Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

The MoneySaving Forum: join to chat & swap tips with other MoneySavers. Learn how in the Forum Introduction Guide

Balance Transfer Credit Cards

40mths 0%, 2.99% fee

A balance transfer can cut £100s or £1,000s off the cost of existing borrowing. It's where you get a new credit card to pay off debts on old cards for you so you owe the new card but at a far lower rate; meaning you're debt free quicker.

This guide takes you through how to safely shift your debts, compares the longest 0% and no fee 0% deals and includes our unique 'eligibility calculator' to find the cards you've the best chance of being accepted for.

Good / Evil Credit Card

The six golden rules

Before you do a balance transfer there are six things you need to know. Get this wrong and it can cost you large, so please read the following (even if you only have time to read and remember the headlines it should help protect your pocket).

  • Always clear debt or shift again before the 0% or cheap rate ends, otherwise costs rocket

    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. At that point, the interest rate jumps massively, to a standard 15%-20% APR.

    Quick question

    What can I do if I can't pay off my debt within the 0% period?

  • Repay AT LEAST the set monthly minimum (preferably more) or you may lose the cheap rate

    Just because you grabbed a 0% deal, it DOESN'T mean you can get away with paying nothing - you must pay at least the minimum monthly payments. Otherwise you will be hit with penalties and some card providers will withdraw the deal, leaving you on an expensive rate.

    Quick question

    How much should I aim to pay?

  • Don't spend or withdraw cash on cheap balance transfer cards. It's not usually at the cheap rate

    Credit cards let you spend, shift debt or withdraw cash but banks must put repayments towards the most expensive debt first. So spending on a balance transfer card isn't as bad as it was, as repayments first clear the spending, but it can still cost, as you only avoid interest if you pay off the FULL balance, including transfers and purchases.

    Quick questions

    If I need to spend, what is the best option?

    Why do I pay interest on my cash withdrawal if I've paid it off in full?

    Does withdrawing cash on a credit card affect my credit score?

  • To protect your credit score use our eligibility calculator before applying to find which cards you're most likely to get

    The only way to know if you'll be accepted is to apply, but each application marks your credit file. Some cards let you do a pre-application check to work out whether to go ahead, or you can use our balance transfer eligibility calculator, which shows your odds of getting almost every top card so you can hone your choice to minimise applications.

    Quick questions

    How does the eligibility calculator work?

    Will credit scoring affect the deal I get and my credit limit?

  • You might not get the headline 0% deal you apply for

    We've long warned about the dangers of representative APRs, where you might be accepted for a card, but get a higher interest rate. But now there's another catch to watch out for too - deals that tell you they're "15 months at 0%" or "34 months at 0%" on balance transfers, which also have the words "up to" before the deal.

    What this means is that you could apply for, say, the top 36 month 0% balance transfer deal, but you could be one of those accepted, but given a worse 18 months at 0% deal - and for the same fee.

    We highlight cards that do this by putting "up to" before their headline number of months, and tell you the other deals you could get in the need-to-knows in the product boxes.

    Sadly, the only way to know what 0% deal you'll get is to apply. Anecdotally, though, it seems that the higher you score in our eligibility calculator (which doesn't affect your credit score), the more chance you have of getting the headline 0%.

    Quick question

    Why do lenders give some applicants worse deals?

  • You may be able to cut your interest WITHOUT new cards

    Most cards in this guide are 0% deals, but usually require a good credit score. If your score is patchy, the Credit Card Shuffle could be the solution. It isn't the latest poker trick but our technique to allow you to shift debt around cards you have (if you're not maxed out). It's complex, but it's saved people £100s, without new cards.

    Quick question

    How do I do the credit card shuffle?

Rather watch than read? Martin Lewis balance transfer video briefing

Some people find it easier to watch than read - if that's you, here's a full video run-down on how balance transfers work.

Best Buys Longest 0% cards

The best credit card deals currently break all records, though acceptance is tough (see eligibility calculator info above). When deciding which to choose, a good rule of thumb is...

