How 0% balance transfer credit cards work

Although you can transfer a balance to most credit cards, those that offer an introductory 0% interest period can save you the most money. These cards do still tend to charge a balance transfer fee when you move debt across, but they don't charge interest on the transferred balance for a set introductory period.

What type of card are you looking for? Show
What type of card are you looking for?

Virgin Money Logo
Virgin Money 29 Month Balance Transfer Credit Card Mastercard
Balance Transfer Rate & Period
0.0% for 29 months from date of card issue.
Transfer Fee
3.00%
Additional Information
0% balance transfers for 29 months
High rate for cash withdrawals
Contactless payments up to £30
Go To Provider's Site
Representative Example: Based on a credit limit of £1200.00 charged at 21.9% variable per annum for purchases. Representative 21.9% APR variable.
Application Criteria
Bill Payment
Standard Interest Rates
Benefits and Features
Charges
Additional Information

Application Criteria

Existing customers only
Invitation only
Minimum age 18 years
Minimum income £7000.00
Credit repair card
Apply for this card
Internet
In branch
Post
Telephone

Bill Payment

Standing order (fixed amount)
Direct debit (minimum payment)
Direct debit (fixed monthly amount)
Direct debit (fixed % of balance)
Direct debit (full amount)
Minimum monthly payment
Greater of 1.0% or £25.00 each month. 1% of the statement balance before any default charges and interest after which default charges and interest will be added.

Standard Interest Rates

For purchase
Monthly 1.667%
APR 21.9%
For cash withdrawals
Monthly 2.075%
Annual 27.90%
For balance transfers
Monthly 1.667%
Annual 21.90%
For money transfers
Monthly 1.805%
Annual 23.90%

Benefits and Features

Interest free days (purchase) 50
Rewards earned on
Purchases
Balance transfers
Money transfers
Cash transfers
Money transfer available
Contactless payment
Available
Minimum payment £0.01
Maximum payment £30.00

Charges

Card fee N/A
Balance transfer fee 5.00% - No minimum charge
Cash withdrawal fee 5.00% - No minimum charge
Money transfer fee 5.00% - No minimum charge
Using a card abroad
European Union 2.99%
Worldwide 2.99%

Additional Information

-
Sainsbury's Bank Logo
Sainsbury's Bank Balance Transfer Credit Card Mastercard
Balance Transfer Rate & Period
0.0% for 28 months from date of transfer.
Transfer Fee
3.00%
Additional Information
0% on balance transfers for 28 months
Rates dependent on credit rating
Manage your card online
Go To Provider's Site
Representative Example: Based on a credit limit of £1200.00 charged at 19.95% variable per annum for purchases. Representative 19.9% APR variable.
Application Criteria
Bill Payment
Standard Interest Rates
Benefits and Features
Charges
Additional Information

Application Criteria

Existing customers only
Invitation only
Minimum age 18 years
Minimum income No minimum income
Credit repair card
Apply for this card
Internet
In branch
Post
Telephone

Bill Payment

Standing order (fixed amount)
Direct debit (minimum payment)
Direct debit (fixed monthly amount)
Direct debit (fixed % of balance)
Direct debit (full amount)
Minimum monthly payment
Greater of 2.3% or £5.00 each month. Plus any amount over limit.

Standard Interest Rates

For purchase
Monthly 1.527%
APR 19.9%
For cash withdrawals
Monthly 1.941%
Annual 25.95%
For balance transfers
Monthly 1.527%
Annual 19.95%
For money transfers
Monthly 1.941%
Annual 25.95%

Benefits and Features

Interest free days (purchase) 56
Rewards earned on
Purchases
Balance transfers
Money transfers
Cash transfers
Money transfer available
Contactless payment
Available
Minimum payment £0.01
Maximum payment £30.00

Charges

Card fee N/A
Balance transfer fee 3.00% - Min £3.00
Cash withdrawal fee 3.00% - Min £3.00
Money transfer fee 4.00% - Min £4.00
Using a card abroad
European Union 2.75%
Worldwide 2.75%

