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Balance Transfer Credit Cards 31 months 0%, 2.99% fee

Shifting existing credit card or store card debts to a new balance transfer card can save you £100s or £1,000s. A balance transfer's when one credit card repays debts on other credit or store cards, so you now owe it the money instead, hopefully at a special cheap rate.

Good / Evil Credit Card

If you aren’t looking to make existing debts cheaper, but instead need to borrow extra cash cheaply, you’re in the wrong place. See 0% Credit Cards for the spending guide.

The five balance transfer need-to-knows

If you only read five things about balance transfers before you do them, read these. Click on each for more information:

1 Aim to clear debt before the 0% or cheap rate ends, or else the cost rockets

Cheap balance transfer deals are designed to make lenders money when you fail to pay them off or switch to a new 0% before the low rate ends. Full details

2 Always repay AT LEAST the monthly minimum, or you may lose 0% deals

Just because you've grabbed a 0% deal, that DOESN'T mean you can get away with paying nothing - you must pay at least the minimum monthly payments. Full details

3 Don't spend on cheap balance transfer cards. It's not usually at a cheap rate

Credit cards let you spend, shift balances or withdraw cash but banks must put any repayments towards the most expensive debts first. Full details

4 You can cut your interest WITHOUT new cards

Most top balance transfer deals are for new cardholders. To be eligible, they need the debt to be shifted within a couple of months of opening. Full details

5 You might get accepted for the card, but not get the headline deal

Lenders use credit scoring to decide whether to loan out money - they check your credit reference file, your history with them as well as other lenders. Full details

Check my eligibility for the cards before I apply

You can find out your chances of getting these best buy balance transfer credit cards by using our eligibility checker tool. It works with all the cards below except Tesco.

  • We'll check your details against what credit card firms are looking for in customers.
  • It's a 'soft' search. YOU can see it, but lenders CAN'T, so there's no impact on your credit file.
  • We'll show you your chances of being accepted for the card.

It's not a guarantee you'll be accepted - but you'll get a good idea of your chances for each card.

Best buys: Balance transfers

Picking the right 0% balance transfer for you isn't as simple as just going for the longest, or the lowest fee, as there are now so many variants out there. Indeed, 0% deals are currently at their longest ever, though the longer they are, the higher the fee. A good, rough rule of thumb is...

Get the lowest fee within the 0% time you're CERTAIN you can clear the card

A lower one-off fee can be trivial compared to interest if you don't clear the card or shift again before the 0% ends. Even a 2% lower fee only saves £20 per £1,000 - that'd be eaten up by interest within six weeks of paying the full APR on £1,000. If unsure, go long but to help you pick, we built the Which Card Is Cheapest? calculator.

Longest 0% deals

These credit cards give you the longest 0% deals currently available on the UK market. Transfer other debts to them, and they'll be interest-free for two years or more. But all have fees that they'll charge you to make the transfer, so pick the one that's right for you.

Barclaycard Platinum 31 months

Barclaycard* - 31mths, 2.99% fee + new £20 rebateLongest 0% balance transfer card we've EVER seen

The Barclaycard Platinum* has the longest balance transfer period we've ever seen, but if you can pay off slightly quicker, you could save by opting for one of the lower-fee options below.

You'll be charged a fee of 3.5% of the amount transferred initially, then Barclaycard will credit back 0.51% of the balance transferred, meaning your overall fee you pay is 2.99%.

If you can repay a little bit quicker this Barclaycard* is 30 mths 0% with a lower 2.89% fee (then 18.9% representative APR after).

With both these cards, you'll also get an extra £20 refunded to you when you transfer over £2,000 within the first 60 days. You can't transfer debt from another Barclaycard.

  • Balance transfer length & fee: 31 months, 2.99% fee
  • Minimum payment: Greater of 1% of balance plus interest, 2.25% of balance or £5
  • Min income: £20,000 | Card issuer: Visa | 0% balance transfer time limit: First 60 days
  • Rate: 18.9% representative APR (see Official APR Example)
MBNA Card 30 months

MBNA* - 30mths, 2.89% feeSecond longest, also allows you to transfer your overdraft (4% fee)

The MBNA* card allows you to transfer your balances from other cards and get 30 months at 0%. This card also allows you to do 'money transfers' for a 4% fee. This means you can tell MBNA to transfer cash from the card to your current account.

Most cards don't allow you to do money transfers, and if they do, it's not usually cheap. This is one of the few cards that allows it. For a full help on how to do this, check our write up below, and see the money transfer guide.

