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Compare balance transfer credit cards

Find the right zero percent balance transfer credit card for your needs without harming your credit score

Find the right zero percent balance transfer credit card for your needs without harming your credit score

Find the right zero percent balance transfer credit card for your needs without harming your credit score

Find the right zero percent balance transfer credit card for your needs without harming your credit score

  • Find the right zero percent balance transfer credit card for your needs without harming your credit score
  • Get a Limited Editions Sleepy Oleg toy on your first successful application*. Don’t forget to claim your toy within 10 days of applying for your credit card. Ends 14 December.

What is a 0% balance transfer credit card?

A 0% balance transfer credit card can help you pay off your outstanding credit card debt by moving the balance from one card (or multiple cards) where you might be paying interest, to a new one at a 0% interest rate for a set period of time. This could help you reduce the interest you have to pay, so you can pay off the outstanding balance quicker.  
 
At the very least, you’ll need to pay the minimum repayment set each month by the lender. If you miss a payment, you’ll be required to pay a penalty fee and may lose your 0% rate and any other promotional deals offered with the card. 

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

We understand that the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused financial difficulty for some of you. If you have a credit card and you’re worried about making repayments due to coronavirus, we’re here to help you understand the options available. 

Find out more

What happens when the 0% interest-free period ends?

Once your interest-free period ends, a higher rate of interest may be applied to any outstanding balances. It’s important that  the balance is cleared before your interest-free period ends.  However, if you’re struggling to do this then  at least make the minimum payment each month.  

What are the pros of a 0% balance transfer card?

Choosing a 0% balance transfer card can help you pay off outstanding debt on a credit card, which could be handy if you’re being charged a high rate of interest on an existing balance. Typically, these cards charge a one-off fee for a balance transfer. That’s worked out as a percentage of the amount you’ve moved across, often up to 3%. But some cards do offer 0% on fees and even cashback which can be bigger than the fee, so you won’t necessarily lose money while you cut your debt. 

What are the cons of a 0% balance transfer card?

While the savings you can make with an interest-free card could outweigh the interest charges on your existing credit card, don’t forget that  if you make a balance transfer, you must make your monthly minimum repayments on time. If you don’t, you could lose the interest-free terms and, worse, receive a black mark against your credit score.   
 
It’s also really important to make sure you’re able to clear the total debt within the interest-free period, to avoid fees or interest charges.  

How do you do a credit card balance transfer? 

To move a balance from one or more credit cards, you can apply for a 0% balance transfer credit card. Switching from a credit card with a high interest rate to one with lower, or zero, interest should help you pay off your overall balance faster. That’s because less of your monthly repayments will be spent on paying off your interest. 
 
Alternatively, when you apply for a normal credit card, there should be an option to transfer your existing card balances over. 
 
Some banks also let you transfer a balance after your credit card account is up and running. 
 
Some people can be offered a higher rate than advertised. There’s no way to know exactly what deal you’ll get until you apply. 

Do credit card balance transfers affect your credit score?

Your credit score is determined by lots of different factors. Even making an application to transfer credit can influence your score. Once you’re granted a new card to transfer a balance onto, your credit score might initially go down because you’re taking on more credit. As long as you make your minimum repayments on time, it should then improve.

How to find the best balance transfer credit cards for me?

The best credit card with a balance transfer deal depends on what you’re looking for, as well as your current circumstances – including your credit rating.  
 
When you’re looking for a credit card with the option to balance transfer, it’s a good idea to consider the following: 

  • the length of the 0% period 
  • the transfer fee 
  • the typical APR after the 0% period has ended 
  • if there’s a monthly or annual fee for having the card 

Typically, balance transfer cards with longer 0% periods have higher transfer fees. If you think you can pay off your balance in a short period of time, you may benefit from choosing a card with a shorter 0% period because the transfer fee will likely be less. 
 
To find out which cards you’re likely to be accepted for before you apply, why not try our credit card eligibility checker? It’s a way of seeing what deals you might be eligible for, without impacting your credit score. 

When is it good to do a balance transfer? 

You may be thinking about transferring a balance for a number of reasons. A common reason is to lower your current rate of interest. Another may be because your current credit card charges a high fee for late or missed payments. Some people find it less of a hassle to have all their credit card debt in one place, so there’s just one monthly payment to remember. 
 
There could be circumstances where it doesn’t make sense to transfer your balance to another credit card. For example, if such a transfer wouldn’t make much difference to the overall time you’d be paying off the debt, or the total amount you’d pay.  

Frequently asked questions

How much can you balance transfer on a credit card?

In theory, you can transfer anything from around £100 to £10,000, with the average amount in the region of £3,000 to £5,000. Most credit cards allow you to transfer around 90% of your total credit limit. 
 
Remember that most credit card providers charge a balance transfer fee of around 1% to 3% – some as low as 0.5% and some as high as 5%. This should show up as a separate amount on your first credit card statement. 

Why is it important to check the APR rate?

The APR rate, or Annual Percentage Rate, is one way to compare how much a credit card will cost in the long term, once the interest-free period ends. The APR should show the amount of interest you’ll pay per year when borrowing. For example, if the APR on a card is 20% and you spend £1,000 and don’t pay any of this back, the interest you’ll pay will be £200. That means you’d end up paying back £1,200 in total. 
 
Some 0% balance transfer credit cards may also offer you 0% on any purchases you make. You need to check the policy details carefully so you know exactly how long the offer lasts for, and any other terms and conditions that may apply. Learn more about credit card APR in our guide

Where can I compare 0% balance transfer credit cards?

If you think you’d benefit from shifting your debt to a credit card with a 0% balance transfer, you can compare deals from a range of card providers with us. Find a balance transfer credit card that could be right for you. 

How much does a credit card balance transfer cost?

Typically, the cost of a credit card balance transfer depends on a number of factors, including how much you’re transferring, the credit limit of the new card and your credit rating. 
 
Transfer fee 
0.5%-5% of your balance 
 
New APR  
Starts from 0% 

What do I need to get a quote?

When you compare 0% balance transfer cards with us, it’s a good idea to have some basic information to hand, including: 

  • the current balance you’d like to transfer 
  • your ideal monthly repayment 
  • the transfer fee you’d be happy with 
  • if you’d be happy to pay an annual fee on your new credit card 

We’ll ask you some questions to make sure we have all the information we need, then we’ll provide you with a list of quotes to choose from. 

Anelda Knoesen

From the Money team

What our expert says...

“Getting a balance transfer credit card can be an effective way to pay off your credit card balance quicker and simplify your life. It’s easy to compare with us, and if you use our credit card eligibility checker, you can get an idea of what cards you’re likely to be accepted for before you start, without harming your credit score.” 

Why use Compare the Market?

Find out what credit cards you could be eligible for in less than 1 minute** 

Compare balance transfer cards from leading providers

0% on balance transfers 

**On average it can take less than 1 minute  to complete a  credit card eligibility check through Compare the Market based on data in September 2020.

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