Best Balance Transfer Loans 2018

If you have an unmanageable credit card balance, you may want to consider a balance transfer loan to save money as you repay your credit card debt. Below, we compare the best balance transfer offerings we've found in Singapore to help you choose the best option to manage your debt.

Loans

Best Balance Transfer Loan: Standard Chartered Funds Transfer

Consider this if you prefer a balance transfer loan with a low processing fee and a decent interest free period

Processing Fee 1.99%
Maximum Principal 95% of credit line
Interest Free Period 6 months

If you are looking for a balance between a decent length of interest free period and a low processing fee, then Standard Chartered's Funds Transfer product might be a good fit for you. It only charges a processing fee of 1.99%, compared to 2-2.5% being charged by its competitors. With this, you get 6 months of interest-free period that you can use to pay down your credit card balance. It can be used to pay down your personal loan balance as well. Standard Chartered's credit card balance transfer also comes with a 1% monthly repayment requirement, which is the lowest in the market. However, you should remember that you will incur 28% of annual interest after your 6th month; therefore, you should really try to pay much more than the monthly repayment requirement so that you can get rid of your debt while you are not incurring a high level of interest.

Best Long-Term Interest Free Period Balance Transfer Loan: UOB Balance Transfer

UOB CashPlus Funds Transfer

Consider this if you need the best 12-18 month balance transfer loan

Processing Fee 1.49%
Maximum Principal 95% of credit line
Interest Free Period 3 months

In our view, UOB's Balance Transfer product is the best for those who need a long interest-free period to repay their loans. For people who sign up for this product online, UOB is offering a special 3.88% processing fee for 12-months of interest free period, compared to +4.5% being charged by other banks. UOB is also the only bank in Singapore that offers an 18-months interest free period for a processing fee of 4.88%. You can get a credit card or a CashPlus balance transfer loan, which only differ in terms of their monthly minimum payment requirement. This shouldn't be too much of a factor for people who are looking for ways to pay down their debt in full as soon as possible. When your interest free period is over, you will begin to incur 26% of annual interest on your remaining balance, so you should be paying down this balance as much as possible every month, instead of paying just the minimum requirement.

Best Short-Term Interest Free Period Balance Transfer Loan: UOB Balance Transfer

UOB CashPlus Funds Transfer

Consider this if you need the best 3 month balance transfer loan

Processing Fee 1.49%
Maximum Principal 95% of credit line
Interest Free Period 3 months

If you have only a small amount of unpaid credit card balance that you can pay down within 3 months, then UOB's Balance Transfer is likely the best option for you. For an interest free period of 3 months, UOB's balance transfer only charges a processing fee of 1.49%, the lowest we've seen in the market. In comparison, other banks generally charge 1.58% to to 1.8% for the same length of interest free period. As we mentioned above, it is critical that you pay down all if not most of your balance within the designated interest free period. This is because your remaining balance will incur interest of 26% after your 3rd month, which can balloon into a considerable amount before you know it. Therefore, this product is ideal for small balance transfers that you can manage to repay quickly.

Other Considerations

If you can't use the options above because your balance is already with them, here are some other options that might be worth considering. However, these banks below only offer good deals for new customers, so they may not be an ideal option for those who have had an account with them in the past 12-18 months.

Citibank Balance Transfer

Citibank Credit Card Balance transfer

Consider this if you have not been a CitiBank customer in the past year

Processing Fee 1.58%
Maximum Principal 90% of credit line
Interest Free Period 3 months

If you have not had a banking relationship with Citibank in the past 12 months, then Citibank's Balance Transfer product is also a superb option for 6-months interest free balance transfer. As long as you are a new customer to Citi, you can enjoy 6 months of zero interest on your balance transfer for paying only 1.58% of service fee, which is even lower than Standard Chartered's. However, this rate can actually increase to 2.5% if you've had a banking relationship with Citi in the past 12 months. Citi's credit card balance transfer also provides the market leading 1% monthly repayment requirement. As always, please make sure to redeem as much of your balance as possible since you will incur 26% of annual interest after your 6th month.

OCBC Balance Transfer

OCBC Balance Transfer

Consider this if you are not yet an OCBC customer

Processing Fee 1.8%
Maximum Principal 90% of credit line
Interest Free Period 3 months

In our view, OCBC's Balance Transfer product is also the best 12-month interest free offer in the market, but only for new OCBC customers. For people who have not banked with OCBC before, OCBC is offering a special 3.88% processing fee, much lower than +4.5% being charged by other banks. If you are not new to OCBC, however, they charge a processing fee of 4.28%, which is not the best rate you can get. Its minimum monthly repayment is 3% of total outstanding (or S$50, whichever is higher), though this shouldn't be too much of a factor since you should try to pay down your debt in full as soon as possible. If you don't, you will start to incur 26% of annual interest on your remaining balance, which can cost you a lot of money depending on how much balance you have left.

Summary Table of Best Balance Transfer Offers in Singapore

In case you want a quick look at our picks, here are ValuePenguin's best balance transfers for 2018.

Processing Fee by Interest Rate Free Period3-months6-months12-months18-monthsMinimum Monthly Repayment
Standard Chartered Funds Transfer1.99%4.5%1%
UOB CashPlus Balance Transfer1.49%2.5%3.88%2.5%
UOB Credit Card Balance Transfer1.49%2.5%3.88%3.0%
OCBC Balance Transfer (new customers)1.8%2.5%3.88%3.0% (or S$50, whichever is higher)
OCBC Balance Transfer (existing customers)1.8%2.5%4.5%3.0% (or S$50, whichever is higher)
Citibank Credit Card Balance Transfer1.58%1.58%5.5%1%
Citibank Ready Credit Balance Transfer1.58%1.58%5.5%3%
DBS/POSB Balance Transfer Cashline2.5%4.5%2.5%
DBS/POSB Balance Transfer Credit Card2.5%4.5%3%
Maybank Fund Transfer1.88% if >S$10,000, 2.5% if <S$10,0002.5% + 4.99% of interest3%
HSBC Credit Cards Balance TransferS$88 waived if >S$10,000 + 2.5% of interestS$88 waived if >S$10,000 + 4.88% of interest3%
HSBC Personal Line of Credit Balance TransferS$88 waived if >S$10,000 + 3.2% of interestS$88 waived if >S$10,000 + 4.88% of interest3%

Visual Comparison of Effective Interest Rates of Balance Transfer Loans

For interested readers, below is a graphic illustration of effective interest rates of each balance transfer loan available in Singapore, organized by tenure of loans. These are calculated by assuming you only make the monthly minimum repayment requirement each month of your loan, and repaying the whole remaining balance in the last month of your interest free period.

graph of effective interest rates of best balance transfers in Singapore by each bank for a 12-month interest rate free product

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