Did you splurge over the Easter break and are now left with a plump looking credit card balance? If you’re one of the many Aussies who moaned “yes” the answer to swiping away your post-Easter debt is a good balance transfer credit card.
There are lots of competitive balance transfer offers in the market but you’ll need to get in quick because the 0% balance transfer deals season is soon coming to an end. Beware, not all balance transfer cards are created equal. The length of the balance transfer period, the revert rate and the annual fee all have a big impact on whether the card is good value or not.
The Mozo Experts Choice Awards winners for best value balance transfer credit cards are….
Police Bank Visa – 0% on balance transfers for the first nine months and a low 10.96% revert rate
Westpac Low Rate – a highly competitive balance transfer offer of 0% for 14 months
Bankwest Breeze MasterCard – 0% on balance transfers for 13 months and a competitive 11.99% revert rate
Here are 5 ultimate tactics for tackling credit card debt:
1. Choose a card based on how quickly you can repay the debt
If you want to smash your debt fast and can pay it off in the balance transfer period, there are some standout credit cards in the market that offer low fees and a 0% balance transfer rate for 6 to 15 months. You can compare more options here.
However if it’s going to take you a little longer to pay off your debt, it may make sense to look for a card with a low revert rate as well as a competitive balance transfer offer to help you demolish your debt over a longer period of time. Mozo’s handy credit card debt calculator helps you work out how quickly you can pay off your debt.
2. Don’t use balance transfer cards for new purchases until you have paid off the old balance
Balance transfer credit cards are made to pay off debt, not to accrue it! So hold off on the spending until you’ve paid off your existing balance. Not making new purchases and paying more than the minimum each month to pay off your debt within the balance transfer period will mean you can enjoy the perks of 0% interest before the higher revert rate kicks in.
3. Check interest rates on unpaid balance transfers
While you may be dazzled by a 0% balance transfer rate, keep in mind many balance transfer cards revert to a higher “cash advance” rate once the introductory period ends. Look for a credit card like Mozo’s Expert Choice Awards bronze winner Bankwest Breeze MasterCard that showcases a 0% balance transfer rate for the first 13 months reverting to a low 11.99% interest rate.
4. Check annual fees
Some credit cards have a high annual fee which can negate the benefit of transferring the balance in the first place. For example, American Express offers a low 0.99% balance transfer rate for the first 6 months on its Qantas Ultimate Card but has a $250 fee for the first year, jumping up to a $450 annual fee for every year after. A credit card like this is best suited to spenders seeking bonus reward points not those seeking debt reduction.
5. Shop around
Credit card providers use balance transfer offers as a tempting banking product to entice you to leave your current provider. As many of these great balance transfer offers are short-lived and are set to expire in the upcoming months, now’s the perfect time to shop around and save on interest repayments. Find the top balance transfer deals in the market at Mozo’s credit card hub here.