Balance transfer specials launched by two banks targeting credit card users; Westpac sets its special rate at 1.99%

Banks and credit card companies may not be competing on their standard credit card interest rates but they are competing on their balance transfer rates.

Today, Westpac has launched a special 1.99% p.a. balance transfer rate.

They say it is "effective for 9 months. Standard purchase interest rate applies thereafter."

Or you can take their regular balance transfer deal which is 5.99% p.a. - "effective until the transferred balance is paid off".

Westpac's standard purchase credit card interest rate vary between cards, ranging from 12.95% on their low interest Mastercard, to 19.95% on their standard Visa, Mastercard or American Express cards. Significantly higher rates apply when you use your credit card like a debit card for cash advances.

Meanwhile BNZ has made changes today as well.

It's balance transfer deal is now 4.95% p.a. "for the life of the balance transferred".  This is a special rate from today until further notice. It is a reduction from their previous balance transfer rate of 8.95% p.a.

BNZ's standard credit card rates range from 13.25% and 19.95% p.a. Significantly higher rates apply when you use your credit card like a debit card for cash advances.

You can find all credit card rates from all the issuers covering all rates and conditions on our comprehensive credit card rate comparison pages here »

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Westpac's balance transfer is superior as on the 5.95% (not 5.99%) deal - the balance is unlimited (until paid off) and there is no activity required on the card, and the balance transferred can be right up to the limit.   So you can use it to mop up all consumer debt at mortgage rates.
BNZ requires 'activity' on the card with the balance transfer  ie you have to keep spending on the card. Then your repayments will be directed to the lower interest portion/s first then to the higher rate portions last.   Also you can only transfer up to 95% of the limit.   However the new deal on BNZ is at a lower 4.95% rate.
Both good deals anyway.