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1 Get out of debt faster Unleash the money-saving power of balance transfer credit cards. The Beginner s Guide to Balance Transfers

2 Table of Contents creditcard.com.au Introduction 1 Balance Transfer Basics 3 What is a Balance Transfer? 4 Balance Transfer Benefits 4 Applying for a Balance Transfer When, How and Why? 5 How Balance Transfers Benefit the Credit Card Issuers Involved 6 Choosing a Balance Transfer Credit Card 7 Where to Find Balance Transfer Credit Cards 8 How to Compare Balance Transfer Credit Card Offers 8 The Balance Transfer Introductory Offer 9 How to Get the Most Out of Balance Transfers 10 How Much Can You Transfer to a Balance Transfer Credit Card? 11 Your Balance Transfer Repayment Plan 12 Balance Transfer Credit Card Hopping Should You do It? 12 How Much Can You Save With Balance Transfers? 13 Find Your New Balance Transfer Credit Card Today! 14

3 Introduction 01 Do you ever feel like you re in over your head with credit card debt? Do high interest rates hold you back? If you feel like your monthly payments take you one step forward and two steps back due to ever-growing interest on your account, it s time to take your financial future back into your own hands. How?

4 02 Balance Transfer Credit Cards creditcard.com.au Balance Transfer Credit Cards These cards feature special offers designed to help you save money and get out of debt faster! You may pay a lower interest rate on any approved transferred balance. You might even pay no interest at all for several months, or even more than a year! No matter how much time you need to tackle your credit card debt, there s a balance transfer credit card offer out there that can help you reach your goals. We ll give you the ins and outs of balance transfer cards what you need to know, what you need to do, and mistakes to avoid so you can pay less interest and move in the right direction. When you feel confi dent that you understand balance transfer credit cards, don t forget to visit to compare the best balance transfer cards currently on the market! But hold on there! We don t want you rushing into something. We re all about keeping our readers educated so they can make more informed decisions about their fi nances. So spend a bit of time with us and this Beginner s Guide to Balance Transfers.

5 Balance Transfer Basics 03 Do you carry an outstanding balance on an existing credit card? Are you sick and tired of high interest that seems to accumulate almost as fast as you pay your balance down? Do you wish there was a way you could lower your interest rate? You might be a perfect candidate for a balance transfer credit card! Not familiar with balance transfers? Let s explore them.

6 Balance Transfer Basics creditcard.com.au 04 What is a Balance Transfer? A balance transfer is a pretty simple concept. Your balance from one credit card is moved to another credit card. Here s a simple step-by-step look at how it works: Balance Transfer Benefits Why would you want a balance transfer credit card? Here are a few benefits to consider: STEP 1 STEP 2 STEP 3 You purchased things using your old credit card, and you still owe a balance. You have to pay interest on that balance, so you want to pay the lowest interest rate possible. You apply for a new credit card that includes a balance transfer offer. When you apply you request to transfer your old balance to the new credit card. Ideally your new balance transfer credit card will have a lower interest rate than the old credit card. It may also have a special interest rate as part of a limited time introductory offer. This gives you time to pay off your balance without being charged too much interest. You can get a lower interest rate on your existing balances, saving money as you pay off your credit card debt. n If your available credit limit on your new balance transfer credit card is high enough, you might be able to consolidate multiple credit card balances onto a single card. Why is it a good idea to consolidate? This can make it easier to pay off debt, as you ll have only one due date and one set of credit card terms & conditions to worry about. Ideally your new balance transfer credit card will have a lower interest rate than the old credit card. It may also have a special interest rate as part of a limited time introductory offer. This gives you time to pay off your balance without being charged too much interest.

7 Balance Transfer Basics creditcard.com.au 05 Applying for a Balance Transfer When, How and Why? Now that you have a better idea of what balance transfers are all about and why you might want to consider one, let s talk about the application process. When to Apply for Balance Transfers The best time to apply for a balance transfer is when you initially apply for the new credit card itself not transferring to another credit card you ve had for a while. This is because introductory balance transfer rates (which are usually very low) start from the day you re approved for the card. They do not start from the date of the transfer itself. If you want the best deals, apply early. Otherwise your balance transfer might be assigned a different interest rate, like the purchase rate or even higher cash advance rate. Why You Might Apply for a Balance Transfer Your reasons for applying for a balance transfer will usually correspond to one of the previously mentioned benefits saving money on interest or wanting to consolidate balances. You might also choose to take advantage of one for other reasons though. For example, you might think the general terms of your current credit card are no longer competitive in the market. A balance transfer credit card might be a better all-around deal. Now that you know you should apply for your balance transfer right on your credit card application, it s a good time to get your current account information in order. Then you ll be ready to apply when you find the right offer. How to Apply for a Balance Transfer You can generally request a balance transfer right on your credit card application. You ll simply include details about your existing account and balance. Note that getting approved for the credit card in general does not mean your transfer request will also be approved.

