $50 credit on eligible spend and get Smartphone screen insurance combined with a no annual fee for life card.
14.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months $0 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
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
Earn up to 75,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $2,500 within the first three months and 1.5 points per $1 spent. Get complimentary airport lounge access, 24/7 concierge with $0 annual fee in the first year.
19.99% p.a. $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($425 p.a. thereafter) 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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