  • Balance transfer length & fee: 30 months, 2.89% fee
  • Money transfer length & fee: 30 months, 4% fee
  • Minimum payment: Greater of 1% of balance plus interest, or £25
  • Min income: N/A | Card issuer: Visa | 0% transfer time limit: First 60 days
  • Rate: 20.9%/22.9% representative APR (see Official APR Example)
Tesco 28 months

Tesco* - 30mths, 2.9% fee Another good option if you're transferring from a Barclaycard

  • Apply*
  • Eligibility Check not available

The Tesco* credit card also offers 30 months 0% - and the fee is fairly standard for the length of deal.

Transferred balances can't come from other Tesco cards, so to do that you'll need to choose a different deal.

  • Balance transfer length & fee: 30 months, 2.9% fee
  • Minimum payment: Greater of 1% of balance plus interest or £25
  • Min income: £5,000 | Card issuer: Visa |0% balance transfer time limit: First 60 days
  • Rate: 18.9% representative APR (see Official APR Example)
Halifax Balance Transfer Credit Card 30 months

Halifax - 30mths, 3% fee* Though some may get a shorter 0%

Another 30-month transfer card is the Halifax* Balance Transfer credit card, though it has a higher fee than the Barclaycard above. But if you've already got debt on a Barclaycard, it's a good alternative.

However, depending on your credit score, you may get a shorter 0% period - either 27 or 24 months.

  • Balance transfer length & fee: 30 months, 3% fee
  • Minimum payment: Greater of 1% of balance plus interest, or £5
  • Min income: N/A | Card issuer: Mastercard | Time limit: First 3 mths
  • Rate: 18.9% representative APR (see Official APR Examples)

Balance transfer your overdraft too...

MBNA Card 30 months

MBNA* - 30mths, 2.89% feeAlso allows you to transfer your overdraft (4% fee)

The MBNA* card allows you to transfer your balances from other cards and get 30 months at 0%. This card also allows you to do 'money transfers' for a 4% fee. This means you can tell MBNA to transfer cash from the card to your current account.

Most cards don't allow you to do money transfers, and if they do, it's not usually cheap. This is one of the few cards that allows it. For a full help on how to do this, check our write up below, and see the money transfer guide.

  • Balance transfer length & fee: 30 months, 2.89% fee
  • Money transfer length & fee: 30 months, 4% fee
  • Minimum payment: Greater of 1% of balance plus interest, or £25
  • Min income: N/A | Card issuer: Visa | 0% transfer time limit: First 60 days
  • Rate: 20.9%/22.9% representative APR (see Official APR Example)

More long-term balance transfer cards if you have those above

If you already have cards with the providers above, or you've got the deals listed and are looking to switch those to prolong a 0% period, below are other long-term options that may be suitable. The 0% periods aren't as long, or they come with a slightly higher fee, but they're good alternatives to those above.

Card
0% length
BT fee
Representative variable APR after
Notes
Santander*
29mths
3%
18.9%
You can use our pre-application eligibility checker for this card
Fluid*
29mths
2.9%
18.9%
You can use our pre-application eligibility checker for this card
Virgin Money*
29mths
2.99%
18.9%
You can use our pre-application eligibility checker for this card
Halifax*
28mths
2.45%
18.9%
You can use our pre-application eligibility checker for this card
See all Official APR Examples

Low fee 0% balance transfers

If you can clear your debts more quickly than the 0% periods above, it's possible to slash the fee you pay, cutting the overall cost of paying off your debts. We've listed in order of 0% length - pick the one that allows the lowest fee and the most realistic timeframe for you to pay it off.

The faster you can pay your debts off, the lower fee you'll pay. But if you're not sure, it's always better to err on the side of caution and go for a longer 0% deal than you might need.

Lloyds Balance Transfer Credit Card 24 months

Lloyds*- 24 mths, 1.5% fee Good long, low-fee deal

This Lloyds* Platinum credit card offers up to 24 months 0% on balance transfers for a low-ish fee - you pay £15 for every £1,000 you transfer to the card.

This card, and the two similar ones below it are good options, as you get a 0% period only seven months less than the longest balance transfer, but they charge around half the fee of the 'long 0%' cards above.

  • Balance transfer length & fee: 24 months, 1.5% fee
  • Minimum payment: Greater of 1% of balance plus interest, or £5
  • Min income: N/A | Card issuer: Mastercard | 0% balance transfer time limit: First 90 days
  • Rate: 17.9% representative APR (see Official APR Examples)
Bank of Scotland Balance Transfer Credit Card 24 months

Bank of Scotland* - 24mths, 1.5% fee Long two-year option, though some may get a shorter 0%.

The Bank of Scotland* credit card is pretty much identical to the Lloyds one above - two years' interest-free, for a pretty low fee.

