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The best 0% balance transfer credit cards

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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 40 months, which is the longest-ever period.

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.

Act now for the longest deals!

If you want to enjoy 0% interest for an incredible 40 months with your balance transfer card, you need to move quickly.

Virgin Money's 40-Month 0% Balance Transfer card (which charges a transfer fee of 2.89%) is being withdrawn on 14th January, while the Halifax 40-Month Balance Transfer Card (which charges a transfer fee of 2.95%) is being pulled the next day.

You only have to apply for the cards by these dates, not actually transfer a balance. 

0% balance transfer cards with long interest-free periods

Let’s take a look 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

Virgin Money 40-Month Balance Transfer Credit Card

40 months

2.89%

£57.80

18.9%

Halifax 40-Month Balance Transfer Credit Card

40 months

2.95%*

£59

18.9%

MBNA Platinum 39-Month Credit Card

39 months

2.98%

£59.60

18.9%

Virgin 38 Month Balance Transfer Credit Card

38 months

2.49%

£49.80

18.9%

Tesco Bank Clubcard Credit Card for Balance Transfers

38 months

2.7%

£54

18.9%

Post Office Money Balance Transfer Credit Card

37 months

2.49%**

£49.80

18.9%

Barclaycard 37-Month Platinum Visa

37 months

2.54%

£50.80

18.9%

Bank of Scotland Platinum 37-Month Balance Transfer Credit Card

37 months

2.65%

£53

18.9%

Lloyds Bank Platinum 37-Month Balance Transfer Credit Card

37 months

2.65%

£53

18.9%

MBNA Platinum 37-Month Credit Card

37 months

2.89%

£57.80

18.9%

Sainsbury's Nectar Long Balance Transfer Credit Card

37 months

2.89%

£57.80

18.9%

Fluid 37-Month Balance Transfer Credit Card

37 months

2.9%

£58

18.9%

*0.05% refund from 3% fee on balance transfers made within the first 90 days of account opening

**0.49% refund from 2.98% fee within 90 days of balance transfer

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

Halifax 23 Month Balance Transfer Credit Card

23 months

None

£0

18.9%

Barclaycard Platinum 26-Month Balance Transfer Credit Card

26 months

0.68%

£13.60

18.9%

TSB Platinum 28 Month Balance Transfer Credit Card

28 months

0.7%

£14

18.9%

Virgin 32 Month Balance Transfer Credit Card

32 months

0.99%

£19.80

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.

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 as little as 3.3% 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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