The best all-round 0% balance transfers and purchase credit cards

All-round credit cards aren't just convenient: they're now almost as good as specialised balance transfer and purchase cards.

An all-round credit card is a handy tool that combines balance transfer and new purchase cards.

You could get two years or more of 0% interest on your existing debt and current spending, giving you a vital window to pay off your debts.

Previously, all-round cards could be criticised as 'jack of all trades', because they weren't as good as specialised credit cards.

However, as interest-free terms on specialised balance transfer cards and specialised purchase cards have plummeted, all-round cards now provide interest-free periods that are just as long.

These cards have another advantage: you only have to undergo one credit check rather than two, helping you preserve your credit rating.

Compare all-round credit cards on loveMONEY

A word of warning

All-round credit cards have great interest-free offers.

However, that doesn't mean you don't have to make minimum payments. If you miss one of these, you'll find those interest-free periods vanished and you're left with an expensive credit card and diminished rating.

Finally, these cards won't solve debt by themselves: you need a plan. Read our guide to getting out of debt for practical tips and where to find support.

The best all-round credit cards

We've ranked cards firstly by the 0% period and then by the fee. The APR shouldn't matter as much because, if you make your payments on time, you should never have to pay it.

Credit card

0% period on balance transfers and purchases

Balance transfer fee

APR

MBNA 0% Transfer and Purchase Mastercard 28 months 2.72% 19.9%

Sainsbury's Bank Dual Offer Mastercard

28 months

3%

20.9%

Barclaycard Platinum 27 Month Purchase and Balance Transfer Visa

27 months 2.7% 19.9%
Santander All in One Mastercard*

26 months

0%

18.9%

Virgin Money 26 Month All Round Mastercard 26 months 2.9% 18.9%

*Santander's All in One card has a £3 monthly fee

Although MBNA's card has a slightly lower fee, frequent Sainsbury's shoppers should consider the supermarket's Dual Offer card.

That's because you can earn two Nectar points for every £1 you spend at the supermarket with the Sainsbury's Dual Offer card (and one point per £5 elsewhere).

Currently, there's also a bonus 750 points on offer every time you spend more than £35 at Sainsbury's in the first two months, up to a maximum of 7,500 points. 

Santander's All in One card has a £3 fee, but this can be partially offset by the 0.5% cashback it offers.

You'd need to spend £600 a month to make Santander's card worthwhile, but if you can then you'll save money because this card is one of very few to have no balance transfer fee whatsoever.

Compare all-round credit cards on loveMONEY

Not for everyone

In some cases, you may still be better off going for two specialised credit cards.

Some balance transfer cards are cheaper, offering fees of under 2%, which could help if you've got large debts.

Take a look at: The best 0% balance transfer credit cards for more.

Read more:

John Lewis credit card fees hiked – is it worth keeping?

Top cashback cards to be scrapped: best alternatives

The UK's cheapest personal loans

Top cashback card to be scrapped: best alternatives

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