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The best low-fee balance transfer credit cards

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A number of balance transfer cards are offering a decent period of interest-free payments, with only a minimal or even no transfer fee to pay.

When looking for a good 0% balance transfer credit card it's important to strike a balance between the length of the interest-free period on offer and the size of the balance transfer fee. After all, you don’t want to pay over the odds to take control of your debt, but you also don’t want to run out of time to pay it off before interest starts being charged.

It’s a tough balancing act, particularly as providers do not follow logical rules when creating these products. Paying a higher fee doesn’t automatically mean you get the best interest-free period and vice versa.

Cheapest 0% balance transfers cards

Here are the best cards around at the moment that offer balance transfer fees at 1.50% or under on 0% balance transfers. The table is ordered by the cheapest cards, in terms of balance transfer fee, and then length of interest-free period.

Credit card

0% period

Balance transfer fee

Fee paid on £2,000 transfer

Representative APR after 0% period ends

Tesco Clubcard with No Balance Transfer Fee

12 months




Nationwide Select Low Balance Transfer Fee Visa*

15 months




Nationwide Low Balance Transfer Fee Visa

15 months




Santander 17-Month Low Balance Transfer Fee MasterCard

17 months




Halifax 28-Month Low Balance Transfer Fee MasterCard

28 months




Bank of Scotland Platinum 28-Month Low Balance Transfer Fee MasterCard

28 months




Lloyds Bank Platinum 28-Month Low Balance Transfer Fee MasterCard

28 months




*Nationwide current account customers only

At the moment you can get free 0% balance transfers with Tesco Bank.

The Clubcard with No Balance Transfer Fee will freeze your balance for up to a year free of charge.

After that the cheapest deals both come from Nationwide. If you're a Nationwide current account customer or you become one, you can get the Select Low Balance Transfer Fee card, which offers 15 months at 0% for a fee of 0.55%. If you're not, the Low Balance Transfer Fee card also offers 15 months with no interest to pay but for a fee of 0.65%.

Note that you may be offered a slightly different deal if your application is successful as only 51% of accepted borrowers have to be given the maximum 0% period. You may be given a 0% period of as little as 18 months, with an APR ranging from 21.9% to 25.9%.

If you think you'll need even longer, there are 0% balance transfer credit cards offering up to 34 months interest free, but they come with far higher balance transfer fees. You can read more about these in The best 0% balance transfer credit cards.

It's worth pointing out that you'll need to have a good credit rating to qualify for most of these cards.

If you think your credit rating is a bit blemished, for example you've missed a payment or two in the past, you might want to try first for the Fluid Low Fee Credit Card Visa. This allows you to pre-check your eligibility without it being recorded on your credit report.

If you keep being turned down, don't carry on applying, as you'll hurt your credit rating. Instead, try to make some cutbacks if you can and pay off more of your debts. Make sure you keep up your repayments and your credit rating will, in time, improve.

If you're in serious trouble, seek free, independent help from a debt charity. You can find out more about these in Where to get free debt advice.

Low-rate alternatives

If you don't think you can keep up on moving your debt around then a lifetime low-rate balance transfer credit card might suit you better.

Instead of remaining interest free for a certain amount of time, these credit cards have a low APR applied to the balance from the start of the transfer that lasts as long as you take to pay it off. Some of the best cards in this category don’t charge a transfer fee and those that do keep it very low.  

Compare low-rate 0% balance transfer credit cards

This article is updated as products change

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