MEDIA RELEASE

Crushing credit card debt in 2022: Impressive balance transfer card offers

Almost a quarter of Australian couples (23%) purchased a property together before getting married

9 February 2022

  • Save up to $696 on average by transferring a $4,200 credit card debt on a card with a 17% interest rate using a 12 month 0% balance transfer offer
  • Mozo’s database currently has 100 balance transfer offers, with 72 offering zero interest 
  • In December Australians had $17.24 billion in credit card debt accruing interest, up from $17.16 billion the month before
  • Citi Clear, Coles Low Rate and HSBC Platinum offering 36 months at 0%
  • With Australians accruing interest on $17.24 billion in credit card debt each month, Mozo found taking advantage of a balance transfer offer to help pay off your debt during the 0% period could save you $696 on average over the next 12 months. 

    “If your credit card took a beating over the festive season, now is the time to get on top of it. If you’re not in a position to pay your balance off in full immediately, using a 0% balance transfer offer could be an option,” says Mozo Spokesperson, Tom Godfrey. 

    Mozo’s database currently has 100 balance transfer offers, with 72 offering 0% and of these 52 come with no balance transfer handling fee. Citi Clear, Coles Low Rate and HSBC Platinum are also offering an impressive 36 months at zero interest. 

    “When comparing balance transfer offers, it’s worth looking for cards with an interest free period that is long enough for you to pay back all of your debt and checking any annual or transfer fees,” Godfrey says. 

    Mozo found that although some cards might have generous interest free periods, they can be accompanied by higher annual fees and a transfer fee which can be up to three per cent of the transferred balance. 

    “It’s important to remember that although balance transfer offers can be useful in getting on top of your credit card debt,  if you are unable to pay down your debt by the time the 0% period ends, you could be in for an interest shock,” says Godfrey. 

    Mozo’s analysis comes as the latest RBA data shows that there was a 15% decrease in the number of personal credit cards from December 2019 to December 2021. 

    “With the ongoing popularity of buy now pay later and households having accumulated more than $200 billion in additional savings over the past two years, the demand for credit cards has declined. However, with billions in credit card balances still accruing interest now is the time to take control of your debt,” Godfrey says.

    Top balance transfer card offers

    Top balance transfer tips:

    • Use an online calculator to work out how quickly you can pay off your debt. 
    • Choose a card with an interest free period that is realistic.
    • Create a repayment plan to pay off the debt in full before the zero interest period ends.
    • Watch out for fees as these can add up and end up costing a few hundred dollars.
    • Don’t make any new purchases on the card, the BT rate doesn’t apply to these.

    -ENDS-

    Notes on calculations: Mozo compared the cost of paying off the expected December credit card debt of $4,200 using 0% balance transfer cards with the cost of a card with the average interest rate of 17%. Mozo assumed the debt was paid off in full in equal monthly repayments during the 0% period and there was no additional spending and included balance transfer fees, annual fees and introductory annual fee waivers in calculations. Compared against paying off the existing debt on the “average” CC (17% purchase rate, $135 annual fee). Reserve Bank of Australia data was used to calculate National credit card debt accruing interest. from ‘Credit and Charge Cards - Original series - Personal and Commercial Cards - C1.2’ Dec 2021.