Best 0% balance-transfer credit cardsHow to transfer your credit card debt ahead of Christmas

30 November 2016

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Make sure to pay off your credit card debt before the 0% interest period comes to an end

If you indulged in the Black Friday sales and would like some extra time to clear your credit card debt ahead of Christmas, a 0% balance-transfer credit card could be for you.

Here we explain what this type of card is and highlight some of the leading deals on the market.

For each of these deals, we've included a link to the Which? Money Compare tables where you can find out more information. 

What is a 0% balance-transfer credit card?

A 0% balance-transfer credit card allows you to transfer an existing balance to a new card which won't charge you interest until the 0% period ends. It is a competitive marker, with the leading cards now offering 0% interest for nearly three-and-a-half years.

However, there are a couple of things to be aware of.  First off, do your best to clear the debt entirely before the 0% period ends, as the interest rate on any existing debt will skyrocket thereafter.

Also, be mindful of the card's balance-transfer fee. Most cards will charge this one-off fee, typically ranging between 0.25% and 3% of the debt you're moving. In general the longer the deal lasts, the higher the fee, so consider how quickly you can pay off your debt.

Finally, be aware that those with a lower credit rating may be offered a higher APR or shorter 0% interest period. 

Which? Money Compare table - 0% balance-transfer credit cards - hundreds of deals compared

Longest 0% balance-transfer credit card deals

The Halifax Balance Transfer credit card comes with a 41-month 0% interest deal on balance transfers, which is the joint-longest in the Which? Money Compare tables. It also offers 0% on purchases for six months. Its fee is 3.18% and the APR is 18.9%. 

Virgin Money's Balance Transfer card also comes with a 41-month interest-free period on balance transfers but has a fee of 3.19% and an APR of 20.9%.

A host of providers, including Tesco Bank, Sainsbury's, Santander and Lloyds, offer credit cards with 40-month 0% balance-transfer deals. The balance-transfer fees on these cards range from 1% to 2.89%.

Balance-transfer cards with no fee

Tesco Bank currently offers the joint-longest 0% balance-transfer deal in the Which? Money Compare tables with fee - 24 months. The card's APR is 18.9%. Virgin Money also offers a card with the same 0% interest period and no fee, but it comes with a slightly higher APR of 19.9%.

Another option is the Post Office's Money Platinum Credit Card which has a 0% period of 22 months, no fee and an APR of 17.8%.

Best 0% deals on balance transfers and purchases

Some 0% balance-transfer credit cards also include lengthy 0% interest deals on purchases too. These might be suitable for those looking to transfer existing credit card debt and spread the cost of their Christmas shopping over a longer period.  

For example, Virgin Money 30 Month All Round Credit Card offers a 30-month 0% interest period on both balance transfers and purchases.  

Which? Money Compare table: - 0% balance-transfer and purchase cards - our tables are updated daily   

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