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An astonishing 16,500,000 credit card holders are about to find out what the holiday season cost in the next few days as the bills for Christmas roll in.

We spent nearly $10 billion on Christmas gifts lone…including the new, expensive Dyson hairdryer my husband surprised me with (OMG, it blows like a jet engine).

Most of us will get an average bill of $1,700 from December purchases. And the usual 45 or 55 day interest free period is almost up.  That’s one hefty hangover from the festive season.

So what can you do?

We all know we shouldn’t be paying 20%pa on this debt when you’re only earning about 2-3%pa on your savings. So first up, if you’ve got enough cash, pay it off.

But here’s another suggestion which is even more appealing – because it uses the system to your own advantage.

To give yourself more time to pay off this balance without incurring exorbitant interest charges, consider transferring your balance to a new credit card which offers interest free periods of up to 2 years for balance transfers.

Here are few offers that are out there now.

Card Description Balance Transfer Rate Purchase rate Annual Fee
NAB Premium Card Benefit from premium credit card advantages including travel insurance, Platinum Concierge Service plus 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers. 0% p.a. for 24 months with a one off 3% balance transfer fee 19.74% p.a.

 

$90 p.a.

 

Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card Offers 0% p.a. interest rate on balance transfers for 18 months to help you manage your existing credit card balance with a reduced annual fee in the first year. 0% p.a. for 18 months

 

20.74% p.a

 

$64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
ANZ Platinum Credit Card Receive a low introductory offer of 0% p.a. on purchases for 3 months and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months. Also, enjoy an annual fee waiver in the first year. 0% p.a. for 12 months

 

0% p.a. for 3 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.) $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter)
St George Vertigo Visa Introductory offer of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers and 0% p.a. for 6 months on purchases, plus a low annual fee. 0% p.a. for 18 months

 

0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.)

 

$55 p.a.

 

American Express Essential Credit Card Receive a $50 credit on eligible spend and get Smartphone screen insurance combined with a no annual fee for life of the card. Also enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for 12 months. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee

 

14.99% p.a.

 

$0 p.a.

 

HSBC Platinum Credit Card Receive a full annual fee refund and save $149 if you meet the $6,000 spend requirement. Enjoy a balance transfer offer and platinum card benefits such as complimentary insurances and concierge services. 0% p.a. for 15 months

 

19.99% p.a.

 

$149 p.a.