Balance transfers charge a one-off fee of the amount transferred. Go for the lowest fee provided you're CERTAIN you can clear the card within its 0% length.

A lower fee can be trivial compared to interest if you don't clear the card or shift again before the 0% ends. A card with a 1% fee is £10 per £1,000 transferred. And a card with a 3% fee is £30 per £1,000, only a £20 difference, which could quickly be eaten up by interest. If unsure, go long; to help, we built the Which Card Is Cheapest? calculator.

Virgin 40 months

Longest ever 0% balance transfer

Virgin Money* 40 mths 0%, 2.99% fee (18.9% rep APR after)

The new Virgin Money* card offers the longest 0% we've seen, so if you think you'll need a massive three and a bit years to pay off your debt, it could be the best card for you. However, the card has a higher fee than those below so if you can pay off the debt four months quicker, you're likely to be better off opting for one of those.

Need-to-knows
  • You must apply by 11.59pm on 9 September and you must transfer existing debt within the first 60 days to get this deal.
  • Virgin Money doesn't down-sell, so if your credit score isn't good enough you'll be rejected outright and not offered a shorter 0% deal, as you could be on other cards in this guide.
  • You can’t transfer balances from other Virgin cards.
  • You can also do a money transfer for 40 months 0% - again the longest we’ve ever seen - though you pay a 4% fee to do this.
  • After the 0%, you'll pay 18.9% interest on transferred debt and 20.9% on money transfers, so budget to pay off your debt within the 40 months.
  • Always pay at least the minimum monthly repayment, or you'll lose the 0% deal.
Eligibility Calculator
(MSE's free tool)
APPLY*
(at lender site)

Protect your credit score and check chances of getting card

Stats box
  • Balance transfer length & fee: 40 months, 2.99% fee (min £3)
  • Money transfer length & fee: 40 months, 4% fee (min £3)
  • Minimum payment: Greater of 1% of balance plus interest, or £25
  • Min income: n/a | Card issuer: Mastercard | 0% balance transfer time limit: First 60 days
  • Rate: 18.9% representative APR (see Official APR Example)

Barclaycard Platinum 34 months

Shorter 0%, but has a lower fee to transfer

Barclaycard* up to 36 mths 0%, 2.39% fee (18.9% rep APR after)

The Barclaycard Platinum* card is only a few months shorter than the longest 0% deal available, but it also has a lower fee. So, if you think you'll only need three years to pay off your debt, this card represents the cheapest deal.

But if you can pay the debt off quicker, you could save by opting for a lower-fee option, such as one of the cards below.

Need-to-knows
  • You'll be charged a fee of 3.5% of the amount transferred, then Barclaycard will credit back 1.11% within two days, so the effective fee is 2.39%.
  • To get the deal, you must transfer existing debt in the first 60 days.
  • We say 'up to' 36 mths as some may get 18mths 0% depending on credit score.
  • You can’t transfer from another Barclaycard, so check the cards below if that’s you.
  • After the 0%, you'll pay 18.9% or 29.9% interest.
  • Our Which card is cheapest? tool explains if this is best for you.
Eligibility Calculator
(MSE's free tool)
APPLY*
(at lender site)

Protect your credit score and check chances of getting card

Stats box
  • Balance transfer length & fee: Up to 36 months, 2.39% 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)
Key questions

When may you get fewer than 36mths 0%? This is one of a group of cards which may accept you, but choose to give a shorter 0% period - in this case, 18 months 0%, which isn't a competitive deal for the transfer fee you'll be charged. Most accepted applicants will get the full 36 months, but if your credit rating isn't tip-top, you're at risk of getting the shorter period - so think twice.

Halifax* - 32 MONTHS, 2.65% FEE

Long 0% balance transfer card, but has a higher fee than the card above

Halifax* up to 36 mths, 2.45% fee (18.9% rep APR after)

The Halifax* credit card is great for anyone who needs a massive three years to pay off their debt. However, some people with lower credit scores accepted for this card won't get the full 36 months at 0% - some will get 26 or 18 months instead.