Additional Information

Earn 750 bonus Nectar points each time £35 or more spent on Sainsbury's shopping, up to ten times in your first 2 months, up to a total of 7,500 points, offer available for new customers. Earn 2 Nectar points per £1 spent on Sainsbury's shopping and fuel. Earn 1 Nectar point for every £5 spent elsewhere.
Virgin Money Logo
Virgin Money 27 Month Balance Transfer Credit Card Mastercard
Balance Transfer Rate & Period
0.0% for 27 months from date of card issue.
Transfer Fee
1.45%
Additional Information
0% balance transfers for 27 months
High rate for cash withdrawals
Contactless payments up to £30
Go To Provider's Site
Representative Example: Based on a credit limit of £1200.00 charged at 21.9% variable per annum for purchases. Representative 21.9% APR variable.
Application Criteria
Bill Payment
Standard Interest Rates
Benefits and Features
Charges
Additional Information

Application Criteria

Existing customers only
Invitation only
Minimum age 18 years
Minimum income £7000.00
Credit repair card
Apply for this card
Internet
In branch
Post
Telephone

Bill Payment

Standing order (fixed amount)
Direct debit (minimum payment)
Direct debit (fixed monthly amount)
Direct debit (fixed % of balance)
Direct debit (full amount)
Minimum monthly payment
Greater of 1.0% or £25.00 each month. 1% of the statement balance before any default charges and interest after which default charges and interest will be added.

Standard Interest Rates

For purchase
Monthly 1.667%
APR 21.9%
For cash withdrawals
Monthly 2.075%
Annual 27.90%
For balance transfers
Monthly 1.667%
Annual 21.90%
For money transfers
Monthly 1.805%
Annual 23.90%

Benefits and Features

Interest free days (purchase) 50
Rewards earned on
Purchases
Balance transfers
Money transfers
Cash transfers
Money transfer available
Contactless payment
Available
Minimum payment £0.01
Maximum payment £30.00

Charges

Card fee N/A
Balance transfer fee 5.00% - No minimum charge
Cash withdrawal fee 5.00% - No minimum charge
Money transfer fee 5.00% - No minimum charge
Using a card abroad
European Union 2.99%
Worldwide 2.99%

Additional Information

-
Santander Logo
Santander All in One Credit Card Mastercard
Balance Transfer Rate & Period
0.0% for 26 months from date of card issue.
Transfer Fee
0.00%
Additional Information
0.5% cashback on purchases
Monthly fee of £3
Manage your card online
Go To Provider's Site
Representative Example: Based on a credit limit of £1200.00 charged at 15.9% variable per annum for purchases. Fee of £3 per month applies. Representative 21.7% APR variable.
Application Criteria
Bill Payment
Standard Interest Rates
Benefits and Features
Charges
Additional Information

Application Criteria

Existing customers only
Invitation only
Minimum age 18 years
Minimum income £7500.00
Credit repair card
Apply for this card
Internet
In branch
Post
Telephone

Bill Payment

Standing order (fixed amount)
Direct debit (minimum payment)
Direct debit (fixed monthly amount)
Direct debit (fixed % of balance)
Direct debit (full amount)
Minimum monthly payment
Greater of 1.0% or £5.00 each month. The minimum payment will be the sum of (i) the amount of any interest, payment protection insurance premiums, monthly fee and default fees charged to your account plus (ii) 1% of the remaining balance shown on your statement plus (iii) amount of any arrears which are payable immediately; subject to a min of £5 or the full balance if less than £5.

