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Consolidate your Christmas Credit Card Debt to save on Interest

28 December 2016

The cost of Christmas can be high, with all the gifts to buy and parties to attend, which many of us choose to pay for on our credit cards, and worry about paying for later. The Reserve bank of Australia has released data indicating that Australians borrowed $27.5 billion on credit cards in December for purchases and cash-out transactions, which will result in some hefty credit card bills arriving in late January and eraly February of the new year.

As the New Year approaches the credit card bills for all the Christmas spending will start arriving and confirm the size of your credit card debt. No matter how scary this number maybe to you there are ways to manage your debts and get your finances under control and back on track. The important first step is to recognize that you have a debt that you must immediately seek to manage by devising a plan on how you are going to clear it. 


How to manage your Christmas credit card debt?


There are a number of options available to pay down the credit card debt you built up as you prepared for, and then celebrated Christmas.

1. Minimize your interest charges with a balance transfer credit card

Balance transfer credit cards are designed to help you pay off an existing credit card and personal loan debts that you have accumulated. These credit cards offer rates as low as 0% p.a. for a fixed period of time, during which you can make significant savings on interest while you focus on paying off your debt. Balance Transfer credit cards enable you to transfer an existing balance from one or more credit or store card accounts to a new account that features a lower interest rate for a fixed time period, which can be from 6 to 24 months.

How to select the best* balance transfer credit card

  • Balance transfer period - this is the length of time that the balance transfer rate will be applied to your transferred debt. The period you choose should be one which you are 100% confident is long enough for you to be able to completely pay down your debt in. Getting this wrong can be costly as at the end of the balance transfer period the rate applied to any outstanding dent will be the cards revert rate which will be significantly higher that the balance transfer rate. This revert rate is generally either the cards purchase or cash advance rate.
  • Balance Transfer Rate - To maximize your interest savings you should be seeking the lowest Balance Transfer Rate. Many providers offer 0% p.a. balance transfer deals, though you’ll need a decent credit profile to be offered this rate.
  • Card fees - Assessing the cards fees in conjunction with the balance transfer deal is important, consider what the purchase rate of the card is, particularly if you will be using the card to cover ongoing expenses
  • Interest Free Days on Purchases - Some balance transfer cards cancel these interest free days when you make a transfer, so if you are planning on using the card to make purchases seek out cards which still offer interest free days in conjunction with a competitive balance transfer deal.
  • Balance transfer fee - Many card providers charge a balance transfer fee as part of the balance transfer, this fee will be in the range of 1-3% of the amount transferred, and be added to your balance on day one of the transfer.


Balance Transfer Credit Card deals to consolidate your christmas spending


Exclusive Westpac Low Rate Credit Card

Exclusive Westpac Low Rate Balance Transfer Offer

Introductory Offer: 0% p.a. Balance Transfer for 24 months

Offer conditions: Offer closes 26th October 2017, Balance Transfer fee of 2% applies, reverts to Purchase Rate after 24 months


  • Low Purchase Rate - Just 13.49% p.a.
  • Up to 55 interest free days on purchases - providing you pay off your balance in full every month
  • Low minimum income eligibility - at $15,000 p.a.
  • Additional Card Holder - Add an additional card holder for $0, cardholders must be over 16 years of age
  • Card Security - covered by Cardshield and Fraud Protection by Falcon.
  • Visa payWave - providing the convenience of tap and go quick payments on transactions up to $100.
  • Low annual fee - $59 p.a.
  • Quick On line application - Decision within 60 seconds

Full card review >>


American Express Essential Credit Card

AMEX Essential Credit Card

Introductory offer: $50 Credit PLUS 0% p.a. Balance Transfer for 12 months

Offer Conditions: Spend $750 on your new card within the first 3 months to attain the $50 credit. Card Members who currently hold or who have previously held any other Consumer Credit Card product issued by American Express Australia Limited in the preceding 18 month period are ineligible for this offer.

  • Receive a $50 credit - when you apply online, are approved and spend $750 on your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership
  • $0 annual fee - A no fee card with rewards, low rate and a 0% p.a. balance transfer deal
  • Apple Pay - use your compatible iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch to securely pay with your card in store and within apps
  • Android Pay - use your compatible Android device to securely pay with your card in store and within apps
  • Membership Rewards - Earn up to 1 Membership Rewards point for every $1 spent
  • Frequent Flyer Friendly - Transfer your Membership Rewards to a choice of 8 frequent flyer programs
  • Smartphone Screen Insurance for up to $500 - when you pay for your phone or contract with your Essential Credit Card
  • Low Minimum Income for eligibilty - At just $40,000 p.a.
  • Balance Transfer Deal - 0% p.a. on balance transfers for the first 12 months, a 1% establishment fee applies.
  • Enjoy a low interest rate - of 14.99% p.a. on purchases
  • Emergency Card replacement - if your card is lost or stolen

Full card review >>


2. Minimize your interest costs with a low rate Personal loan with terms up to 7 years.

A debt consolidation loan is a popular option for managing credit card debts as they offer longer periods over which the debt can be repaid, though you will not find any 0% p.a. deals on these loans. Low interest rates on these loans can be found with the secured loan option tending to feature the lowest rates.

Debt consolidation loans are designed to help you aggregate debts from multiple sources and make it easy for you to bring together a disparate array of debts into a single loan. The most common forms of debt that are consolidated into a personal loan are:

Personal loans and Car Loans - These are one of the most common debts to be consolidated, where one or more personal loans are consolidated into a new low interest debt consolidation loan offering a lower rate and fees.

Credit cards - Outstanding credit card balances attracting high interest rates are frequently included in debt consolidation loans that offer a lower interest rate and reduced fees. Debt consolidation loans are also an alternative to balance transfers when the acceptance criteria for these cards are prohibitive.

Store & charge cards - These cards often feature interest rates at the top end of the range so a transfer of any debts on these card types to a debt consolidation loan can reap significant savings.

Reap the benefits of selecting better
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