Need-to-knows
  • You'll be charged a fee of 3% of the amount transferred, then Halifax will credit back 0.55% within 90 days, so the effective fee is 2.45%.
  • We say 'up to' 36 mths as some may get 26 or 18 mths 0% depending on credit score.
  • You can't transfer from a Halifax card but you can from its sister firm, Bank of Scotland.
  • After the 0% period ends, it’s 18.9% interest. But poorer credit scorers will get either 21.9% or 25.9%.
  • Our Which card is cheapest? tool explains if this is best for you.
Eligibility Calculator
(MSE's free tool)
APPLY*
(at lender site)

Protect your credit score and check chances of getting card

Stats box
  • Balance transfer length & fee: Up to 36 months, 2.45% fee
  • Minimum payment: Greater of 1% of balance plus interest, or £5
  • Min income: n/a | Card issuer: Mastercard | Balance transfer time limit: First 3mths
  • Rate: 18.9% representative APR (see Official APR Examples)

Got those above? More 0% balance transfer cards

If the cards above don't suit you, here are some quick details of the next best. The 0% periods aren't as long, or they come with a slightly higher fee, but they're still good alternatives.

Card 0% length BT fee APR Eligibility Calculator
MBNA* MBNA Up to 36 mths 2.48% 18.9% You can use our eligibility calculator for this card
Virgin Money* Virgin Money 36 mths 2.5% (min £3) 18.9% You can use our eligibility calculator for this card
Fluid* Fluid up to 36 mths 2.79% (min £3) 18.9% You can use our eligibility calculator for this card
Lloyds* Lloyds up to 36 mths 3% 18.9% You can use our eligibility calculator for this card
Tesco* Tesco 35 mths 2.7% 18.9% -
Virgin Money* Virgin Money 34 mths 2.25% (min £3) 18.9% You can use our eligibility calculator for this card
  • Representative variable APR, your balance transfer interest may be different | See all Official APR Examples

Best buys Long low-fee 0% cards

If you can clear your debts more quickly - even by a couple of months - than the 0% periods above, it's possible to slash the fee you pay, cutting the overall cost of paying off your debts. 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 the fee you'll pay. We've ordered them starting with the longest 0% and getting shorter, but if you can't pay it off as quickly as you'd need to with these low-fee cards, check the longer options above.

Our Which card is cheapest? tool is a ready reckoner if you're not sure.

Virgin Money Balance Transfer Credit Card 26 months

Long 0% period, and lowest fee of all the 32mth cards

Virgin Money* 32 mths 0%, 1.5% fee (18.9% rep APR after)

Shifting debt for longer has just become even cheaper as this new Virgin Money* card lets you shift debt for 32 months for a low one-off 1.5% fee - half the fee of the longest 0% deals available. But if you need more time to clear the card then it's worth looking at the longer 0% cards above, as it's always better to pay the higher fee than interest.

Need-to-knows
  • If you've already got a Virgin Money card, you can't balance transfer to this one.
  • You can also do a money transfer for 32 months 0% for a 4% fee on this card - though this can be beaten. Full info on this and much more in the Money Transfers guide.
  • After the 0% deal ends, you're charged 20.9% interest on any balances transferred still left on the card.
  • Our Which card is cheapest? tool explains if this is best for you.
Eligibility Calculator
(MSE’s free tool)
APPLY*
(at lender site)

Protect your credit score and check chances of getting card

Stats box
  • Balance transfer length & fee: 32 months, 1.5% fee (min £3)
  • Minimum payment: Greater of 1% of balance plus interest or £25
  • Min income: n/a | Card issuer: Mastercard | 0% balance transfer time limit: First 60 days
  • Rate: 18.9% representative APR (See Official APR Examples)
BOS Balance Transfer Credit Card 28 months

Long 0%, but slightly higher fee than the card above

Lloyds* up to 32 mths 0%, 1.54% fee (18.9% rep APR after)

This Lloyds* card also lets you shift debt to it for up to 32 months for a one-off fee of 1.54%. The fee is ever so slightly higher than the Virgin Money card above and is a decent alternative if you're looking to shift debt off a Virgin card. But not everyone accepted will get the headline deal. Some accepted could get just 26 months, which isn't a great deal.

