Best 0% balance transfer credit cards

Credit cards

Best 0% balance transfer credit cards

By Rob Goodman

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Best 0% balance transfer credit cards

Are you keen to cut the interest you pay on existing credit card debt? If so, a 0% balance transfer deal could be for you.

Some cards allow you just over three years before you're charged any interest on a balance transferred from another card, giving you some breathing space in which to repay the debt gradually. 

However, it's important that you clear the debt before the end of the 0% period to avoid being charged at the standard APR – typically around 18.9%.  

Which? Money Compare: Best 0% balance transfer credit cards – view some of the best 0% balancetransfer deals with Which? Money Compare.

Choose the best 0% balance transfer credit card

The length of the offer shouldn't be the only thing you look for in a good deal: most cards charge a one-off transfer fee, ranging from 0.25% to 3% of the debt you're moving. And some cards with a shorter 0% period charge no transfer fee at all. 

In general, the longer the deal lasts, the higher the fee will be. This means it can be worth avoiding the longest deals if you feel confident that you'll be able to repay the balance within a shorter time frame.

Most credit card companies reserve the right to withdraw a deal at any time if you miss a payment or exceed your credit limit, meaning you'll be charged interest at their standard rate. Setting up a direct debit to repay the minimum amount on the card will help you avoid this.

Getting the most out of your 0% balance transfer card

Beware of spending on a balance transfer card, as this can be costly. There are some balance transfer cards that offer 0% interest on purchases for a limited time, but the deal periods on these cards tend to be shorter than standalone deals. 

In order to avoid reverting to the standard interest rate, it's important to repay your balance in full before the 0% offer comes to an end. It's worth setting up a direct debit based on the monthly amount needed to repay the debt within the 0% period.

If you do still have outstanding debt at the end of the 0% period, you should consider switching the remainder to a new 0% balance transfer card. Failing that, you should transfer the debt to a card with a lower APR.

Which? Money Compare: Best 0% purchase credit cards

0% balance transfer cards – some customers won't get the headline rate 

The APR and length of the promotional offers made available to you will often be based on your personal circumstances. Those with a lower credit rating may be offered a higher APR or a shorter amount of time to pay off their debt interest-free.

Most card providers won't offer you 0% on balances transferred from one of their cards to another. 

Some people go from one 0% card to another when the interest-free period expires to avoid paying any interest. However, being able to do this will depend on your credit history. It's also worth remembering that making multiple credit applications within a short space of time can have an impact on your credit rating.

  • Last updated: July 2016
  • Updated by: Rob Goodman