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A balance transfer is a type of unsecured, short-term cash facility. It can help you transfer outstanding balance from one or more credit cards to a low or 0% interest account or credit line. It can also provide you with quick cash in times of emergency or need. It’s subject to a one-time processing fee on the approved transfer amount, which can range from as low as $500 to S$30,000. This short-term cash facility has to be repaid over a typical balance transfer repayment period of between 3 to 24 months before a high interest rate kicks in.
When you apply for a balance transfer in Singapore, you are borrowing from the available credit limit of your credit card or line of credit. The amount you borrow will be transferred to a bank account of your choice. Why do this? Because the best balance transfer offers in Singapore allow you to pay low or 0% interest on your consolidated balance over a set period of time.
Flexible monthly repayment: With balance transfers, you can choose how much to repay every month, beyond a minimum monthly sum (usually 1% to 3% of your outstanding balance), before the end of the repayment period. A personal loan requires you to repay a fixed monthly fee every month until the length of the repayment period ends. For example, say your balance transfer amount is S$10,000 and your repayment period is over 6 months. If your minimum monthly payment is S$100, then for the first 5 months you only need to pay S$100, but on the 6th month, you can repay the remaining S$9,500 at one go.

One-time processing fee: For balance transfer offers, banks usually charge a one-time processing fee of between 1% to 5% of your approved amount. For a personal loan, this is usually between 1% to 2%.

Length of the repayment period: Balance transfer repayment periods in Singapore are shorter and typically range from 3 to 24 months, while a personal loan can be between 1 to 5 years.

Applied interest rate: Typically banks in Singapore offer a 0% interest rate for a balance transfer at the start. For a personal loan, this can be between 4.5% to 7%.

Balance transfers are best if you need cash urgently, or have a big, short-term expense on the horizon and want to avoid the higher interest rates on other types of loan facilities. Typical use cases include repayment on outstanding credit card debt, a big-ticket event like a wedding, investment, emergency repair or medical bills, investment or business opportunities.
But beware: Always ensure you’re able to settle the full amount of the balance transfer by the end of the repayment period. If not, the effective interest rate (EIR) of the credit card or personal line of credit you’ve used to borrow the money from kicks in, and this can be as high as 26% per annum.
Before you apply for a balance transfer offer in Singapore, know the pros and cons.
  • Helps you consolidate debt
  • Pay low or 0% interest rate for a limited time
  • Transfer your balance to a better credit card with rewards or lower interest rate
  • Quick cash

  • Cons:
  • Risk getting into more debt if you don’t pay off all or most of your balance during the initial repayment period
  • The interest rate after the initial repayment period is extremely high
  • Here are some important things to consider when shopping around.
  • How much is the applied interest rate? (Usually it’s zero, but double check)
  • How much is the one-time processing fee?
  • How long are the available loan repayment periods?
  • What is the Effective Interest Rate (EIR) after the loan repayment period ends?
  • What are the balance transfer limits?
  • Is the offer only valid for new or existing bank customers?
  • Are certain offers only available online?
  • Answering these questions can help you evaluate the best balance transfer offers in Singapore and find the best option for you.