Making the most of a balance transfer.
Juggling multiple debts, repayment dates and interest rates? You may wish to move multiple debts to a single credit card.
How balance transfers work.
A balance transfer, also known as a debt transfer, allows you to take multiple debts and transfer onto a new credit card – resulting in a single repayment. It's one way to consolidate debts and potentially repay them faster, by taking advantage of special balance transfer rates1. Special rates are often for a fixed period of time or the lifetime of the balance(s) transferred†.
Where can I transfer debt from?
- Store cards.
- Hire purchase.
- Personal loans from a different bank.
- Credit cards from a different bank.
Here are some tips on how to get the maximum benefit from a balance transfer:
Compare and contrast balance transfer offers
Balance transfers offers aren’t all the same. For example, you might find offers like these2:
A 0% p.a. interest rate on the transferred balance for six months.
A 2% p.a. interest rate on the balance for 24 months.
A 5.95% p.a. interest rate for the life of the balance(s) transferred.
It’s important to do your homework. Weigh up the account fees, balance transfer interest rate and the duration that rate will be available to you – this will help you understand the total cost. Terms and conditions will also vary from credit card to credit card, and so will the interest rate on any extra purchases.
How can you choose the right offer? Think about how quickly you can realistically pay off the consolidated debt and how much other spending you plan to do on the card. Consider that alongside your overall financial situation and goals.
Using a low interest offer to reduce debt
Once you’ve transferred your debt, use this time wisely and aim to pay off your balance in full before your promotional balance transfer rate ends.
If the rate is available for the lifetime of the balance(s) it’s important to still have a plan, with a repayment amount and end date in mind, to ensure you clear it as soon as possible.
Paying more than the minimum
Over pay, over pay, over pay. Work out a budget plan to understand how much you can afford to pay over and above the minimum repayment. The higher your repayment, the faster you will reduce your consolidated debt.
Keeping spending under control
Adding to the balance transfer by spending on the card each month will make it tougher to reduce debt.
That is because the low interest balance transfer offers usually only apply to the transferred balance, not to any new spending. It is still possible to benefit from interest-free days on purchases on a Westpac credit card whilst still paying off a transferred balance, as long as you pay off your purchases in full every month.
We can help.
Find out how to consolidate outstanding balances from hire purchase, store cards or another bank’s credit card to a Westpac credit card1.
Interested in a debt consolidation loan?
Find out how a debt consolidation loan could combine multiple monthly payments into a single loan with a fixed end date.
Financial hardship support
Struggling to pay your basic living costs? You may be eligible for Financial hardship support, which can provide options to reduce your loan repayment amounts, restructure debt or take a payment holiday.
Managing Your Money webinars
Our Managing Your Money webinars cover a range of topics and allow you to learn about finances from home.
Things you should know.
1 Balance Transfer Terms and Conditions and lending criteria apply. All applications are subject to Westpac approval. You cannot transfer a balance from a Westpac card or loan. Payments made to your Westpac credit card will first be applied to charges and interest accrued, then to cash advances and purchases, followed by balance transfers. All new purchases, cash advances and any unpaid interest or fees will incur interest at the standard interest rate in accordance with the card's Conditions of Use. You can transfer up to 95% of your available credit card limit. Your card must remain within its credit limit after the balance has been transferred. Balances cannot be transferred to a Mastercard® BusinessCard/Purchasing Card. Balance transfers do not earn Airpoints Dollars™ or hotpoints®. You must close any facilities indicated in this application as being repaid by the balance transfer.
2 Rates are for illustrative purposes only.
Credit Cards: Eligibility criteria, Lending criteria, terms and conditions apply. Conditions of Use for the applicable card apply. Rates, transaction and services fees apply. Overseas cash advances and foreign currency fees may apply.
Personal Loans: Westpac’s eligibility criteria, lending criteria, terms and conditions apply. An establishment fee of $100 may apply. You’ll need to be 18 or older and a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident. If you’re not a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident but you’re working in New Zealand, or you don’t meet the other criteria, we still may be able to help.
This material on this page is provided for information purposes only, without taking your particular financial situation or goals into account.
Mastercard is a registered trade mark and the circles design is a trade mark of Mastercard International Incorporated.