Balance transfer offers give you a low introductory rate of interest when you move debt from an existing card to the new card. To take advantage of a balance transfer offer, you need to request it when you apply for the new card and then wait for it to be approved and processed by the new credit card provider.
Balance transfer offers give you a chance to pay down your debt while saving on interest charges, but usually apply a high standard rate of interest if you still have debt at the end of the introductory period.
If you want to get a balance transfer to help pay down debt, you should always check the standard balance transfer rate and aim to pay off the balance before it is applied.
TIP: Remember you can’t get a balance transfer with your current credit card provider.
Case Study: Samara’s Balance Transfer Offer Issue
Samara has a credit card with a $5000 balance and an interest rate of 20.99% p.a. When she gets her next statement, her credit card provider also includes some of their latest offers, including a balance transfer card with 0% interest for 24 months.
Samara goes online and applies for the card, but is denied because it is with her current provider. She can only get a balance transfer to a card from a different credit card provider and issuer.