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0% balance transfer and purchase cards

Find a card that offers 0% interest on new purchases and balance transfers

Get a card that lets you spread the cost of purchases interest free as well as save money on interest when transferring an existing balance
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Last updated
January 31, 2023
55 results found, sorted by longest balance transfer period.
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What is a balance transfer and purchase credit card?

Balance transfer and purchase credit cards let you transfer an existing balance from another credit card, and make new purchases using a single credit card without being charged interest on either.

This is often useful if you want to track your debt and manage your spending.

However, be careful to watch when the 0% interest periods expire - otherwise you could be left with a hefty balance to clear.

Monthly UK purchases on credit cards[1]
£18.5billion

How does the balance transfer period work?

A 0% interest period for balance transfers is a set amount of time. Typical 0% interest free balance transfer periods are 18 months, 21 months and 24 months. The best 0% interest free balance transfer period deals are longer and can go up to 30 months or more.

During that time you will not be charged interest on the debt you transferred from your old card to your new credit card, though you may be charged a fee up to 4% to complete the transfer.

You will need to pay the minimum repayments on the 0% balance transfer card. But you should aim to make repayments that are enough to pay off the balance in full before the 0% offer ends. You will be charged interest on any remaining balance, which is often much higher than on standard credit cards.

Monthly UK balance transfer worth[1]
£1.3billion
Average 0% interest free periods on UK credit cards
How many months interest free different sordts of credit cards are offering on average.

Source: Defaqto and Uswitch data, correct as of December 19, 2022

How does the purchase period work?

A 0% purchase period is different to a 0% balance transfer period. The 0% purchase period only lets you buy things with your credit card at no interest.

Aim to pay off your credit card during the 0% purchase period. Or you will be charged interest on any outstanding balance when the 0% purchase period ends.

A combo credit card may give you different time periods for 0% balance transfers and 0% purchases. Keep an eye on when each one ends.

Find out more about how to calculate your interest here.

How to get the cheapest balance transfer and purchase card

In order to find the best offers the simplest place to start is by comparing as many deals as possible. At the same time it’s important to keep in mind there is no one best deal.

The best deal for you is one that offers the longest interest free period on both balance transfers and purchases, but also covers your individual needs.

Shopping around and comparing credit cards is the best way to find the best deals. Look for 0% interest rate credit cards with long interest free periods and the lowest balance transfer fees.

The best deals offer 0% interest rates on balance transfers and 0% purchase deals for up to around 28 months.

However, be aware that often a single credit card can offer differing interest free periods on balance transfers and purchases.

For example, a credit card may offer 12 months 0% on interest on old balances transferred to the card, but 24 months on new purchases.

Mistakes to avoid with balance transfer and purchase cards

Forgetting about the revert rate

At the end of the introductory promotional period, the 0% interest rate will revert to the standard purchase rate, which is usually between 10 and 35%, but can be higher. Consider the standard interest rate before applying for the card so you understand how your debt will grow if you fail to repay your balance before the interest free period ends.

Only making the minimum repayment

Most credit card providers expect you to make a minimum monthly repayment towards your balance. This is usually around 3% of your balance.

However, if you only make the minimum amount each month, you’ll be unable to repay your entire balance before the 0% offer finishes. This means you’ll end up being charged the revert rate on your remaining balance, which will make it much harder to pay it off.

Not taking advantage of the entire offer period

The 0% offer is available as soon as your card is approved, not from when you make your first purchase. So if your card offers a 0% offer for six months but you don’t make a purchase or any repayments for the first month, you’ll only have five more months to make repayments without incurring interest.

If you have a big purchase in mind, make it as soon as possible and start making repayments immediately to get maximum value out of the offer.

Mistakes to avoid with balance transfer and purchase cards
Forgetting about the revert rate

At the end of the introductory promotional period, the 0% interest rate will revert to the standard purchase rate, which is usually between 10 and 35%, but can be higher. Consider the standard interest rate before applying for the card so you understand how your debt will grow if you fail to repay your balance before the interest free period ends.

Only making the minimum repayment

Most credit card providers expect you to make a minimum monthly repayment towards your balance. This is usually around 3% of your balance.

However, if you only make the minimum amount each month, you’ll be unable to repay your entire balance before the 0% offer finishes. This means you’ll end up being charged the revert rate on your remaining balance, which will make it much harder to pay it off.

Not taking advantage of the entire offer period

The 0% offer is available as soon as your card is approved, not from when you make your first purchase. So if your card offers a 0% offer for six months but you don’t make a purchase or any repayments for the first month, you’ll only have five more months to make repayments without incurring interest.

If you have a big purchase in mind, make it as soon as possible and start making repayments immediately to get maximum value out of the offer.

Watch: How do 0% purchase credit cards work?

Balance transfer and purchase FAQs

What is the APR?

APR is there to help you compare credit card deals more easily. APR stands for annual percentage rate.

It helps you work out what the credit card will cost you once your 0% introductory period ends. A higher APR means higher repayments.

It takes into account the interest rate and additional charges of a credit card offer.

Could I get a higher APR than advertised?

The rate you see advertised isn’t necessarily the rate you will get. Credit card providers only have to give the typical APR they advertise to around 50% of successful applicants. Where you’ve had credit problems in the past you might be given a higher APR.

Check that the rate you see advertised is the rate you will actually get to avoid a shock when your first statement arrives. Again, getting your credit rating into good shape will help your chances of getting the best deals.

What you need to apply for a credit card

In terms of what you will need to provide, it's generally quite straightforward. Questions you can expect on a credit card application include:

  • Your name

  • Contact information

  • Date of birth

  • Address and how long you have lived there

  • Residential status (tenant, owner, living with parents, etc)

  • Your annual income

On a balance transfer or money transfer credit card application, you will need to have the details of the other accounts you are transferring to your new credit card.


How long do you need to pay off your credit card?

The longer the 0% purchase period, the longer you have to pay back your balance without being charged any interest. So look for a card with the longest 0% period.

What does 'most popular' mean?

When we use the term ‘most popular or ‘popularity’ on Uswitch in reference to credit cards, these cards are ranked by the number of clicks they have received on the site in the past 48 hours.

The most clicked on cards are at the top, with the least at the bottom. This reflects how popular they are with visitors to Uswitch.com. Consequently, this is a good table to look at if you’re interested in seeing which cards most people think are worth getting.


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About the author

Salman Haqqi
Salman Haqqi has over a decade of experience as a journalist in several countries around the world. In recent years, he has turned his focus to helping people make confident financial decisions and regularly comments in the media about personal finance.

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