Standard Interest Rates

For purchase
Monthly 1.241%
APR 21.7%
For cash withdrawals
Monthly 2.207%
Annual 29.90%
For balance transfers
Monthly 1.241%
Annual 15.90%
For money transfers
Monthly Money transfer not available
Annual Money transfer not available

Benefits and Features

Interest free days (purchase) 56
Rewards earned on
Purchases
Balance transfers
Money transfers
Cash transfers
Money transfer available
Contactless payment
Available
Minimum payment £0.01
Maximum payment £30.00

Charges

Card fee £3.00 per month
Balance transfer fee 3.00% - Min £5.00
Cash withdrawal fee 3.00% - Min £3.00
Money transfer fee Money transfer not available
Using a card abroad
European Union 0.00%
Worldwide 0.00%

Additional Information

-
Barclaycard Logo
Barclaycard Platinum All-Rounder Visa
Balance Transfer Rate & Period
0.0% for 25 months from date of card issue.
Transfer Fee
2.70%
Additional Information
0% for 25 months on balance transfers
Can't change payment due date
Contactless payments up to £30
Go To Provider's Site
Representative Example: Based on a credit limit of £1200.00 charged at 19.9% variable per annum for purchases. Representative 19.9% APR variable.
Application Criteria
Bill Payment
Standard Interest Rates
Benefits and Features
Charges
Additional Information

Application Criteria

Existing customers only
Invitation only
Minimum age 21 years
Minimum income £20000.00
Credit repair card
Apply for this card
Internet
In branch
Post
Telephone

Bill Payment

Standing order (fixed amount)
Direct debit (minimum payment)
Direct debit (fixed monthly amount)
Direct debit (fixed % of balance)
Direct debit (full amount)
Minimum monthly payment
Greater of 2.3% or £5.00 each month. Or any interest, account fees and default charges that have been added to your account since your last statement plus 1% of the remaining balance.

Standard Interest Rates

For purchase
Monthly 1.523%
APR 19.9%
For cash withdrawals
Monthly 2.071%
Annual 27.90%
For balance transfers
Monthly 1.523%
Annual 19.90%
For money transfers
Monthly Money transfer not available
Annual Money transfer not available

Benefits and Features

Interest free days (purchase) 56
Rewards earned on
Purchases
Balance transfers
Money transfers
Cash transfers
Money transfer available
Contactless payment
Available
Minimum payment £0.01
Maximum payment £30.00

Charges

Card fee N/A
Balance transfer fee 3.50% - No minimum charge
Cash withdrawal fee 2.99% - Min £2.99
Money transfer fee Money transfer not available
Using a card abroad
European Union 2.99%
Worldwide 2.99%

Additional Information

-
Sainsbury's Bank Logo
Sainsbury's Bank Dual Offer Credit Card Mastercard
Balance Transfer Rate & Period
0.0% for 25 months from date of card issue.
Transfer Fee
3.00%
Additional Information
0% for 25 months for both balance transfers & purchases
Rates dependent on credit rating
Manage your card online
Go To Provider's Site
Representative Example: Based on a credit limit of £1200.00 charged at 20.95% variable per annum for purchases. Representative 20.9% APR variable.
Application Criteria
Bill Payment
Standard Interest Rates
Benefits and Features
Charges
Additional Information

Application Criteria

Existing customers only
Invitation only
Minimum age 18 years
Minimum income No minimum income
Credit repair card
Apply for this card
Internet
In branch
Post
Telephone

Bill Payment

Standing order (fixed amount)
Direct debit (minimum payment)
Direct debit (fixed monthly amount)
Direct debit (fixed % of balance)
Direct debit (full amount)
Minimum monthly payment
Greater of 2.3% or £5.00 each month. Plus any amount over limit.

Standard Interest Rates

For purchase
Monthly 1.597%
APR 20.9%
For cash withdrawals
Monthly 1.941%
Annual 25.95%
For balance transfers
Monthly 1.597%
Annual 20.95%
For money transfers
Monthly 1.941%
Annual 25.95%

Benefits and Features

Interest free days (purchase) 56
Rewards earned on
Purchases
Balance transfers
Money transfers
Cash transfers
Money transfer available
Contactless payment
Available
Minimum payment £0.01
Maximum payment £30.00

Charges

Card fee N/A
Balance transfer fee 3.00% - Min £3.00
Cash withdrawal fee 3.00% - Min £3.00
Money transfer fee 4.00% - Min £4.00
Using a card abroad
European Union 2.75%
Worldwide 2.75%

