The plastic Grinch - getting rid of Christmas debt with a balance transfer credit card

Ceyda Erem

08 Jan 2018

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It’s usually at this point during January that we start taking down the Christmas tree and stuffing cardboard boxes with ornaments and decorations before sending them on a one-way ticket to the attic. But despite your efforts to make your home a Christmas-free zone, there’s still a reminder that hangs around - your credit card bill. But getting rid of that post Christmas debt is possible and it all starts with the help of a balance transfer credit card.

Balance transfer credit cards to help blast debt - rates updated daily

  • Promoted

    St.George Vertigo

    0% p.a. for 22 months and then 21.49% p.a. (1.50% balance transfer fee)

    0% p.a. for 7 months then 13.99% p.a.

    $55 $0 in the first year

    Enjoy 0% p.a. for 22 months on balance transfers at card application. 1.5% balance transfer fee applies. Rate then switches to applicable variable cash advance rate. Plus, 0% p.a. on purchases for 7 months. Rate then switches to applicable variable purchase rate. First year annual card fee waived for the first year ($55 thereafter). Available to new cards only, Eligibility criteria and T&Cs apply. Offer ends September 30th 2020.

    • 0% p.a. for 7 months then 13.99% p.a.

    • 0% p.a. for 7 months

    • 0% p.a. for 22 months and then 21.49% p.a. (1.50% balance transfer fee)

    • 21.49% p.a.

    • 55

    • 0.0

    • 3.00%

    • $55 $0 in the first year

    • $15.00

    • 2%, Min $2.50

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Vertigo

    Details Close

  • Promoted

    CUA Low Rate Credit Card

    0% p.a. for 13 months and then 21.74% p.a.

    11.99% p.a.

    $49 $0 in the first year

    0% balance transfer rate for 13 months and up to 55 interest free days. No annual fee for the first year and $49 after.

    • 11.99% p.a.

    • -

    • 0% p.a. for 13 months and then 21.74% p.a.

    • 21.74% p.a.

    • 55

    • 0.0

    • 3.40%

    • $49 $0 in the first year

    • $12.50

    • 2.00%, Min $3.50

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Low Rate Credit Card

    Details Close

  • Promoted

    Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard

    2.99% p.a. for 9 months and then 17.99% p.a.

    17.99% p.a.

    $0

    This card boasts no annual fee and the option to pay with the Bankwest Halo payment ring. Plus, with no foreign transaction fees and complimentary travel insurance it's a good pick for travel. Winner of a Mozo Experts Choice Award 2019 in the No Annual Fee Platinum Credit Card category^.

    • 17.99% p.a.

    • -

    • 2.99% p.a. for 9 months and then 17.99% p.a.

    • 21.99% p.a.

    • 55

    • 0%

    • $0

    • $25.00

    • 2%, Min $4.00

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Zero Platinum Mastercard

    Details Close

  • Promoted

    Hot Deal $200 Cashback Offer (T&Cs apply)

    Westpac Low Rate

    0% p.a. for 20 months and then 21.49% p.a. (1.00% balance transfer fee)

    13.74% p.a.

    $59

    Enjoy 0% p.a. interest on balance transfers for the first 20 months. Get $200 cashback with $1k minimum spend on eligible purchases within 90 days of card approval. 55 interest free days and low on-going rate of 13.74% on all purchases.

    • 13.74% p.a.

    • -

    • 0% p.a. for 20 months and then 21.49% p.a. (1.00% balance transfer fee)

    • 21.49% p.a.

    • 55

    • 3.00%

    • $59

    • $15.00

    • 2%, Min $2.50, Max $150

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Low Rate

    Details Close

  • Promoted

    Bank of Melbourne Vertigo

    0% p.a. for 22 months and then 21.49% p.a. (1.50% balance transfer fee)

    0% p.a. for 7 months then 13.99% p.a.

    $55 $0 in the first year

    Get 22 months 0% interest on balance transfers at card application (1.5% balance transfer fee applies). Plus, get 0% p.a. on purchases for 7 months. Rate then switches to applicable variable purchase rate. Pay no annual card fee for the first year ($55 thereafter). New cards only, Eligibility criteria and T&Cs apply. Offer ends September 30th 2020.

    • 0% p.a. for 7 months then 13.99% p.a.

    • 0% p.a. for 7 months

    • 0% p.a. for 22 months and then 21.49% p.a. (1.50% balance transfer fee)

    • 21.49% p.a.

    • 55

    • 0.0

    • 3.00%

    • $55 $0 in the first year

    • $15.00

    • 2%, Min $2.50

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Vertigo

    Details Close

Step 1: Hash out the details 

Going into anything blind is never a good idea so make sure to be specific with how long you intend to use the balance transfer card for. The general time period for these cards starts at 6 months and can be upwards of 24 months, that is, before the revert rate kicks in. Just remember, the larger the debt, the longer you’ll need to hang onto the card.

Step 2: Compare your options 

Now comes the time to get specific with the type of card you want. There are a number of different balance transfer cards floating around, which can be overwhelming when you only need to pick one. Luckily, Mozo’s balance transfer comparison tool makes it easy to compare features of different cards, helping you find your new plastic match. It’s a good idea to look for a card with a lengthy BT period, low annual fee and low revert rate.

Step 3: Go hard or go home 

Your main mission in life is to now blast debt within the BT period. Although you do have the option of making the minimum repayment each month, this is generally not a good idea as you still may have a heap of debt left over once the BT period ends. You’ll need to work out how much you can afford to repay each month (our debt repayment calculator can help you there) while still being able to stay on top of other bills and everyday spending.

One way to stay consistent and never miss a repayment is by setting up a direct debit, which subtly forces you to pay debt off faster.

Step 4: Leave the card at home 

A balance transfer card is designed to help you ditch debt, not bring on any more. Do yourself a favour now by not spending with the BT card to prevent the following:

  • Going further into debt as you’ll need to pay of these new purchases first before tackling past spending
  • Acquiring new debt will be charged at the card’s purchase rate, which can hit over 20%

Step 5: Seriously, leave the card at home 

Withdrawing money on your BT card also spells trouble - you’ll have to pay the cash advance rate from the day you make the withdrawal until it’s paid off in full.

Step 6: Remember the revert rate 

All good things must come to an end and that includes your BT card’s interest-free period. This rate will be much higher, so you’ll need to be financially ready just in case you think that you won’t pay off the debt in time. Another way to combat this by selecting a balance transfer card with a low revert rate.

Step 7: Stay put 

Moving debt around from one card to another is not good for your credit score. So stay put, pay off the balance in full each month and kiss credit card debt goodbye.

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