Mozo research has revealed that with Australia’s post-Christmas credit card bill expected to reach a total $33 billion this year, picking up a balance transfer credit card might help Aussies avoid some of the sting.
Compared to a regular card charging interest on a credit card bill, a balance transfer card stands to save Aussie spenders up to $775 for those who use it effectively to blast debt.
“For those who are feeling the Christmas debt hangover, a balance transfer card can be a great way to gain some breathing room and get rid of that pesky balance. Thanks to the interest free period on offer with most balance transfer cards, all your payments will be chipping away at your debt - not going toward interest,” said Mozo Director, Kirsty Lamont.
But Lamont also warned cardholders to be careful when taking on a balance transfer and to have a plan in place to pay off your debt within the given interest free period.
“Choosing the right balance transfer deal, with a long enough interest free period that you can comfortably clear your entire balance before the revert rate kicks in is key. Having a plan for how to do that - including knowing how much you should be paying back every month to meet your goal - is also super important,” she said.
Virgin Money Virgin Australia Velocity High Flyer Card
0% p.a.for 12 monthsand then 20.99% p.a.
Earn up to 100,000 bonus Velocity Points (minimum spend applies) plus snag a $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher and two free Virgin Australia domestic Lounge passes each year to kickstart your travel adventures.
0% p.a.for 28 monthsand then 21.49% p.a.(1.00% balance transfer fee)
$59 $0 in the first year
Enjoy a super low rate of 13.74% with 55 days interest free plus 0% balance transfer for up to 28 months at 1% BT fee. No annual card fee for the first year, $59 thereafter. New Cards only. Offer ends February 24th 2022. T&C's and exclusions apply.
Balance transfer tips to help you free yourself from debt
Avoid new purchases. New purchases put on your credit card are charged interest at the regular amount, not the 0% balance transfer rate. Plus, your repayments will go toward these new charges first, instead of working to chip away at your debt. That means it’s much wiser to hold off on new spending until you’ve cleared your existing balance.
Consider the BT fee.Many balance transfer cards with longer interest free periods up to 26 months also come with balance transfer fees of around 1%-3%. It’s worth checking on this, as these fees can run into the hundreds of dollars if you’re transferring a bigger chunk of debt across.
Watch out for hefty annual fees.Another thing to consider is that an annual fee can be another big cost, depending on the card you choose. It’s a good idea to look for an option with a low or no annual fee, or if you do opt for a card with all the features and a price tag to match, make sure you account for that in your repayment plan. Which brings us to...
Set a debt repayment plan. Perhaps one of the most important things to do when taking up a balance transfer credit card offer, is to make sure you have a realistic plan in place to pay off your debt. For example, if you’re paying off a $3,500 debt with an interest free period of 12 months, you should be aiming to repay around $300 every month.
Ready to clear your Christmas credit card debt? Check out the balance transfer offers in the table above, or head over to our credit card comparison table to see more options.