Need-to-knows
  • You can’t transfer a balance from another Lloyds card. But you can shift to Bank of Scotland*, which is also offering the same deal.
  • We say 'up to' 32 months as some may get 26 months 0% depending on credit score.
  • You're initially charged a 3% fee to transfer, then within two days you'll get a rebate making the effective fee 1.54%.
  • After the 0% deal ends, you'll pay 18.9% interest on your balance transfer, though poorer credit scorers may pay a higher 21.9% or 25.9%.
  • Our Which card is cheapest? tool explains if this is best for you.
Eligibility Calculator
(MSE’s free tool)
APPLY*
(at lender site)

Protect your credit score and check chances of getting card

Stats box
  • Balance transfer length & fee: 32 months, 1.54% 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: 18.9% representative APR (See Official APR Examples)
MBNA Balance Transfer Credit Card 32 months

Long 0%, plus you can pay cash into your overdraft

MBNA* up to 32mths 0%, 1.55% fee (20.9% rep APR after)

This card from MBNA* also lets you shift debt to it for up to 32 months for a 1.55% fee. And, you can transfer money from it to your current account at 0% for up to 24 months, making it a powerful tool to cut overdraft costs too - although be aware that you get a shorter 0% period on money transfers and pay a slightly higher fee than you do on balance transfers.

There is another card with a longer 0% money transfer offer at 36 months; full info on this and much more in the Money Transfers guide.

Need-to-knows
  • If you've already got an MBNA or Fluid card, you can't balance transfer to this one.
  • If transferring to your overdraft, don't withdraw the cash, tell MBNA to do it. There's a 1.99% fee to do this.
  • We say 'up to' 32 mths as some may get fewer 0% depending on credit score.
  • After your 0% deal ends, you'll pay 20.9% interest on any balance transfer debt left over.
  • Similarly, you'll pay 22.9% on any money transfer debt left over after 24 months.
Eligibility Calculator
(MSE’s free tool)
APPLY*
(at lender site)

Protect your credit score and check chances of getting card

Stats box
  • Balance transfer length & fee: Up to 32 months, 1.55% fee (min £3)
  • Money transfer length & fee: Up to 24 months, 1.99% fee (min £3)
  • Minimum payment: Greater of 1% of balance plus interest, or £25
  • Min income: n/a | Card issuer: Visa | Balance transfer time limit: First 60 days
  • Rate: 18.9% representative APR (see Official APR Examples)
Key questions

How do money transfers work? With a standard balance transfer, you use one card to pay off another. A money transfer is only slightly different, in that you use the card to pay cash into your bank account. Therefore, you now have the cheap debt on the card and the cash in your bank account.

These money transfers open up all kinds of opportunities. But it's crucially important that you pay off or shift the debt before the 0% intro period ends, as money transfers have an even higher interest rate than most balance transfers - 22.9% isn't uncommon.

There are two main uses for money transfers; firstly to pay off small but costly non-card debts, like payday loans or overdrafts. The second is to use one to buy something in cash when the retailer can't accept credit cards. Whatever you want to use it for, make sure it's for planned spending, and that you've cleared the card by the end of the 0% period.

Is this the best money transfer card? That all depends on what you mean by 'best'. It's the one with the cheapest money transfer fee, but there is a card which has a longer 0% money transfer offer at 36 months, albeit for a higher fee. Also, be aware this is one of a group of cards which may accept you, but choose to give a shorter 0% period. See full Money Transfer credit card options.

