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Published: 31/01/2019

It's the time of year when many people are re-evaluating their finances, and are often looking for ways to clear their debt after over-relying on credit during the festive period. There's no need to panic though – if you switch to a balance transfer credit card, you could get back in control and clear your debt 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, with some cards offering 0% on balance transfers for as long as 32 months.

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. It's also worth mentioning that as purchases are subject to a separate interest rate, you should try to avoid using these cards for further spending.

It's 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 debt, so here are the top six that could help you do just that.

  Representative purchase APR (variable)
Card details

HSBC Balance Transfer Credit Card Visa

21.9% APR
  • Introductory 0% on balance transfers for the first 32 months with a fee of 1.4% (minimum fee £5.00)
  • Introductory 0% on purchases for three months
  • No annual fee
  • Customers must be at least 18 years old with a minimum income of £8,500 and can apply online, by phone or in branch
  • As an added incentive, borrowers can receive £25 cashback if £300 is spent or transferred within 60 days of account opening (until 2.3.19)

Proudly in first place is this deal from HSBC offering a 32-month 0% interest term, the joint-longest available. Customers can also benefit from 0% interest on purchases for the first three months, which could make it ideal for those who need a bit of help to cover their spending at the start of the year. The cashback incentive adds the cherry on top of this already appealing cake.

 

  Representative purchase APR (variable)
Card details


Post Office Money Online Balance Transfer Credit Card Mastercard

 

19.9% APR

  • Introductory 0% on balance transfers for the first 32 months with a fee of 2%
  • Introductory 0% on purchases for first three months
  • No annual fee
  • Customers must be at least 18 years old with a minimum annual income of £8,000 and must apply online

In second place is this deal from Post Office Money, which offers 0% interest on balance transfers for the first 32 months as well as a three-month 0% purchase term. With nearly three years of interest-free balance transfers and a few months to make purchases to boot, this card could be a competitive choice for online-savvy borrowers.


  Representative purchase APR (variable)
Card details


MBNA Platinum 30 Month Balance Transfer Credit Card Visa

19.9% APR

  • Introductory 0% on balance transfers for 30 months with a fee of 1.49%
  • Introductory 0% on money transfers for first 20 months (with 4% fee)
  • No introductory purchase term
  • No annual fee
  • Customers must be at least 18 years old and can apply online or by phone

Sitting comfortably in third place is this card from MBNA offering 30 months of 0% interest on balance transfers, and as an added bonus, customers can benefit from 0% interest on money transfers for the first 20 months as well, making it ideal for those who could use an interest-free cash injection. However, the lack of a 0% purchase term means this is a true balance transfer card that shouldn't be used for further spending.

 

  Representative purchase APR (variable)
Card details

Sainsbury's Bank 30 Month Balance Transfer Credit Card Mastercard

 

19.9% APR

  • Introductory 0% on balance transfers for 30 months with a 3% fee (minimum fee £3)
  • Introductory 0% on purchases for first three months
  • No annual fee
  • New Sainsbury's Bank borrowers can earn 750 bonus Nectar points each time £35 or more is spent on Sainsbury's shopping up to 10 times in the first two months (max 7,500 points), and as standard can earn two Nectar points per £1 spent on Sainsbury's shopping and fuel and one point for every £5 spent elsewhere.
  • Customers must be at least 18 years old and can apply online or by phone

Next up is Sainsbury's Bank's Mastercard. It offers an introductory 0% on balance transfers for 30 months, together with 0% on purchases for three months, and given that shoppers can earn bonus Nectar points within the first two months it could give loyal Sainsbury's shoppers a definite boost. However, borrowers would be wise to not spend on the card after the initial three months, as the standard Nectar points may not make up for the interest that will inevitably be charged.

  Representative purchase APR (variable)
Card details


Virgin Money 29 Month Balance Transfer Credit Card Mastercard

20.9% APR

  • Introductory 0% on balance transfers for 29 months from date of issue with a fee of 1.75%
  • Introductory 0% on money transfers for 20 months (with 4% fee)
  • Introductory 0% purchase term of three months
  • No annual fee
  • Customers must be at least 18 years old with a minimum income of £7,000 and can apply online or by phone

Achieving a top-five spot is this deal from Virgin Money, a card that offers a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 29 months, together with a 20-month 0% interest money transfer term and three months of 0% interest on purchases, offering the complete interest-free package.

  Representative purchase APR (variable)
Card details

Barclaycard Platinum 29 Month Balance Transfer Visa

 

19.9% APR

  • Introductory 0% on balance transfers for 29 months with a 2.50% fee
  • Introductory 0% on purchases for first six months
  • No annual fee
  • £20 cashback when transferring balances of £2,000 or more within 60 days of opening (until 4.2.19)
  • Customers must be at least 21 years old with a minimum income of £20,000 and can apply online, by phone or by post

Just squeezing into the top six is Barclaycard's Balance Transfer Visa. It offers a 29-month introductory 0% term on balance transfers, together with 0% on purchases for six months, giving some respite for those who may need to cover some of their spending for a short while. There's an added cashback incentive for those who transfer a balance, too, though borrowers will need to be quick, as the deal expires shortly.

Information & rates correct as at: 31.01.2019

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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