This and Lloyds are both great options, as you get a 0% period close to the longest, but pay nearly half the fee of the 'long 0%' cards above.

  • Balance transfer length & fee: 24 months, 1.5% fee
  • Minimum payment: Greater of 1% of balance plus interest, or £5
  • Min income: N/A | Card issuer: Visa | 0% balance transfer time limit: First 90 days
  • Rate: 17.9% representative APR (see Official APR Examples)
Halifax Balance Transfer Credit Card 24 months

Halifax* - 24mths, 1.5% fee Long two-year option, though some may get a shorter 0%.

The Halifax* credit card is, again, very similar to the Lloyds and Bank of Scotland cards above. You get two years' interest-free, for a lowish fee.

These three cards are good options, as you get a 0% period only seven months less than the longest balance transfer, but charge around half the fee of the 'long 0%' cards above.

  • Balance transfer length & fee: 24 months, 1.5% fee
  • Minimum payment: Greater of 1% of balance plus interest, or £5
  • Min income: N/A | Card issuer: Visa | 0% balance transfer time limit: First 90 days
  • Rate: 18.9% representative APR (see Official APR Examples)
Lloyds TSB Balance Transfer Credit Card 15 months

Santander*- 17mths, 0.9% fee Longest sub 1% fee option

This Santander* balance transfer card offers a decent 17 months at 0% with a low 0.9% fee. Unlike other cards, there is no set time period for you to transfer the balance to the card.

If you can pay it off quicker, there are cheaper alternative balance transfer cards below.

  • Balance transfer length & fee: 17 months, 0.9% fee
  • Minimum payment: Greater of 1% of balance plus interest, or £5
  • Min income: £7,500 | Card issuer: Mastercard | 0% balance transfer time limit: n/a
  • Rate: 18.9% representative APR (see Official APR Examples)
Bank of Scotland Balance Transfer Credit Card 15 months

Bank of Scotland* - 15mths, 0.7% fee Decent 0% period for one of the lowest balance transfer fees

The Bank of Scotland* card offers 15 months 0% for a low fee of 0.7%. If you need longer, the Lloyds card above offers 24 months at 0% for a 1.5% fee.

The fee's currently on a temporary promo deal, from 3% down to 0.7%. You pay the full amount, then Bank of Scotland will refund the difference back to you.

  • Balance transfer length & fee: 15 months, 0.7% fee
  • Minimum payment: Greater of 1% of balance plus interest, or £5
  • Min income: n/a | Card issuer: Mastercard | 0% balance transfer time limit: First 90 days
  • Rate: 17.9% representative APR (see Official APR Examples)
Lloyds TSB Balance Transfer Credit Card 15 months

Lloyds*- 15mths, 0.7% fee Good 15 month option, with one of the lowest fees on the market

The Lloyds* balance transfer card is similar to the Bank of Scotland card above and offers 15 months 0% for a low 0.7% fee - a good option if you are transferring a balance from Bank of Scotland.

The fee's currently on a temporary promo deal, from 3% down to 0.7% - so you pay the full whack and it'll refund you the difference within 60 days.

  • Balance transfer length & fee: 15 months, 0.7% fee
  • Minimum payment: Greater of 1% of balance plus interest, or £5
  • Min income: N/A | Card issuer: Mastercard | 0% balance transfer time limit: First 90 days
  • Rate: 17.9% representative APR (see Official APR Examples)
Tesco 28 months

Tesco* - 12mths, 0.65% fee A year's 0% for the market's lowest transfer fee

  • Apply*
  • Eligibility Check not available

The Tesco* has the lowest fee on the market, 0.65%, but the 0% period is only for 12 months - a great deal if you can pay off in that time.

If you need longer, you can get 15 months 0% for a 0.7% fee, which works out at just an extra 50p per £1,000 of balance transferred.

  • Balance transfer length & fee: 12 months, 0.65% fee
  • Minimum payment: Greater of 1% of balance plus interest or £25
  • Min income: £5,000 | Card issuer: Visa |0% balance transfer time limit: First 60 days
  • Rate: 18.9% representative APR (see Official APR Example)
Sainsbury's Balance Transfer Credit Card 12 months

Sainsbury's* - 12mths, 3% feeFee is entirely refunded in Nectar points

The Sainsbury's* card offers 12 months at 0%. You initially pay a 3% fee, but if you transfer within six weeks of getting the card, Sainsbury's will refund your fee in Nectar points.

So if you transferred a £1,000 balance, you'd pay a £30 fee, and would get £30 of points (6,000pts) added to your Nectar account.

