A raft of market-leading 0% balance transfer credit card deals have been withdrawn from the market or had their balance transfer fees hiked in the last week.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