Are your credit card balances getting a bit uncomfortable?

Credit cards can be a great tool. They offer an interest-free period of up to 55 days and often have rewards programmes that can pay off if you're a big spender.

But if you don't pay them off in full each month, they become a very expensive way to borrow money.

Lots of people are apathetic about it and just tell themselves that they'll get out of the credit card debt hole eventually. It's worth taking a more proactive approach.


There are a number of balance transfer offers in the market. If you have a good credit history, you should have no problem applying for a loan with another bank and transferring your balance over.

You can get rates as low as 0 per cent interest for 12 months.

This can save you hundreds of dollars. Westpac estimates that, if you were to move a balance of $5000 on an 18 per cent card to its card with an offer of 5.95 per cent for the life of the balance, you'd save $567.

Once you've transferred your money, though, make sure that you do not just add more debt. You won't end up in a better position if the temptation is just to run up another credit card.

While you're at it, consider what the best type of card might be for you. You can go for something with all the added extras such as travel insurance and rewards, if you put all your spending on the card each month. Usually you have to spend at least $15,000 a year to make these worthwhile.

If you don't use your credit card so frequently, you might find a low-fee, low-interest rate option is a better deal. More have come into the market over recent years. If you're worried about your debt, talk to your bank or a budget adviser. It's important to stay on top of it. Tackle it early to avoid it getting out of control.

Jeremy Tauri is an associate at Plus Chartered Accountants.