If you'll definitely use the points, this means you're effectively getting a 12-month 0% balance transfer for a 0% fee.

  • Balance transfer length & fee: 12 months, 3% fee (refunded in Nectar points)
  • Minimum payment: Greater of 1% of balance plus interest, 2.25% of balance or £5
  • Min income: N/A | Card issuer: Mastercard | 0% balance transfer time limit: First 6 weeks
  • Rate: 16.9% representative APR (see Official APR Examples)

Top 0% Balance transfers & Purchases card

Most credit cards offer either a good deal on balance transfers OR purchases, but some do a bit of both. This means you can get a strong deal while only applying for one card, which saves damaging your credit score with unnecessary applications.

One of the top all-rounder cards is below. For more best buys and further information, see the 0% Balance Transfer & Spending guide.

Halifax Balance Transfer Credit Card 15 months

Halifax* - 15mths, 0.8% fee Lowest balance transfer fee, plus 15mths 0% on spending

This Halifax* balance transfer card's fee is very low, and it offers 0% on spending - if you need a card to cut existing debts and spread the cost of new spending, this is our top all-round option.

Check your chances of getting it with our Eligibility Checker.

  • Balance transfer/purchases length & transfer fee: 15 months, 0.8% fee
  • Minimum payment: Greater of 1% of balance plus interest, or £5
  • Min income: N/A | Card issuer: Mastercard | 0% balance transfer time limit: First 90 days
  • Rate: 17.9% representative APR (see Official APR Examples)

Cheapest long-term Life of Balance cards

This route can be simpler - get a card, shift your debts, then put the card away and pay it off, knowing it's cheap. Some people could be better off going for a stable relationship like this rather than trying to be a credit card tart, as only a few mistakes can make tarting costly.

However, with the huge length of the 0% deals we're seeing, and decreasing personal loan rates, here are the two big things to consider.

Sainsbury's 7.8% Nectar Low rate card

Sainsbury's* - 6.9% APR Nectar Credit Card Low rate, and no fees to transfer

The Sainsbury's* Low Rate Nectar credit card offers balance transfers and spending at a low representative of 6.9% APR. The big advantage of these longer term cards is that there's no fee for transferring a balance.

If you can repay quickly, 0% wins. But if you need longer, or if you're less certain of repayments, these permanent deals are far safer. You get a low APR and, with this card, no balance transfer fee.

  • Balance transfer length & fee: 6.9% representative APR for life, NO FEE
  • Minimum payment: Greater of 1% of balance plus interest, 2.25% of balance, or £5
  • Min income: N/A | Card issuer: Mastercard | 0% balance transfer time limit: N/A
  • Rate: 6.9% representative APR (see Official APR Examples)
Tesco 7.8% Low rate card

Tesco* - 7.8% APR Clubcard Credit Card Same rate on transfers and purchases. No fees to transfer

  • Apply*
  • Eligibility Check not available

The Tesco* low APR Clubcard Credit Card offers balance transfers and spending at a low representative APR. The big advantage here is that there's no fee for transferring a balance, and you'll get the same rate on spending too.

If you can repay quickly, 0% wins. But if you need longer, or if you're less certain of repayments, these permanent deals are far safer. You get a low APR and, with this card, no balance transfer fee. Sainsbury's offers a similar deal (see below) but with in-store cashback. If you're a bigger Sainsbury's shopper, this could be a better option.

  • Balance transfer length & fee: 7.8% APR for life, NO FEE
  • Minimum payment: Greater of 1% of balance plus interest, or £25
  • Min income: £5,000 | Card issuer: Mastercard | 0% balance transfer time limit: N/A
  • Rate: 7.8% representative APR (see Official APR Examples)

Cards for poorer credit scorers

To be accepted for most of the card intro deals in this guide, you need you to have a decent credit score - so people who need cheap credit the most often struggle to get one.

The two cards in this section are aimed at different people. The Barclaycard's for people with only a very short credit history, while the Capital One card's designed for people with a history of defaults & CCJs trying to rebuild their credit history.

Barclaycard Platinum Rebuild Credit Card 18 months

Barclaycard Platinum* - 18mths, 2.9% fee For credit rebuilding, or those with little credit history

If your credit history's short, or there's little of it, you may not be accepted for the cards above. The Barclaycard Platinum* credit card is designed for people like you.

It's not aimed at people with serious credit problems, and it won't accept a history of bad credit. So if you have recent CCJs or defaults, you may be better checking out the Capital One card below, or the Credit Cards For Poorer Credit guide where there are easier-to-get cards to help rebuild your credit.

