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The best 0% balance transfer credit cards

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Last updated on

16 February 2015

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

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 36 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 36-Month Platinum Visa

36 months

2.99%

£59.80

18.9%

Barclaycard 35-Month Platinum Visa

35 months

2.99%

£59.80

18.9%

Barclaycard 34-Month Platinum Visa

34 months

2.74%

£54.80

18.9%

Halifax 34-Month Balance Transfer MasterCard

34 months

2.80%

£56

18.9%

Tesco Bank Clubcard 34-Month Balance Transfer Credit Card

34 months

2.90%

£58

18.9%

Lloyds Bank Platinum 34-Month Balance Transfer MasterCard

34 months

3%

£60

18.9%

Bank of Scotland Platinum 34-Month Balance Transfer MasterCard

34 months

3%

£60

18.9%

HSBC Credit Card

34 months

3.3%

£66

18.9%

Compare the credit cards with the longest 0% period

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 or even no fee at all, as the table below shows.

Credit card

0% period on balance transfers

Balance transfer fee

Fee paid on £2,000 transfer

Representative APR after 0% period ends

Santander 123 Credit Card*

23 months

None

£0

16.5%

Santander Credit Card

15 months

None

£0

18.9%

Halifax 0% Balance Transfer Fee Offer MasterCard

13 months

None

£0

18.9%

Tesco Clubcard with No Balance Transfer Fee

12 months

None

£0

18.9%

Nationwide Select Low Balance Transfer Fee Credit Card**

15 months

0.25%

£5

15.9%

Nationwide  Low Balance Transfer Fee Credit Card

15 months

0.35%

£7

17.9%

Post Office Platinum Credit Card

18 months

0.79%

£15.80

17.8%

Halifax All in One Credit Card

19 months

1%

£20

18.9%

Barclaycard Platinum 25-Month Balance Transfer Credit Card

25 months

1.30%

£26

18.9%

Bank of Scotland Platinum Balance Transfer Credit Card

28 months

1.50%

£30

18.9%

Halifax Platinum Balance Transfer Credit Card

28 months

1.50%

£30

18.9%

Lloyds Bank Platinum Balance Transfer Credit Card

28 months

1.50%

£30

18.9%

*£24 annual fee

**Nationwide current account customers only

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

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 around 4% 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

The best 0% money transfer credit cards

The best credit cards to use on your travels

Best credit cards if you have a bad credit history

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