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The best 0% balance transfer credit cards

lovemoney staff
by Lovemoney Staff lovemoney staff 1 day ago  |  Comments 0 comments

When you choose a balance transfer credit card, you shouldn't just focus on the card with the longest 0% period.

The best 0% balance transfer credit cards

It’s easy to compare credit cards that offer interest-free periods on purchases. All you need to know is how long the 0% period is – the longest offer will be the best card.

Things are more complicated with 0% balance transfer credit cards. As a general concept, these are great products. You can transfer an existing credit card debt to a new card and then not pay any interest on that debt for a long period – currently up to 31 months with Barclaycard.

However, the problem is that you will have to pay a balance transfer fee. This is a percentage of the debt you’re transferring to your new balance transfer card. Many cards now charge around 2.5% but there are a few that are significantly cheaper.

So when you’re choosing a balance transfer card, you need to look at both the length of the 0% period and how expensive the fee is.

0% balance transfer cards with long interest-free periods

Let’s start by looking at the cards with the longest 0% periods.

Credit card

0% period on balance transfers

Balance transfer fee

Cost of transferring £2,000 balance

Representative APR

Barclaycard 31-Month Platinum Visa

31 months

2.99%

£39.80 (after £20 fee refund)

18.9%

Barclaycard 30-Month Platinum Visa

30 months

2.89%

£37.80 (after £20 fee refund)

18.9%

MBNA 30-Month Platinum Visa 30 months 2.89% £57.80 18.9%

Tesco Clubcard Credit Card for Balance Transfers

30 months

2.9%

£58

18.9%

Halifax 30-Month Balance Transfer MasterCard

30 months

3%

£60

18.9%

HSBC Credit Card*

30 months

3.3%

£66

18.9%

Fluid Balance Transfer Card 29 months 2.9% £58 18.9%

Virgin Money MasterCard

29 months

2.99%

£59.80

18.9%

Santander 29-Month Balance Transfers

29 months

3%

£60

18.9%

Barclaycard 28-Month Platinum Visa

28 months

2.44%

£48.80

18.9%

Halifax 28-Month MasterCard

28 months

2.45%

£49

18.9%

Bank of Scotland Platinum MasterCard 28 months 2.45% £49 17.9%
Lloyds Bank Online Platinum 28-Month Balance Transfer MasterCard

28 months

2.45%

£49

18.9%

TSB Platinum 28-Month Balance Transfer

28 months

3%

£60

18.9%

*HSBC current account customers only

0% cards with low balance transfer fees

However, if you’re willing to go for a card with a shorter interest-free period, you can pay a much lower fee. Look at this table:

Credit card

0% period on balance transfers

Balance transfer fee

Cost of transferring £2,000 balance

Representative APR

Tesco Clubcard Credit Card with Low Balance Transfer fee

12 months

0.65%

£13

18.9%

Bank of Scotland Platinum Balance Transfer MasterCard

15 months

0.7%

£14

17.9%

Lloyds Platinum MasterCard

15 months

0.7%

£14

17.9%

Fluid Low Fee Visa

12 months

0.75%

£15

18.9%

Halifax All in One MasterCard

15 months

0.8%

£16

17.9%

TSB Platinum MasterCard

15 months

0.8%

£16

17.9%

Santander Credit Card with Low Transfer Fee

17 months

0.9%

£18

18.9%

Post Office Platinum MasterCard

18 months

1.49%*

£29.80

17.8%

Halifax 24-Month Low Balance Transfer Fee

24 months

1.5%

£30

18.9%

Lloyds Platinum 24-Month MasterCard

24 months

1.5%

£30

17.9%

Bank of Scotland Platinum 24-Month MasterCard

24 months

1.5%

£30

17.9%

*Transfer must be minimum of £2,500

The cheapest balance transfer credit card comes from Tesco, with a fee of just 0.65% for a 12-month 0% period. After that there are the Bank of Scotland Platinum 15-Month and Lloyds Bank Platinum 15-Month. These cards attract an initial 3% fee but a partial fee refund will be applied on any balance transfer made within 90 days of opening the account, reducing the fee to just 0.7%.

However, go for the Halifax 24-Month Low Balance Transfer Fee, Lloyds Platinum 24-Month or Bank of Scotland Platinum 24-Month card and you can enjoy two years with no interest to pay for a pretty low fee of 1.5%.

You could even pay no transfer fee at all. Well, sort of. Sainsbury's Bank is currently offering to refund the 3% balance transfer fee on its Nectar MasterCard (which offers 12 months of 0% interest on spending and balance transfers) in the form of Nectar points.

So while you will pay a fee, you'll get it back in the form of reward points which you can spend on anything from cutting your weekly shop to getting money off holidays and days out.

Just make sure you give yourself enough time to pay off your debt. It makes no sense to pay a lower fee now, only to find you're paying interest later.

Average credit rating

Sadly, some people won’t be able to get any of the cards we’ve highlighted in this article. That’s because the credit card companies are only willing to give these cards to people with good credit ratings.

If you want to improve your credit rating, follow the tips in How to build an excellent credit history.

Other options

Alternatively, you could apply for a personal loan and use the money you’ve borrowed to pay off your credit card debt. Right now, the top personal loans are charging just 4.5% in interest.

0% is best

But if you can get one of the top 0% cards, go for one of them. Just make sure you pay off your minimum monthly repayment promptly every time. Otherwise your credit card provider will use your late payment as an excuse to withdraw your 0% deal.

Compare credit cards

This article is regularly updated as credit cards are launched and withdrawn

More on credit cards

Why cash and credit cards don’t mix

Tesco Bank launches top low-rate credit card

Best credit cards if you have a bad credit history

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Our top deals

Credit card
company
Balance transfers rate and period Representative
APR
Apply
now

Barclaycard 31Mth Platinum Visa

0% for 31 months (2.99% fee) Representative 18.9% APR (variable) Apply
Representative example: Assumed borrowing of £1,200 for 1 year, at a Purchase Rate of 18.9% (variable), representative 18.9% APR (variable). Credit available subject to status. A Balance Transfer fee of 3.5% will be applied, then reduced to 2.99% by a refund (terms and conditions apply). Plus an additional £20 fee refund on balance transfers over £2000.

Barclaycard 30Mth Platinum Visa

0% for 30 months (2.89% fee) Representative 18.9% APR (variable) Apply
Representative example: Assumed borrowing of £1,200 for 1 year, at a Purchase Rate of 18.9% (variable), representative 18.9% APR (variable). Credit available subject to status. A Balance Transfer fee of 3.5% will be applied, then reduced to 2.89% by a refund (terms and conditions apply). Plus an additional £20 fee refund on balance transfers over £2000.

MBNA 30Mth Platinum Credit Card Visa

0% for 30 months (2.89% fee) Representative 18.9% APR (variable) Apply
Representative example: Assumed borrowing of £1,200 for 1 year, at a Purchase Rate of 18.9% (variable), representative 18.9% APR (variable). Credit available subject to status.
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