Additional Information

Earn 750 bonus Nectar points each time £35 or more spent on Sainsbury's shopping, up to ten times in your first 2 months, up to a total of 7,500 points, offer available for new customers. Earn 2 Nectar points per £1 spent on Sainsbury's shopping and fuel. Earn 1 Nectar point for every £5 spent elsewhere.
NatWest Logo
NatWest Balance Transfer Credit Card Mastercard
Balance Transfer Rate & Period
0.0% for 23 months from date of card issue.
Transfer Fee
0.00%
Additional Information
0% on balance transfers for 23 months
Available to existing NatWest customers only
You may be offered alternative terms
Go To Provider's Site
Representative Example: Based on a credit limit of £1200.00 charged at 19.9% variable per annum for purchases. Representative 19.9% APR variable.
Application Criteria
Bill Payment
Standard Interest Rates
Benefits and Features
Charges
Additional Information

Application Criteria

Existing customers only
Invitation only
Minimum age 18 years
Minimum income £10000.00
Credit repair card
Apply for this card
Internet
In branch
Post
Telephone

Bill Payment

Standing order (fixed amount)
Direct debit (minimum payment)
Direct debit (fixed monthly amount)
Direct debit (fixed % of balance)
Direct debit (full amount)
Minimum monthly payment
Greater of 1.0% or £5.00 each month. Your monthly minimum payment must be to an amount equal to the total of the interest, any late payment, over limit or returned payment charges, 1/12th of your annual fee (if applicable) and 1% of the balance shown in your statement (minimum £5, or the full balance if less than £5).

Standard Interest Rates

For purchase
Monthly 1.523%
APR 19.9%
For cash withdrawals
Monthly 2.005%
Annual 26.90%
For balance transfers
Monthly 1.523%
Annual 19.90%
For money transfers
Monthly 2.005%
Annual 26.90%

Benefits and Features

Interest free days (purchase) 56
Rewards earned on
Purchases
Balance transfers
Money transfers
Cash transfers
Money transfer available
Contactless payment
Available
Minimum payment £0.01
Maximum payment £30.00

Charges

Card fee N/A
Balance transfer fee No charge
Cash withdrawal fee 3.00% - No minimum charge
Money transfer fee 3.00% - No minimum charge
Using a card abroad
European Union 2.75%
Worldwide 2.75%

Additional Information

-
Royal Bank of Scotland Logo
Royal Bank of Scotland Balance Transfer Credit Card Mastercard
Balance Transfer Rate & Period
0.0% for 23 months from date of card issue.
Transfer Fee
0.00%
Additional Information
0% on balance transfers for 23 months
Available to existing Royal Bank of Scotland customers only
You may be offered alternative terms
Go To Provider's Site
Representative Example: Based on a credit limit of £1200.00 charged at 19.9% variable per annum for purchases. Representative 19.9% APR variable.
Application Criteria
Bill Payment
Standard Interest Rates
Benefits and Features
Charges
Additional Information

Application Criteria

Existing customers only
Invitation only
Minimum age 18 years
Minimum income £10000.00
Credit repair card
Apply for this card
Internet
In branch
Post
Telephone

Bill Payment

Standing order (fixed amount)
Direct debit (minimum payment)
Direct debit (fixed monthly amount)
Direct debit (fixed % of balance)
Direct debit (full amount)
Minimum monthly payment
Greater of 1.0% or £5.00 each month. Your monthly minimum payment must be to an amount equal to the total of the interest, any late payment, over limit or returned payment charges, 1/12th of your annual fee (if applicable) and 1% of the balance shown in your statement (minimum £5, or the full balance if less than £5).

