Hey, big spender! Do you need a balance transfer?

If you’ve had an eye on the Mozo site recently, you may have noticed a bunch of credit cards flaunting some very attractive balance transfer rates.

Sure, it’s nothing new; every year around this time the banks put together offers to entice those battling big, Xmas debt hangovers. Great news for some, big-time traps for others.

We’ve crunched the numbers, and it’s clear that the most important factor to consider when going down the balance transfer track is not a card’s interest rate, but the speed with which you can pay off the balance.

If you can only spare a small amount each month to reduce your debt, you will need to think long term balance transfer. If you can clear the debt in under six months, you should be able to score a 0% balance transfer deal and avoid interest costs altogether.

Using a standard credit card* and an average credit card balance of $3,000 we used our super-easy health check to run a few BT cards through their paces.

Repayment Amount Cost on standard card Cost on BT card Savings Top BT Cards
$100 per month $1,532 over 43 months $354 over 33 months $1,178 & 10 months ANZ First (BT Offer) CreditCard 273
Aussie Mastercard
Bankwest Zero CreditCard 64 
$250 per month $480 over 14 months $71 over 13 months $409 & 1 month Westpac 55 Day
Bankwest Zero CreditCard 
NAB Gold Card CreditCard 21 
$500 per month $195 over 7 months $0 over 6 months $195 & 1 month Coles Group Source card
Virgin Money No Annual Fee card CreditCard 231 

*Commenwealth Bank Awards credit card was used with an interest rate of 20.74% p.a. and annual fee of $89.00
Data correct as at 31/01/2011

There are indeed big savings to be had, just remember to match your card with your repayment plan and to watch out for sneaky tricks (like cards where the balance transfer rate reverts to the cash advance rate instead of the normal purchase rate).

Find all of this info on Mozo’s credit card page, or put your existing card through the wringer with our credit card health check.

Have a question we haven’t covered? Ask away on the brand new Mozo Answers money forum…