The best low-fee 0% balance transfer credit cards

The best low-fee 0% balance transfer credit cards

Our pick of the best low-fee 0% balance transfer credit cards for those who don't want to pay a massive fee upfront but also want a fairly lengthy 0% window.

lovemoney staff

Banking and Borrowing

lovemoney staff
Updated on 29 May 2023

The longest balance transfer cards offer up to 31 months interest-free at the time of writing, although these tend to come with hefty balance transfer fees.

It is possible to get balance transfer cards without any fees whatsoever, giving you a vital opportunity to pay off your debt without incurring any extra costs. 

In this article, we take a look at the best low-fee and no-fee balance transfer cards available. 

Lowest fee vs longest 0% period: finding the right balance 

Most balance transfer cards tend to fall into one of three categories: the first is those that offer the longest 0% balance transfer window, for which you'll generally have to pay a hefty fee.

Virgin Money has the longest 0% offer with 31 months, but you'll pay 3.5% of the total value of your transfer to get it.

At the other end of the scale, you have the truly fee-free balance transfer deal. As there are no fees, you'll get a far shorter 0% window: the longest at present is 19 months with the NatWest/RBS Balance Transfer Card, but you must earn at least £10,000 a year to apply.

Alternatively, you can opt for HSBC’s fee-free Balance Transfer Credit Card, which offers 16 months interest-free.

In between these two extremes is the low-fee transfer card, which usually offers a balance between duration and cost. 

Sainsbury’s Bank currently offers 0% interest for up to 23 months with its 23 Month Balance Transfer Credit Card. The balance transfer fee is 1.99% (min £3) for transfers made at application.

It's worth stressing that all the cards we've mentioned above require that you have an excellent credit rating to qualify.

So, it’s worth using a card eligibility checker to work out your chances of getting a deal without leaving a mark on your credit report.

The best fee-free 0% balance transfer cards

Best low-fee balance transfer cards

If the low-fee option appeals, then here are some top picks.

We've ranked them by the longest 0% balance transfer offer (but charging 2% or less).

If you can pay your balance off a little quicker, do look at these fee-free options instead.

Credit card

0% period on balance transfers (months)

Balance transfer fee

Fee paid on £1,000 transfer

Representative APR after 0% period ends

Sainsbury’s Bank 23-Month Balance Transfer Card*

Up to 23

1.99% (min £3)



Sainsbury’s Bank 21-Month Balance Transfer Card*

Up to 21

1% (min £3)



*0% on all balance transfers made at application

It's worth reiterating that you'll need a good credit rating to qualify for most of these cards. You could also receive a shorter interest-free period or a higher fee, depending on your credit score.

If you get turned down, don't carry on applying as you'll hurt your credit rating. Instead, try to make some cutbacks if you can and pay off more of your debts.

Be sure to keep up your repayments and your credit rating will, in time, improve. Read this guide for more tips on how to boost your rating.

If you're in serious trouble, seek free, independent help from a debt charity. You can find out more in this guide to free debt advice.

Low-rate alternatives

If you don't think you can keep moving your debt around, then a lifetime low-rate balance transfer credit card might suit you better.

Instead of remaining interest-free for a certain amount of time, these credit cards have a low APR applied to the balance from the start of the transfer that lasts as long as you take to pay it off.

Some of the best cards in this category don't charge a transfer fee and those that do keep it very low.

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

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