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Best 0% balance transfer deals disappearing

Interest-free periods shrinking and balance transfer fees creeping up

A raft of market-leading 0% balance transfer credit card deals have been withdrawn from the market or had their balance transfer fees hiked in the last week.

Barclaycard is the latest provider to make a change, reducing the 0% period on its balance transfer card from 36 months with a 1.85% fee to 35 months with a 1.35% fee.

Which? looks at what this means for those with credit card debt, and explores the best 0% balance transfer credit card deals still available.


Best 0% balance transfer deals shrinking

A 0% balance transfer credit card allows you to shift existing credit card debt and freeze the interest rate for a set time, typically for a one-off fee.

When looking for a good 0% balance transfer deal, you should consider the length of the no-interest period and the size of the transfer fee.

However, the length of 0% deals has fallen off a cliff since this time last year, as the table below shows.

  Longest-lasting 0% balance credit card deal
Mar-08 Virgin Money – 0% for 15 months
Mar-13 Barclaycard – 0% for 25 months
Mar-16 Halifax – 0% for 40 months
Mar-17 Halifax – 0% for 43 months
Today MBNA – 0% for 36 months

Source: Moneyfacts.co.uk

The longest-lasting 0% balance transfer deal on the market today offers 36 months to freeze debt – 10 months less than this time last year, when borrowers could get a deal for a whopping 43 months.

Why is the length of a 0% balance transfer deal important?

A longer-lasting 0% balance transfer deal means you have more time to pay off what you owe, so you can split your debt into more affordable repayments each month.

With a £4,000 debt, for example, a 43-month card would allow you pay back around £93 a month. But you would need to pay back £111.11 in order to clear the same debt with a 36-month deal.

Find out more about how balance transfer deals work in our best 0% balance transfer credit cards guide.

The best deals to snap up now

Deals are disappearing fast from the market – so, if you’re carrying a credit card debt, you should consider your options now.

Here are the longest-lasting 0% balance transfer deals on the market right now.

Length of balance transfer 0% period Balance transfer fee Cost of moving £2,000 Representative APR
MBNA Platinum Credit Card 36 months 2.49% £49.80 19.9%
Lloyds Bank Platinum 36-Month Balance Transfer Credit Card 36 months 3% £60 19.9%
Barclaycard Platinum 35-Month Balance Transfer Credit Card 35 months 1.35% £27 19.9%

Source: Which? Money Compare

Alternatively, if you are after a cheaper deal, here are the best fee-free balance transfer credit cards available right now.

  0% balance transfer period Balance transfer fee Cost of moving £2,000 Representative APR
Santander All in One Credit Card1 30 months 0% £0 21.7%
Sainsbury’s Bank No Balance Transfer Fee Credit Card 28 months 0% £0 18.9%
Santander Everyday Credit card 27 months 0% £0 18.9%

1 £3 monthly fee
Source: Which? Money Compare

Which? Limited is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Which? Financial Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 527029). Which? Mortgage Advisers and Which? Money Compare are trading names of Which? Financial Services Limited.

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