The longest 0% balance transfer credit cards

Get out of debt this year by using a top 0% balance transfer credit card. Here's a round-up of the longest interest-free deals on the market.

Getting a credit card to deal with your credit card debt sounds counterintuitive.

But that's exactly what a 0% balance transfer card is for: it gives you a set period – often more than two years – in which you don't get charged interest on your existing debt.

That means your debt isn't getting more expensive and, crucially, your repayments become more affordable.

A lot of cards offer balance transfers, but the specialised cards in this article have longer interest-free offers and lower fees.

If you've decided that 2020 will be the year you go debt-free, a balance transfer card could be right for you.

Consider the costs

The issue with 0% balance transfer cards is you'll have to pay a balance transfer fee upfront (unless you go down the fee-free route). This is a percentage of the debt you’re transferring to your new balance transfer card.

This varies from one lender to the next but could cost up to 3% of the total debt you're switching.

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

0% balance transfer cards with long interest-free periods

This table is arranged by length of interest-free period, then balance transfer fee.

Credit card

0% period on balance transfers (months)

Balance transfer fee

Cost of transferring £1,000 balance

Representative APR after 0% period ends

NatWest Longer Balance Transfer Card (existing NatWest/RBS customers only)*

28

2.75%

£27.50

19.9%

 M&S Credit Card Transfer Plus*

          28

     2.85%

       £28.50

            19.9%

TSB Platinum Balance Transfer Credit Card*

Up to 28

2.95%

£29.50

19.9%

MBNA Long 0% Balance Transfer Credit Card**

Up to 26

2.9%

£29

20.9%

Virgin Money 26 Month Balance Transfer Credit Card**

26

3%

£30

21.9%

*0% on all balance transfers made within the first three months of account opening 

**0% on all balance transfers made within the first two months of account opening 

 NatWest/RBS and Marks & Spencer both offer the longest 0% balance transfer period at 28 months with a 2.75% and 2.85% fee, respectively.

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to get the balance transfer credit card with NatWest or RBS unless you’re an existing customer.

It’s vital to flag that you might not get the full 0% interest-free period advertised or you could get a higher interest rate for some of the above cards.

Of course, this depends on your credit history, but you can find out what kind of credit cards you’re likely to successfully apply for (without hurting your credit score) by using an eligibility calculator.

Factor in your credit rating

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

For this reason, it's vital you do a soft search for any card you're interested in to see your chance of getting it without damaging your credit rating.

If you want to improve your credit rating, follow the tips in this handy guide.

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.

If you can't manage your debts, it's time to get help: find out how here.

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.

Of course, this isn't interest-free, and you risk getting yourself further into debt. Read our guide on getting out of debt for more tips.

0% is best

If you can get one of the top 0% cards, you should definitely 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.

Still not found the right card for you? View our complete guide to credit cards to see all your options

 

More on credit cards:

The best 0% money transfer credit cards

The best credit cards to use on your travels

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