Australian balance transfers get longer - are we becoming the UK?

Card issuers have shown a growing interest in promoting 0% Balance Transfer rates in February with a record number of Balance Transfer credit cards being offered at lower and longer rates.

According to Mozo data, a record number of 0% offers hit the market in February with offer terms longer than ever before. With three of the big four banks offering between 12 and 15 months.

The extended interest free periods have been very popular with customers looking to put a dent in lingering Christmas debt. However, the longer periods have stolen attention away from other offers, with balance transfer offers above zero per cent and shorter than 10 months not receiving as much attention.

Early months in the year have always been BT season but this year has brought with it some definite new trends. Including more offers, longer term lengths and Mozo experts expect to see these offers with longer periods to become available year round.

In February, Citibank introduced the longest balance transfer offer in the market at 24 months but with it came the unwelcome addition of a balance transfer handling fee. The Citibank card comes with a 3% handling fee, which is charged as a percentage of any balance being transferred.

Mozo Insights Manager Andrew Duncanson believes these trends point to the Australian credit card market coming to even more strongly resemble the UK market.

"All of these trends point to the Australian BT market evolving into a clone of the UK balance transfer market," he said. "By 2015, we predict major issuers will be offering 0% for 24 months with a BT fee, all year round.  And those who don’t will struggle to attract new revolving customers."Looking for the best 0% balance transfers in the market right now? Compare the market here.