Long Term Balance Transfer Credit Card Offers
Long Term Balance Transfer Credit Card Offers Compared and Reviewed
By offering a few more months to repay the transfer these Long Term Blanace Transfer credit cards are designed to help spread the cost of paying down the debt while minimising any interest charges, with some offering 0% balance transfer for 24 months. Use our calculator below to work out the interest savings you could make by switching to one of the balance transfer credit cards listed in the table, simply enter the balance you wish to transfer and the interest rate you are currently paying, the interest savings available are then shown for each card.
Guide to Long Term Balance Transfer Credit Card Offers
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 fixed period of time, often referred to as the Balance Transfer Period. Cards with Balance Transfer Periods greater than 12 months are considered to be long-term balance transfer cards, with the range of periods on offer now stretching out to as long as 24 months.
Why should I consider a long-term balance transfer card offer?
The longer balance transfer periods of 12 months plus provide extra time to repay the balance transferred from your previous card, this extra few months maybe what you need to finally pay down your outstanding balance, as it will mean your monthly payments will be less, and more affordable, as they are spread over this longer period.
If you elect to take a shorter Balance Transfer card you may find that you are unable to meet the monthly repayments in full each month, in this situation at the end of the balance transfer period you will have an outstanding balance. This balance will attract an interest charge at the revert rate, which tends to be a rate far higher than the Balance transfer rate. So by not paying off your balance in full over this shorter balance transfer period you may find yourself once again subject to high interest charges, which may have been avoided if you had given yourself a longer period over which to clear the balance.
Long Term Balance Transfer Credit Cards - The card options
Option 1. I want to save the maximum amount as I pay down my balance
These stripped back cards start with a 0% balance transfer rate and tend to offer transfer periods in the 12-14 month range which allows them to keep the card annual fees down below the $100 mark.
Option 2. I want a card which rewards me for my spending whilst saving me interest on my balance transfer as I repay it
With the inclusion of a reward program, be it a frequent flyer or points program, these cards tend to charge a slightly higher annual fee, but Balance Transfer rates of 0% p.a. can still be found for periods up to 18 months. It is important to remember none of these cards consider the Balance Transferred as eligible for earning reward points.
Option 3. I want a card that will reward me for my spending and provide premium level benefits and services in conjunction with a long term balance transfer offer
Platinum cards fulfill this all encompassing wish list, but at a price, as the annual fees tend to creep up above the $100 p.a. mark. Amongst this premium group of cards long term 0% balance transfer offers can be found, with transfer periods extending out to 24 months.
Comparing long-term balance transfer credit card offers
Balance Transfer Rate - This is the interest rate that your transferred balance will attract during the term of the transfer. Your starting point should be the 0% p.a. offers that is now prevalent within the Australian market, as these are the offers which will generally deliver the greatest savings in interest so long as you repay your balance in full within the transfer period.
Balance Transfer Period - The longer balance transfer period offers of 12 months plus can be found in the market from the major card providers. As the transfer periods become longer keep a close eye on any balance transfer and annual card fees that may start to increase to balance these longer terms.
Balance transfer amount and limit - As part of the card providers’ accessement of any card application they will provide a maximum credit limit for the card. Having set this the balance transfer amount is then calculated, and as general rule will tend to be set at 95% of the approved maximum credit limit. So for example if you receive a card approval with a maximum card limit of $20,000, you will be able to transfer a balance of $19,000 (95% of the maxium card limit) to this card.
Revert rate - Should you fail to pay off your balance in full prior to the end of the balance transfer period any outstanding balance will attract interest charges at the stated revert rate of interest. This rate tends to be either the Purchase or Cash advance rate of the card. If you plan on retaining this card post paying off your transfer these 2 rates should be considered carefully as these are the ongoing rates that will be charged for cash withdrawals and purchases.
With an Instant Approval Balance Transfer Credit Card you'll be saving sooner - with conditional decisions within 60 seconds you will be on your way to having your balance transfer up and running within days, you'll need a perfect credit report for these cards. Read more
Long Term Balance Transfer Credit Card Offers - Frequently Asked Questions
The number of credit card balances that you can transfer to a balance transfer credit card depends on the provider of the balance transfer card. Some banks only allow 1 or 2 cards, while others can accommodate more.
The more important thing is that the total balance to be transferred from all the existing cards should be within the new credit limit set by the balance transfer card company. If the total amount exceeds the balance transfer limit, then you won’t be able to clear all the balances on all your existing credit cards. In this case, the best move would be to pay off the credit cards with the highest interest rates first.
A balance transfer limit is the maximum amount that you can transfer to the balance transfer credit card. This balance transfer limit is dependent on the credit limit approved by the card provider.
The most that you can transfer to new card would be equal to thevalue of the approved credit limit, while some banks allow cardholders to transfer only up to 90 to 95 per cent of the new credit limit. The remaining part of the limit being kept free for standard purchases.
The order of payments is the sequence by which the credit card provider applies your repayments to settle your credit card balance.
Owing to recent government reforms, a new payments order has been applied to credit card contracts since July 1, 2012. Credit card issuers are already required to direct repayments in descending order: from transactions that attract the highest APR to those that have the lowest APR, or, on which interest is not charged. With a balance transfer card therefore, payments will likely be applied in this order:
- Interest charges;
- Cash advances or withdrawals;
- Standard purchases;
- Balance transfers
This order reduces the overall interest you pay, allowing you to save money on interest costs and pay off your credit card balance more quickly.
At the end of the balance transfer period, the introductory low interest rate would no longer be applicable.
Any remaining balance from the original amount transferred would be charged a new, higher rate. This can be the regular rate which is applied on standard purchases, or the cash advance rate which is usually much higher. The new interest rate is also referred to as the ‘revert’ rate.