Credit cards Updated:
Does the thought of opening your credit card bills fill you with fear? If so, you're not alone! Christmas may be over, but unfortunately, many people will still be paying for it, after turning to credit to cover the cost of their festive spend. There's no need to panic though - if you switch to a balance transfer credit card, you could clear your financial hangover without interest adding to the bill.
Balance transfer cards allow you to transfer your credit card balance and benefit from a lengthy 0% interest period, which means they can be a great way to pay off debts without accumulating huge amounts of interest in the process. You could have plenty of time to clear the balance, too - competition is fierce with providers always looking to out-do each other, and some cards now offer 0% on balance transfers for well over three years.
However, as with any credit card, balance transfer varieties need to be managed effectively. You should aim to pay off the full amount by the end of the interest-free period - divide the total balance by the length of the term to see how much you should ideally repay each month - and with purchases being subject to a separate interest rate, you should try to avoid using these cards for further spending.
It's also important to remember that failing to make the minimum monthly repayment could mean that the 0% deal is cancelled and higher interest rates will be applied, effectively cancelling out the benefits, so you should be confident that you can keep up with regular repayments. If you can manage that, balance transfer cards could be the perfect way to clear your Christmas debt, so here are the top six that can help you do just that!
MBNA Platinum 43 Month Balance Transfer Credit Card Visa
Easily taking the top spot in the balance transfer market is this card from MBNA, offering 0% interest on all balances transferred for a record 43 months. As an added bonus, customers can also benefit from 0% interest on money transfers for the first 20 months - making it ideal for those who could use an interest-free cash injection - and can get a cashback incentive too. However, the lack of 0% purchase term means this is a true balance transfer card that shouldn't be used for further spending.
Barclaycard Platinum 42 Month Balance Transfer Visa
Sitting comfortably in second place is this deal from Barclaycard, offering a 42-month 0% interest term, still one of the longest currently available. Customers can also benefit from 0% interest on purchases for the first six months, which could make it ideal for those who need a bit of help to cover their January spend following December's excesses.
nuba Transfer Credit Card MasterCard
Achieving a top-three spot is this deal from nuba, another card to offer a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 42 months. It comes with a 20-month 0% money transfer term, too, while the lack of introductory purchase deal makes it an appealing option for those seeking a straightforward balance or money transfer option.
Sainsbury's Bank 42 Month Long Balance Transfer Credit Card MasterCard
In fourth place is this deal from Sainsbury's Bank, which offers 0% interest on balance transfers for the first 42 months as well as a three-month 0% purchase term. It comes with a generous reward scheme, making it ideal for loyal Sainsbury's shoppers, who can benefit even more if they're eligible for the scheme's bonus rewards.
Santander All In One Credit Card MasterCard
Securing a top-five spot is this card from Santander, which boasts 0% interest on balance transfers for the first 41 months as well as a 0% purchase term for six months, offering a highly competitive choice for those needing more than three years to clear their debts. It comes with a monthly card fee, but this should be offset by the lack of balance transfer fee. As an added bonus, it offers cashback of 0.50%, making those first six months of interest-free spending even more rewarding.
Virgin 41 Month Balance Transfer Credit Card MasterCard
Just squeezing into the top six is Virgin Money's MasterCard. It offers an introductory 0% on balance transfers for 41 months, together with 0% interest on money transfers for the same term as well as 0% on purchases for three months, meaning it gives borrowers the complete interest-free package.
Information & Rates correct as at: 04.01.2017
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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