With many consumers facing high credit card bills after the festive period, along with the news that interest-free balance transfers deals are at a record low, we’ve analysed whether there are any 0% transfer deals worth applying for and how to choose the best one.
The longest interest-free term on balance transfer credit cards is at a five-year low of 29 months. Saying this, 29 months still provides consumers with over two years in which to pay back their credit card debt interest-free.
Currently, four providers offer 29 months interest-free on balance transfers. MBNA Limited offers this interest-free term on its Long 0% Balance Transfer Mastercard, which has a transfer fee of 2.75%. Halifax offers 0% interest for 29 months on its 29 Month Balance Transfer Credit Card Mastercard, which charges a 3.00% transfer fee. Sainsbury’s Bank offers the 29-month interest-free term on its Balance Transfer Credit Card Mastercard, which also charges a 3.00% transfer fee, though with a minimum of £3; while Virgin Money offers this on its 29 Month Balance Transfer Credit Card Mastercard, again charging a 3.00% transfer fee.
Consumers wanting to avoid the transfer fee could consider Santander’s All in One Credit Card Mastercard, which has an interest-free period of 26 months but charges a £3 per month card fee. Santander also has no transfer fees on its Everyday Credit Card Mastercard and World Elite Mastercard, both of which have an interest-free period of 18 months, although World Elite Mastercard has a £15 per month card fee. Ulster Bank does not charge transfer fees on its Balance Transfer Credit Card Mastercard, which has an interest-free period for 20 months, but borrowers should be aware that this card is only available to existing customers.
Those who are able to pay off their credit card debt within 16 months could consider Sainsbury’s Bank’s No Balance Transfer Fee Credit Card Mastercard, which has no transfer fees and has an interest-free period of 16 months. Alternatively, Halifax does not charge transfer fees on its 15 Month Balance Transfer Credit Card Mastercard, while Lloyds Bank has no transfer fees on its Platinum No Fee 0% Balance Transfer Mastercard, both of which have a 15-month interest-free period.
For those able to pay off their debt within a year, Tesco Bank has no transfer fees on its 12 Month All Round Clubcard Credit Card Mastercard, which is interest-free for 12 months. Danske Bank does not charge transfer fees on its Standard Mastercard, but has a short interest-free period of five months. TSB has no transfer fees on its Advance Mastercard, but offers an interest-free period of just three months.
The best 0% balance transfer card is unique to each individual and a range of factors should be taken into consideration when choosing the best card. For those with a smaller debt and who are able to pay off the balance quickly, a card with no transfer fees will likely be a good option. Those with a higher balance who need longer to pay off their debt might prefer to pay a transfer fee in exchange for a longer interest-free period. Those who are planning to use the credit card after the balance transfer debt is repaid, should also consider the APR and whether or not they want a card that offers rewards.
Consumers with credit card debt that is not repaid in full each month will find that a 0% balance transfer card is a good way of getting the outstanding balance paid off quicker. Saying this, in order to pay off the debt within the interest-free period, borrowers are often required to be disciplined with sticking to a repayment plan and not taking out further credit card debt until the balance is paid off in full. For more information on getting debt-free, read out guide Free yourself from credit card debt.
Those who are struggling with credit card debt should seek help by contacting Citizen Advice on 03444 111 444 or a debt advice charity such as StepChange on 0800 138 1111.
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.