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Best balance transfer cards

Best balance transfer cards

What makes a balance transfer card 'the best'? We compare the best cards depending on your needs.

Balance transfer cards are one of the most popular types of credit card. Our short video can help you get to grips with how they work:

Read the full article to find the best balance transfer card for your needs or, if you know what you're after, choose a market leader from the following categories:

Longest 0% balance transfer cards

Choosing a card with the longest 0% period is a good move if you don't think you could pay off your debt within three years.

MBNA

As well as 0% balance transfers MBNA offer 0% on money transfers, allowing you to borrow cash with 0% interest for a 4% upfront fee, but the 0% period for money transfer is a shorter 20 months.

  • Cost of 2.98% fee for £1,200 balance transfer: £35.76
  • Cost of 4% fee for £1,200 money transfer: £48
  • No transfers from: MBNA cards

Halifax

Halifax are

  • Cost of 2.75% fee for £1,200 balance transfer: £33
  • No transfers from: Halifax or Lloyds Banking Group cards

Barclaycard

Barclaycard traditionally lead the balance transfer market, but have recently been facing stiff competition. They currently offer the lowest fee of any card offering more than three years 0% interest on balance transfers.

  • Cost of 2.19% fee  (initial 3.5% fee refunded to 2.19%) for £1,200 balance transfer: £26.28
  • No transfers from: Barclaycard credit cards

Virgin Money

Virgin are offering a balance transfer period of 37 months 0% interest as well as 37 months 0% on money transfers if you want to borrow cash rather than credit.

  • Cost of 2.59% fee for £1,200 balance transfer: £31.08
  • Cost of 4% fee for £1,200 money transfer: £48
  • No transfers from: Virgin Money cards

No fee balance transfer cards

Picking a balance transfer card that has no fee seems like a no-brainer, but be careful. Often the trade off for picking no-fee balance transfer card is the 0% interest period will be shorter, but if you don't need as long to pay off your debt they're a great option:

Tesco Clubcard

Tesco's card gives you 19 months of interest free borrowing for no upfront fee. After your 21 months is up they will levy 18.9% interest on your balance.

You have the opportunity to earn Tesco Clubcard points if you use this card to spend, but as there is no 0% period for purchases we wouldn't recommend it unless you're paying off your balance in full each month.

  • No transfers from: Tesco Bank credit cards

Post Office

This card from the Post Office offers 18 months 0% interest and charges a 2.98% upfront transfer fee, but this is refunded  if you make all your repayments for the first 3 months.

With no fees for overseas use it's also a handy card to have in your wallet if you're going on holiday overseas. But make sure to pay off your balance if you do spend on it, as there are only three months 0% on purchases.

  • Cost of 2.98% fee for £1,200 balance transfer: £35.76
  • No transfers from: Post Office or Bank of Ireland credit cards

Best of both world' balance transfer cards

Typically you can enjoy an 0% interest introductory offer on either purchases or balance transfers, but a few cards offer you both, but in return for this flexibility you miss out on 0% transfer fees or the longest 0% periods:

Santander 123

The Santander 123 is a versatile card that offers you interest-free balance transfers and purchases for just under two years.

However, it's not strictly no-fee as an annual £36 fee applies unless you have or open a 123 Current Account. If you plan to use this card to spend there's plenty of chance to earn this back through Santander's generous 123 cashback scheme.

  • No transfers from: Santander credit cards

Balance transfer cards for bad credit

It can be difficult to transfer credit card balances if you have a less than perfect credit score, however some card providers will consider your application, even if you have a limited credit history.

Barclaycard

This card from Barclaycard is intended for people with a limited, but good, credit history.  They offer 0% on balance transfers for six months in exchange for a 2.99% fee.

However, you need to watch out for the 24.94% interest that will be charged after this. So as soon as your credit improves you should transfer your balance off of this card.

  • Cost of 2.99% fee for £1,200 balance transfer: £35.88
  • No transfers from: Barclaycard credit cards

Compare balance transfer credit cards

Find a balance transfer credit card and stop paying expensive interest payments on your balance.

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