Barclaycard Platinum 34 months

Long 0% card with a low fee

Barclaycard* up to 30 mths 0%, 1.3% fee (18.9% rep APR after)

If you don't quite need the three and a bit years to pay off your debt that the longest 0% card offers, then this Barclaycard* is a decent pick. It lets you shift debt to it for up to 30 months for a low one-off fee of 1.3%. But not everyone will get this deal - some accepted will get 15 months instead.

You can check your chances of getting the card with our eligibility checker, but unfortunately it won't tell you the number of months you'll get.

Need-to-knows
  • You'll be charged a fee of 3.5% of the amount transferred, then Barclaycard will credit back 2.2% within two days, so the effective fee is 1.3%.
  • To get the deal, you must transfer existing debt in the first 60 days.
  • We say 'up to' 30 mths as some may get 15 months 0% depending on credit score.
  • You can’t transfer from another Barclaycard, so check the cards below if that’s you.
  • After the 0%, you'll pay 18.9% or 29.9% interest.
  • Our Which card is cheapest? tool explains if this is best for you.
Eligibility Calculator
(MSE’s free tool)
APPLY*
(at lender site)

Protect your credit score and check chances of getting card

Stats box
  • Balance transfer length & fee: Up to 30 months, 1.3% 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)
Key questions

When may you get fewer than 30mths 0%? This is one of a group of cards which may accept you, but choose to give a shorter 0% period - in this case, 15 months 0%, which isn't a competitive deal for the transfer fee you'll be charged. Most accepted applicants will get the full 30 months, but if your credit rating isn't tip-top, you're at risk of getting the shorter period - so think twice.

Barclaycard Balance Transfer Credit Card 24 months

Lowest-fee card if you can pay your debts off within two years

Barclaycard* up to 24 mths 0%, 0.99% fee (18.9% rep APR after)

This card from Barclaycard* is a good option if you only need two years to clear your debt, and the fee's cheap too. But remember if you need more time to clear the card, then it's better to go for a longer 0% period with a slightly higher fee than risk paying interest at 18.9%.

Need-to-knows
  • The fee's actually 2% of the amount shifted, but you get 1.01% back within two days.
  • We say 'up to' 24 mths 0% as some may get 12mths 0% depending on credit score.
  • You can’t transfer a balance from another Barclaycard.
  • After the 0% deal ends, it’s 18.9% interest, though poorer credit scorers could get 29.9%.
  • Our Which card is cheapest? tool explains if this is best for you.
Eligibility Calculator
(MSE’s free tool)
APPLY*
(at lender site)

Protect your credit score and check your chances of getting card

Stats box
  • Balance transfer length & fee: Up to 24 months, 0.99% 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 Examples)
Virgin Money Balance Transfer Credit Card 26 months

Good low-fee card with a long 0%, plus has 0% on spending & money transfers

Virgin Money* 24 mths 0%, 1% fee (18.9% rep APR after)

If you only need two years to pay off your debts, you can shift balances to this Virgin Money* card for a low one-off 1% fee. The combination of a high number of months at 0%, and a low fee make this a good deal - provided it gives you enough time to clear the card.

Need-to-knows
  • If you've already got a Virgin Money card, you can't balance transfer to this one.
  • You can also do a money transfer for 24 months 0% for a 1.9% fee on this card, and make purchases at 0% interest for 24 months too.
  • After the 0% deal ends, you're charged 20.9% interest on any balances transferred still left on the card.
  • Our Which card is cheapest? tool explains if this is best for you.
Eligibility Calculator
(MSE’s free tool)
APPLY*
(at lender site)

Protect your credit score and check chances of getting card

Stats box
  • Balance transfer length & fee: 24 months, 1% fee
  • Minimum payment: Greater of 1% of balance plus interest or £25
  • Min income: n/a | Card issuer: Mastercard | 0% balance transfer time limit: First 60 days
  • Rate: 18.9% representative APR (See Official APR Examples)

Got those above? More 0% balance transfer cards

If you didn't find a card above to suit you, here are quick details of the next best cards.