Standard Interest Rates

For purchase
Monthly 1.523%
APR 19.9%
For cash withdrawals
Monthly 2.005%
Annual 26.90%
For balance transfers
Monthly 1.523%
Annual 19.90%
For money transfers
Monthly 2.005%
Annual 26.90%

Benefits and Features

Interest free days (purchase) 56
Rewards earned on
Purchases
Balance transfers
Money transfers
Cash transfers
Money transfer available
Contactless payment
Available
Minimum payment £0.01
Maximum payment £30.00

Charges

Card fee N/A
Balance transfer fee No charge
Cash withdrawal fee 3.00% - No minimum charge
Money transfer fee 3.00% - No minimum charge
Using a card abroad
European Union 2.75%
Worldwide 2.75%

Additional Information

-
Virgin Money Logo
Virgin Money 23 Month All Round Credit Card Mastercard
Balance Transfer Rate & Period
0.0% for 23 months from date of card issue.
Transfer Fee
2.90%
Additional Information
0% on balance transfers for 23 months
High rate for cash withdrawals
Contactless payments up to £30
Go To Provider's Site
Representative Example: Based on a credit limit of £1200.00 charged at 21.9% variable per annum for purchases. Representative 21.9% APR variable.
Application Criteria
Bill Payment
Standard Interest Rates
Benefits and Features
Charges
Additional Information

Application Criteria

Existing customers only
Invitation only
Minimum age 18 years
Minimum income £7000.00
Credit repair card
Apply for this card
Internet
In branch
Post
Telephone

Bill Payment

Standing order (fixed amount)
Direct debit (minimum payment)
Direct debit (fixed monthly amount)
Direct debit (fixed % of balance)
Direct debit (full amount)
Minimum monthly payment
Greater of 1.0% or £25.00 each month. 1% of the statement balance before any default charges and interest after which default charges and interest will be added.

Standard Interest Rates

For purchase
Monthly 1.667%
APR 21.9%
For cash withdrawals
Monthly 2.075%
Annual 27.90%
For balance transfers
Monthly 1.667%
Annual 21.90%
For money transfers
Monthly 1.805%
Annual 23.90%

Benefits and Features

Interest free days (purchase) 50
Rewards earned on
Purchases
Balance transfers
Money transfers
Cash transfers
Money transfer available
Contactless payment
Available
Minimum payment £0.01
Maximum payment £30.00

Charges

Card fee N/A
Balance transfer fee 5.00% - No minimum charge
Cash withdrawal fee 5.00% - No minimum charge
Money transfer fee 5.00% - No minimum charge
Using a card abroad
European Union 2.99%
Worldwide 2.99%

Additional Information

-
M&S Bank Logo
M&S Bank Shopping Plus Mastercard
Balance Transfer Rate & Period
0.0% for 20 months from date of transfer.
Transfer Fee
2.90%
Additional Information
Earn 1 point for every £1 spent at M&S
Rates dependent on credit rating
Emergency cash service available
Go To Provider's Site
Representative Example: Based on a credit limit of £1200.00 charged at 19.9% variable per annum for purchases. Representative 19.9% APR variable.
Application Criteria
Bill Payment
Standard Interest Rates
Benefits and Features
Charges
Additional Information

Application Criteria

Existing customers only
Invitation only
Minimum age 18 years
Minimum income No minimum income
Credit repair card
Apply for this card
Internet
In branch
Post
Telephone

Bill Payment

Standing order (fixed amount)
Direct debit (minimum payment)
Direct debit (fixed monthly amount)
Direct debit (fixed % of balance)
Direct debit (full amount)
Minimum monthly payment
Greater of 2.5% or £5.00 each month. Interest and default charges plus 1% of the principal, or 2.5% of the balance or £5 whichever is highest.

Standard Interest Rates

For purchase
Monthly 1.527%
APR 19.9%
For cash withdrawals
Monthly 1.805%
Annual 23.90%
For balance transfers
Monthly 1.527%
Annual 19.90%
For money transfers
Monthly Money transfer not available
Annual Money transfer not available

Benefits and Features

Interest free days (purchase) 55
Rewards earned on
Purchases
Balance transfers
Money transfers
Cash transfers
Money transfer available
Contactless payment
Available
Minimum payment £0.01
Maximum payment £30.00

Charges

Card fee N/A
Balance transfer fee 2.90% - Min £5.00
Cash withdrawal fee 2.99% - Min £3.00
Money transfer fee Money transfer not available
Using a card abroad
European Union 2.99%
Worldwide 2.99%