8 Balance Transfer Basics creditcard.com.au 06 How Balance Transfers Benefit the Credit Card Issuers Involved I bet some of you are thinking: Why would my existing credit card company let me transfer my balance away? Wouldn t they lose money in interest payments? Indeed, the issuing bank for your original credit card will miss out on long-term interest payments. But chances are good they ve already profi ted off of you through previous interest payments, annual fees, and other fees. The benefit for them is that they can stop assuming risk on your account, and they come out ahead. They re paid off by the other credit card company. On the other hand, the new credit card company is happy to take on that risk for a chance at future profits. Credit card companies are always looking for new customers. Stealing them from the competition is just one way they get them. Even if you get a low interest rate, your new credit card company will still earn interest as you pay off that balance. And the low rate gives you an incentive to pay it off during the introductory period, which minimises some of their risk. Their hope is that you ll then stay with them and become a long-term (and even more profi table) customer. You should have a good basic grasp of balance transfer credit cards now. You know what they are. You know how they work. You know their benefi ts. And you know what s in it for the credit card companies. Now let s talk about comparing balance transfer credit card offers and finding the right deal for you.

9 Choosing a Balance Transfer Credit Card 07 The market is rarely in short supply when it comes to attractive balance transfer credit card offers. So how are you supposed to find the deal that s right for you? Here are some ideas on where to look, how to compare your options, and how to understand advertised introductory offers.

10 Choosing a Balance Transfer Credit Card creditcard.com.au 08 Where to Find Balance Transfer Credit Cards Here are the four main places you might find balance transfer credit card offers: 1. At your local bank if your bank is also a credit card issuer. 2. Print advertisements/mailers. 3. On credit card companies own websites if you have a preferred issuer. 4. On credit card comparison websites (like where you can compare current offers from many credit card issuers in one place. How to Compare Balance Transfer Credit Card Offers When looking at several balance transfer credit card offers side-by-side, it s a good idea to compare several different features. The following features and terms are some of the most important: 1. Introductory balance transfer interest rates. 2. The length of the introductory offer. 3. The interest rate your balance transfer rate will revert to after the introductory period. That would be in addition to any other typical credit card features that are important to you, such as the card s annual fee or its rewards programme details.

11 09 Choosing a Balance Transfer Credit Card creditcard.com.au The Balance Transfer Introductory Offer One of the most important aspects of any balance transfer credit card deal is the introductory offer interest rate. This generally includes a very low interest rate (or even a 0% interest offer) applied to the amount of debt you ve transferred. These low introductory rates only last for a limited time. For example: Credit Card A features a 1.9% balance transfer introductory rate for your fi rst 6 months. What this really means: If you apply for a balance transfer right on your credit card application, you will get a 1.9% interest rate on that balance from the day you re approved for your new credit card. (Note: That rate does not apply to any new purchases you make just your transferred balance.) The balance transfer rate will expire after your fi rst 6 months. If you apply after receiving your credit card, you may not get that full 6-month period. Some credit cards revert to the regular purchase rate. Others will charge you a higher cash advance rate on any remaining balance. Let s consider our previous example: Credit Card A will revert to a 16.99% purchase rate after your introductory period. If you only pay off 80% of your transferred balance when that offer expires, the remaining balance will incur further interest at the higher 16.99% rate instead of the 1.9% balance transfer rate. It is very important that you know each reverting rate policy before choosing a balance transfer credit card. That s especially true if there s a chance you won t pay off the balance during the introductory period. The idea is to find a low rate with an adequate introductory period that will allow you to pay off your balance before the introductory offer expires. After this introductory period, any remaining unpaid balance from your transfer will revert to a higher interest rate.

12 How to Get the Most Out of Balance Transfers 10 It isn t enough to know that you can save some money on interest by getting a balance transfer credit card. So let s talk about how you can get the most out of these deals, and let s look at a common mistake that might put your good credit history at risk.