Card 0% length BT fee APR Eligibility Calculator
Fluid* Fluid card Up to 32 mths 1.56% (min £3) 18.9% You can use our eligibility calculator for this card
Lloyds* Lloyds Up to 28 mths 1.5% 18.9% You can use our eligibility calculator for this card
Virgin Money* Virgin Money 26 mths 1.25% (min £3) 18.9% You can use our eligibility calculator for this card
  • Representative variable APR, your balance transfer interest may be different | See all Official APR Examples

Best buys No fee 0% cards

If you can clear your debts in under two yers, it's possible to slash the fee you pay to nothing meaning that you could - with discipline - clear your debts for free.

We've ordered these cards from the longest fee free card on the market down to the shortest. As it's not costing you any extra, the best card is the longest no fee card, but use the Eligibility Calculator first to see if you'll get it.

These cards are all short-ish lengths, so only go for these if you know you can pay off in time, or that you'll definitely switch again once the 0% period ends. If you know you'll need longer, it's almost always better to pay a (higher) fee than it is to pay interest. Our Which card is cheapest? tool is a ready reckoner if you're not sure if these cards are for you.

Tesco’s* 12 months 0%, no fee

Longest no fee balance transfer card

Tesco* 19 months 0%, no fee (20.6% rep APR after)

This Tesco* credit card gives a market-leading 19 months at 0% with no balance transfer fee. This is the longest 0% period we've seen without a fee - but sadly we're not able to check your eligibility for this card. So, if you think your chances are low of getting it, look at the Post Office card below - which offers one month less at 0% and you can check your chances of getting it.

Need-to-knows
  • You’ll either get the whole 19 months or be rejected.
  • You can’t transfer a balance from another Tesco card.
  • After the 0%, it’s 20.6%-26.7% interest on any remaining transferred debt.
  • Our Which card is cheapest? tool explains if cards like this could be a good option for you.
Stats box
  • Balance transfer length & fee: 19 months, 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: 18.9% representative APR (see Official APR Example)
Post Office Credit Card

Next longest no fee balance transfer card

Post Office* 18 mths 0%, NO fee (17.8% rep APR after)

The Post Office* credit card offers one month less than the market-leading card above. But, you can check your chances of getting it, unlike the Tesco card above. But if 18 months isn't long enough to clear your debt, then you should consider cards with longer 0% periods above. It's always better paying the higher fee than paying interest at 17.8%.

Need-to-knows
  • It initially charges a 2.98% fee to transfer your balance, but then refunds it in its entirety within 90 days, meaning you effectively pay no fee to transfer your balance.
  • You either get the full 18 months or you get rejected.
  • After 18 months, you'll pay 17.8% on any debt left over.
  • You can’t transfer a balance from another Post Office credit card.
  • Our Which card is cheapest? tool explains if this is best for you.
Eligibility Calculator
(MSE’s free tool)
APPLY*
(at lender site)

Protect your credit score and check chances of getting card

Stats box
  • Balance transfer length & transfer fee: 18 months, NO fee
  • Minimum payment: Greater of 1% of balance plus interest, 2.5% of the balance or £5
  • Min income: £8,000 | Card issuer: Mastercard
  • 0% balance transfer time limit: First 90 days
  • Rate: 17.8% representative APR (see Official APR Examples)
Halifax 13 months 0%, no fee

Decent no fee card but some may get fewer months

Halifax* up to 18 mths 0%, no fee (18.9% rep APR after)

This Halifax* card allows you to transfer debt to it for no fee for up to 18 months at 0%. But be warned that even if you're accepted for the card, you may not get the headline deal. Some accepted could get just 9 months, which isn't a great deal.

You can check your chances of getting the card with our eligibility checker, but unfortunately it won't tell you the number of months you'll get.

