The best 0% balance transfer credit cards


Updated on 09 January 2018 | 0 Comments

Maximum interest-free periods are dwindling on 0% balance transfer credit cards. However, you can still get a good deal – here's where to find them.

If you’ve run up debts on your credit cards and are looking to clear them in the cheapest way possible, you should consider a 0% balance transfer credit card.

Even though the interest-free periods are getting shorter, these are still great products. You can move an existing credit card debt to a new card and then not pay any interest on that debt for up to 39 months (down from 43 months back in August).

The problem is you will usually have to pay a balance transfer fee upfront. This is a percentage of the debt you’re transferring to your new balance transfer card.

This varies from one provider to the next. Some charge nothing at all, while others charge up to 3.5% of the total debt transferred.

It's important you factor this in when deciding which is the right balance transfer credit card for you.

If, for example, you feel you can clear your debt within a couple of years, it's almost certainly worth opting for a deal with a lower fee and shorter 0% period.

If on the other hand, you have a sizeable debt or one that will take three or more years to clear, you should look at the longest deals (which often have bigger fees).

Compare the credit cards with the longest 0% period

0% balance transfer cards with long interest-free periods

Here are the cards with the longest 0% balance transfer offers to see how they stack up. This table is ranked purely on length of offer.

Credit card

0% period on balance transfers

Balance transfer fee

Cost of transferring £2,000 balance

Representative APR after 0% period ends

Santander All in One Credit Card*

39 months

0%*

£0*

21.7%

MBNA Platinum 38 Month Balance Transfer Credit Card Visa

38 months

1.44%

£28.80

19.9%

Nuba Transfer Credit Card

38 months

2.49%

£49.80

21.9%

Post Office Money Balance Transfer Credit Card

37 months

1.99%

£39.80

18.9%

Halifax 36 Month Balance Transfer Credit Card

36 months

2.5%

£50

19.9%

Sainsbury's Bank 36 Month Nectar Only Credit Card**

36 months

2.89%

£57.80

18.9%

Virgin Money 35 Month Balance Transfer Credit Card

35 months

2.8%

£56

20.9%

*Card charges a £3 monthly/£36 annual fee

**Nectar customers only 

At first glance, the Santander All in One Credit Card looks undoubtedly the balance transfer deal to go for as it has the longest 0% offer and no transfer fee.

However, it's a bit misleading as the card also charges a £3 monthly fee unlike most of its rivals. 

Depending on the size of the balance you are looking to switch, this card can quickly become uncompetitive – especially on smaller amounts. For example, switching £1,000 debt to this card will see you incur £36 in charges, or the equivalent of a 3.6% fee, in the first year alone. 

By comparison, the MBNA card which sits second on the list would cost just £14.40 over 38 months.

This neatly illustrates that the longest 0% deal isn't always the best for your specific needs.

Compare the credit cards with the longest 0% period

0% cards with low balance transfer fees

If you’re willing to go for a card with a shorter interest-free period (usually around two-and-a-half years), you can pay a much lower fee or even no fee at all.

The next table looks at some of the best low transfer fee balance transfer credit cards on the market.

Credit card

0% period on balance transfers

Balance transfer fee

Cost of transferring £2,000 balance

Representative APR after 0% period ends

Halifax 29 Month Balance Transfer Credit Card

29 months

0%

£0

19.9%

Lloyds Bank Platinum 33 Month Balance Transfer Credit Card

34 months

0.57%

£11.40

18.9%

Sainsbury's Bank 33 Month Balance Transfer Credit Card

33 months

0.59%

£11.80

18.9%

Virgin 32 Month Balance Transfer Credit Card

32 months

0.6%

£12

20.9%

Tesco Bank Clubcard 32 Month Balance Transfer Credit Card

32 months

0.65%

£13

18.9%

Just make sure you weigh up how long you'll need to pay off your debts. It's better to have longer at 0% interest and pay a slightly larger fee than run out of time and end up paying interest if you forget to switch again.

Find out more by reading The best low-fee balance transfer credit cards

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.

If you need to borrow right now, have a look at our round-up of the best credit cards for people with a poor credit history.

Other options

If you want even longer to get back into the black, 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 as little as 2.8% 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:

The best 0% money transfer credit cards

The best credit cards to use on your travels

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