Fall In Balance Transfer Credit Card Deals | moneyfacts.co.uk

Derin Clark

Derin Clark

Online Reporter
Published: 09/02/2021

Credit card borrowers looking to transfer their debt onto an interest-free balance transfer card will be disappointed to find that the number of deals available has fallen year-on-year.

Research carried out by Moneyfacts.co.uk has found that in four years, the number of 0% balance transfer credit card deals has fallen by 66, from 126 available in February 2017 to just 60 available this month. As well as this, compared to a year ago, there are now 18 fewer 0% balance transfer deals available in the credit card charts, as during February 2020 borrowers had 78 deals to choose from.

In addition to the fall in deals available, the average number of interest-free days being offered on deals has also fallen. Four years ago, borrowers could get an average of 669 interest-free days in which to repay their credit card debt, whereas during February this year, the average number of interest-free days is 528.

The year-on-year fall in deals and interest-free terms suggests that borrowers looking to get the best 0% balance transfer deal may want to act soon rather than waiting. “It is hard to tell what attitude to risk credit card lenders will adopt during 2021 in light of the pandemic, and whether this may lead to a further reduction in interest-free balance transfer offers,” explained Rachel Springall, finance expert at Moneyfacts.co.uk. “Consumers looking to take advantage would be wise not to wait around too long and ensure they check their credit score before they apply. They should also be careful to weigh up the length of any deal and its fees, or even search for a shorter interest-free offer without fees instead.”

The best 0% balance transfer deals

The longest interest-free term on a 0% balance transfer credit card in the chart today is Sainsbury’s Bank’s Balance Transfer Credit Card Mastercard, which has an interest-free period of 29 months. This card has a transfer fee of 3.00% (minimum of £3). After the interest-free period ends, this card charges 21.9% APR. Using an example of wanting to transfer £2,000 worth of credit card debt, transferring the debt to this card would cost borrowers £60 and in order to repay the debt within the 29-month period would mean making minimum monthly repayments of £71.04.

Borrowers looking to avoid paying a transfer fee will find that three cards currently offer the longest interest-free term of 18 months. NatWest’s Balance Transfer Credit Card Mastercard, Royal Bank of Scotland’s Balance Transfer Credit Card Mastercard and Ulster Bank’s Balance Transfer Credit Card Mastercard all offer an 18-month interest-free period and do not charge a transfer fee. After the interest-free period has ended, all these cards charge 19.9% APR. Borrowers looking to repay £2,000 of debt on these cards within the 18-month period would have to make minimum monthly repayments of £111.12.

To view all the deals currently available, visit our 0% balance transfer credit card chart.

Borrowers should be aware that their credit card application success and the APR they are offered will depend on their credit score – normally with the higher the score, the more likely they will be successful and offered the most competitive APR. Borrowers can check their credit score for free online, and those with a low to medium score may find our guide on how to improve credit scores useful.

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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