The longest balance transfer cards offer up to 28 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 that charge far smaller fees, giving you a vital opportunity to pay off your debt without incurring any extra costs.
In this article, we take a look at your options if you're after a low-fee or even fee-free balance transfer card.
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.
Barclaycard currently has the longest 0% offer with up to 28 months for a 3.45% fee. To put this into context, it means you'd pay £34.50 to transfer £1,000 to the card.
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. For example, NatWest/RBS currently have the longest offer of just 13 months interest-free.
Traditionally, there has also been a third category: the low-fee transfer card, which usually offers a balance between duration and cost. In some cases, these fees had been as low as 1%.
Recently, however, these offers have been disappearing from the market.
In fact, there are only two noteworthy low-fee deals currently available (see table below).
It's also worth stressing that the best fee-free and low-free credit cards generally 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.
Best low-fee balance transfer cards
If the low-fee option appeals, then here is our top pick.
If you can pay your balance off a little quicker, do look at these fee-free options instead.
0% period on balance transfers (months)
Balance transfer fee
Fee paid on £1,000 transfer
Representative APR after 0% period ends
Virgin Money 20-Month Balance Transfer Card*
Tesco Low-Fee Balance Transfer card
*0% on all balance transfers made within two months of account opening
As mentioned earlier, several lenders have recently pulled their most attractive deals. We'll update our tables when (and if) these offers return.
If you do decide to take out a money transfer card, it's worth reiterating that you'll need a good credit rating to qualify for most of these deals. 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.
Still not found the right card for you? View our complete guide to credit cards to see all your options.