13 11 How to Get the Most Out of Balance Transfers creditcard.com.au How Much Can You Transfer to a Balance Transfer Credit Card? If you really want to get the most out of a balance transfer credit card offer, you should transfer all of your high interest balances to low interest balance transfer cards. It would be even better if you could consolidate those balances onto a single card. But can you really do that? How much of your current debt would a new credit card company be willing to take on? You probably won t be able to use your entire new credit limit for transferred balances. Credit card companies want to leave some available balance to account for things like fees and interest. Otherwise you might go over your limit right away. It s common for credit card companies to allow 95% of your available credit limit to be used for balance transfers. Let s look at some examples of what that means. n Your new credit card features a $7500 credit limit and the 95% rule applies to transfers. n Scenario A: You have $7500 in credit card debt on another credit card. You cannot transfer the full balance. You can only transfer 95%, which is $7125. n Scenario B: You have a $3500 balance on one credit card and a $4000 balance on a second credit card. You want to consolidate the debt. You can only transfer one of those balances in full. The second balance can only be transferred until you reach the combined total of $7125. That means a balance of $375 will remain on one of those two original credit cards. n Scenario C: You have a $3500 balance on one credit card and a $2500 balance on a second credit card. Because the total is $6000, you should be able to consolidate the two balances onto your new balance transfer credit card if you re approved. Along similar lines, credit card companies that allow balance transfers usually have a minimum transfer amount. For example, if you owe $400 on a high interest credit card and a new card requires a $500 minimum transfer, you won t be able to move your balance. Check these limits against your current balances before applying for any new balance transfer credit card.

14 12 How to Get the Most Out of Balance Transfers creditcard.com.au Your Balance Transfer Repayment Plan It s a good idea to have a repayment plan laid out even before you apply for a balance transfer credit card. Keep in mind that these cards almost always operate on an introductory offer basis. The great deals you see advertised don t last forever, and you ll pay more interest later if you don t pay off your balance in full fi rst. Try to fi gure out how long it will take you to pay off your existing balances in full. Then look for credit card offers with introductory periods that last at least that long. And make sure any remaining balance won t revert to an even higher interest rate than the high rate you re trying to escape from your current credit card. Balance Transfer Credit Card Hopping Should You Do It? What happens if you can t pay off your entire transferred balance before your introductory rate expires? Should you continue to pay off the balance on your new card, or should you transfer the balance again? This is sometimes called credit card hopping moving from one balance transfer credit card to another repeatedly so your interest rate stays low even if you only make minimum payments. Sounds great right? In reality, it isn t such a pretty picture. Doing this once or twice probably won t irreparably damage your credit history. But making a habit of it can look bad in your credit fi le. Every time you apply for a new credit card, a new enquiry is recorded in your fi le. Each of these enquires remains in your credit history for fi ve years. Why is this bad? The problem arises when you build too many of these enquiries in a row. Just like applying for too many credit cards at once makes you look less creditworthy (because you look desperate for access to funds), too many balance transfers also makes you look bad. Lenders know exactly what you re doing, and they know you aren t likely to stay their customer. You ll just leave them for another balance transfer card in a few months. This might even hurt your chances of getting new credit later when you really need it, such as a car loan or mortgage.

15 13 How to Get the Most Out of Balance Transfers creditcard.com.au How Much Can You Save With Balance Transfers? Balance transfers can be a great tool for saving money on interest. Unfortunately there is no easy answer as to how much you could save. That depends on factors including: n The amount you currently owe. n Your current interest rates. n Whether or not you could transfer the full balance. n The balance transfer rate of the new credit card. n How long it will take you to pay off the balance after your balance transfer. n How long the introductory balance transfer rate will last, and what rate it will revert to. In other words, if you already have a card with a relatively low interest rate and the balance transfer introductory offer will only last for 3 months you probably won t save a huge amount. On the other hand, if you pay 20% in interest now and you can get a 3.9% balance transfer rate for a year, you ll get more time to pay down your balance and save more in the process. In the end, how much you save with balance transfer credit cards is completely up to you! Would you like more information about credit cards? Check out the additional resource below; useful articles and information provided by credit card comparison site,

16 Find Your New Balance Transfer Credit Card Today! 14 Every day you ignore the potential of balance transfer credit cards is another day you pay too much money in interest to your current credit card company. Don t you deserve a better deal? Balance transfer credit cards can help you save a lot of money. As an educated consumer, you have the power to get out of credit card debt without paying a small fortune in interest. How? Visit CreditCard.com.au today and compare balance transfer credit cards!

17 15 Find Your New Balance Transfer Credit Card Today! creditcard.com.au Let Us Help You n Save time on your credit card search. n Save money on interest with a better credit card deal. n Learn more about credit cards and balance transfers through our credit card guide. n Access easy online credit card applications. What are you waiting for? It doesn t hurt to take a look at your options, and the longer you wait the more it will cost you in interest on your current credit card! Visit our website today and start saving money with a balance transfer credit card sooner than you ever thought possible.

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