Additional Information

1 point will be earned for every full £1 spent in Marks and Spencer's UK stores, catalogues, internet and Outlets and Simply Food. 1 point will be earned for every £5 spent outside of Marks & Spencer. 100 points = £1 reward voucher. Bonus points will be awarded when purchasing selected merchandise advertised in the personalised rewards brochure or in stores (except Outlets). Points will be converted into reward vouchers four times a year and sent to the customers with the Loyalty statement. Remaining points will be carried over to the next collection period. Rewards vouchers can be redeemed in all Marks and Spencer's UK stores and online but not via catalogue. Points cannot be exchanged for cash or gift vouchers.
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Disclaimer

All credit cards are subject to the applicant’s status. The APR quoted is representative of the interest rate offered to most successful applicants. Depending on your personal circumstances the APR you are offered may be higher, or you may not be offered credit. Fees and rates subject to change without notice. Please check all rates and terms before borrowing.

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Ask us anything?

Ask us anything?

A guide to 0% balance transfer credit cards

nigel woollsey

Nigel Woollsey

Online Writer

At a glance

  • The great thing about a 0% balance transfer credit card is that (providing you don't make any purchases or withdraw any cash using your card) 100% of your payment goes towards reducing your debt.
  • You will have to pay a balance transfer fee which is normally between 2% - 3%.
  • Make sure that you pay at the very least the minimum payment each month – Ideally you should aim to repay more than this to ensure you clear your debt before the introductory interest free period ends.
  • To make the most efficient use of your 0% balance transfer card avoid making any new purchases or withdrawing any cash on your credit card.

A 0% balance transfer credit card can save you a quite a bit in interest if you currently have balances on expensive credit cards and store cards.

How 0% balance transfer credit cards work

Most credit cards will let you transfer a balance, although this will be subject to the following conditions:

  • Your credit limit.
  • The size of the balance you want to transfer.
  • Who the balance is with (if your balance is on a card that is part of the same group, you may not be allowed to transfer it). 

If you want to transfer a balance, you will normally have to pay a fee to the credit card provider you are transferring the balance to. This is usually in the region of 2% to 3% of the amount you transfer, although some fees can be higher while other providers charge absolutely no fee at all.

At the end of the introductory period, your transferred balance will go onto your lender's standard balance transfer rate, which will most likely be around 19% per year.

Do... Don't...
  • Make sure you pay at least the minimum payment each month on your credit card, otherwise the provider may decide to withdraw the introductory 0% offer and put you on a more expensive interest rate.
  • Try to pay more than the minimum balance – It’s unlikely you’ll clear your debt before the interest-free period ends if you only pay the bare minimum.
  • Make a monthly repayment plan and try to pay more than the minimum payment. Some providers will let you set up a Direct Debit for a set amount or fixed percentage every month or you can set up a standing order, so take advantage of this and get your debt repaid!
  • Make purchases or withdraw cash using the credit card, as this will mean that you're paying interest and not using the card in the cheapest and most efficient way.
  • If you like to spend on your credit card, keep a separate card for purchases. However, even if this has a generous interest-free period of its own, try not to spend too much as you could end up paying off one debt only to find you have run up another!
  • If you have a big purchase in mind, and want to do a balance transfer at the same time, you could go for a combined 0% card for balance transfers and purchases. These tend not to have the longest 0% period for either transfers or spending, but on the plus side you have just the one card to manage.

You must still make the minimum payment!

Unlike some interest-free loans you may get from furniture or electrical retailers, a 0% interest credit card does not mean that you don't make payments for an initial period.

You must pay at least the minimum payment every month: you can set up a Direct Debit to avoid missing it.

Moneyfacts tip

Moneyfacts tip nigel woollsey

Are you credit invisible or have you hit a road bump with your credit? Credit builder cards can help you to rebuild your profile, all you need to do is keep making repayments on time.

Be careful not to get into further debt

When you take out a new credit card to transfer a balance, the danger is that you put a balance back on your old card and end up with twice the problem.

If you don't want that to happen, you could:

  • Cut up your old card to prevent you from spending on it and close the account with the card provider.
  • Ask your credit card provider to reduce your credit limit.

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