  • Balance transfer length & fee: 18 months, 2.9% fee
  • Minimum payment: Greater of 1% of balance plus interest, 2.25% of balance, or £5
  • Min income: £17,500 | Card issuer: Visa | 0% balance transfer time limit: First 60 days
  • Rate: 24.9% representative APR (see Official APR Example)

One card is designed for poorer credit scorers:

Capital One

Capital One* - 0% until November 2014, 3% fee Short term 0% deal, accepts poorer credit scorers

For those who've had past credit issues, Capital One's* Balance card is 0% on balance transfers until November 2014, with a one-off fee of 3% of the amount shifted.

Those with poor credit histories are usually frozen out of the headline-grabbing 0% deals. So this can be a lifeline, as you can get it even if you've had past defaults or CCJs though these must be a year old or more. You will still have to pass a credit check, and be aware credit limits are low, ranging from £200 to £1,500.

Be very careful though - after the 0% ends, the rate jumps to a massive 34.9% representative APR. If possible, try to minimise the amount of debt on it by then as this is extremely costly.

  • Balance transfer length & fee: till Nov 2014, 3% fee
  • Minimum payment: Greater of 1% of balance plus interest, or £5
  • Min income: n/a | Card issuer: Mastercard | 0% balance transfer time limit: n/a
  • Rate: 34.9% representative APR (see Official APR Examples)

Still concerned? Try other creditworthiness comparisons

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Calculator: Which card is cheapest?

Choosing your balance transfer weapon's more complicated than it used to be. Grabbing a super-long 0% deal and letting it lapse to the APR can now beat the long-term cheap rates for repayment lengths of around three years or more.

The aim should still always be to repay within the interest-free time, or switch after that to another 0% deal if you haven't repaid. However, if you can't, don't automatically jump for a long-term deal, as it may not be cheapest.

This calculator reveals the cheapest of our top picks, based on your debt and repayment amount.

What's the cheapest card?

Quick tool compares cost and length of using top deals
Amount of Debt:
£0
£0£10,000
Fixed monthly repayment:
£100
£0£1,000


This calculator ESTIMATES the total cost incl fees and interest using these assumptions.

  • Repayments are fixed: If they'll be inconsistent play safe and pick the minimum you'll repay in any month
  • No spending: As this isn't usually at the 0% rate (so avoid)
  • Representative APRs: After the 0% ends we use the rep APR, yet only 51% of people get it
  • Not all cards are included
Last Updated: 04/04/2014

It's important to note all the APRs used in the calculator (except 0% and long-term special offers) are representative, so only 51% of accepted applicants must get them - the other 49% are likely to pay more. If you're in that bunch, you should seriously look at switching again once the deal ends.

Simple reminders for card tarts!

Enter the date your 0% (or other intro rate) expires in the Tart Alert Tool and you'll be sent a text or e-mail reminder to ditch and switch. Of course, like everything else on this site, it's completely free.Try it now →

Think before adding the 'insurance'

Payment protection insurance is commonly sold with credit cards. The idea is it'll make some payments for you, usually for a year, if you are unable to (if you lost your job, for example).

There have been countless cases where it was mis-sold, where borrowers didn't realise they were signing up for it, or it was totally unsuitable for them. Some big lenders have been fined.

The protection isn't always bad. But policies sold with cards are often overpriced (you pay a monthly amount depending on the size of your balance). If you want it, compare the lender's cover with standalone providers such as Paymentcare or Best Insurance.

Always be vigilant to check you aren't getting more than you bargained for when you fill in the application, then check your statement each month to check you aren't inadvertently paying for extras if you didn't ask for them.

Balance transfer Q&A

There are a range of variables to take into account when choosing a balance transfer card:

Glossary

Join in the Forum Discussion:
Balance Transfer Credit Cards
If you haven't already

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You shouldn’t notice any difference and the link will never negatively impact the product. Plus the editorial line (the things we write) is NEVER impacted by these links. We aim to look at all available products. If it isn't possible to get an affiliate link for the top deal, it is still included in exactly the same way, just with a non-paying link. For more details, read How This Site Is Financed.

Duplicate links of the * links above for the sake of transparency, but this version doesn't help MoneySavingExpert.com: Bank of Scotland 15mth, Bank of Scotland 24mth, Barclaycard Platinum 30mth, Barclaycard Platinum 31mth, Capital One until Nov, Fluid 29mth, Halifax 24 mth, Halifax 28mth, Halifax 30mth, Halifax All in One 15mth, Lloyds 15mth, Lloyds Platinum 24mth, MBNA 30mth, MoneySupermarket, Sainsbury's Low rate, Santander 17mth, Santander 29mth, Tesco, Tesco 12 mth, Tesco 29mth, Virgin Money 29mth

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