Need-to-knows
  • We say this card's 'up to' 18 mths as some may get 9mths 0% depending on credit score.
  • You can't transfer from a Halifax card but you can from its sister firm, Bank of Scotland.
  • After the 0%, it’s 18.9% interest on any remaining transferred debt, but poorer credit scorers will get 21.9% or 25.9%
  • Our Which card is cheapest? tool explains if this is best for you.
Eligibility Calculator
(MSE’s free tool)
APPLY*
(at lender site)

Protect your credit score and check your chances of getting card

Stats box
  • Balance transfer length & fee: Up to 18 months, NO fee
  • Minimum payment: Greater of 1% of balance plus interest, or £5
  • Min income: n/a | Card issuer: Mastercard | 0% balance transfer time limit: 90 days
  • Rate: 18.9% representative APR (see Official APR Example)

Got those above? More no-fee 0% balance transfer cards

If you didn't find a card above to suit you, here are quick details of the next best cards.

Card 0% length BT fee APR Eligibility Calculator
Lloyds* Lloyds card Up to 16 mths None 18.9% You can use our eligibility calculator for this card
Bank of Scotland* Bank of Scotland Up to 16 mths None 18.9% You can use our eligibility calculator for this card
Santander* Santander card 15 mths None 18.9% You can use our eligibility calculator for this card
Sainsbury's* Sainsbury's card 13mths None 18.9% You can use our eligibility calculator for this card
  • Representative variable APR, your balance transfer interest may be different
  • See all Official APR Examples

Best buys Long-term, low-rate cards

This route can be simpler - get a card, shift your debt, then put the card away and pay it off, knowing it's cheap.

If you can pay off a 0% card in the stated time, then do that. But if you may need longer or you prefer a stable relationship to trying to be a credit card tart by switching 0% cards every time a deal runs out, a low-rate, life-of-balance card could be for you.

These cost money in interest each month, but could nevertheless work out the lower interest rate option overall as you won't ever end up on a sky-high rate as you would if you let a 0% deal lapse while still owing money on it.

However, there are the two big things to consider...

0% cards can be cheaper than long-term deals

You can use life-of-balance cards like a personal loan

Lloyds Balance Transfer Credit Card 6.4%

Joint cheapest low-rate, life-of-balance card and no fees to do a balance transfer

Lloyds* 6.4% rep APR, no fee

The joint lowest rate life-of-balance card is Lloyds* Platinum. We call this a life-of-balance card, as, although the 6.4% rate is technically variable, the rate jacking rules mean the bank can't raise it in year one, and after that, if it tries to, you can reject the rise as long as you keep repaying and don't borrow more. So in effect you can lock in the debt you shift at this cheap rate until the balance you've shifted is repaid.

Need to knows
  • Some people accepted for the card will get higher APRs - either 10.9% or 14.9%, which isn't a good deal. Sadly, our eligibility checker can only give your chances of getting the card, but can't predict the chances that you'll get the lowest APR.
  • You can’t transfer a balance from another Lloyds card.
  • You must transfer within 90 days or you'll pay a 3% fee.
  • Our Which card is cheapest? tool explains if this is best for you.
Eligibility Calculator
(MSE’s free tool)
APPLY*
(at lender site)

Protect your credit score and check chances of getting card

Stats box
  • Balance transfer length & fee: 6.4% interest, no fee
  • Minimum payment: Greater of 1% of balance plus interest, or £5
  • Min income: N/A | Card issuer: Mastercard | Balance transfer time limit: 90 days
  • Rate: 6.4% representative APR (see Official APR Example)
Halifax Balance Transfer Credit Card 6.4%

Joint cheapest low-rate, life-of-balance card and no fees to do a balance transfer

Halifax* 6.4% rep APR, no fee

The life-of-balance card from Halifax* also charges 6.4% interest on balances transferred to it. Though, after a year, the rate could rise – but, you can reject the rise as long as you keep repaying and don't borrow more. So in effect you can lock in the debt you shift at this cheap rate until the balance you've shifted is repaid.

Need-to-knows
  • Some people accepted for the card will get higher APRs – either 10.9% or 14.9%, which isn't a good deal.
  • You can’t transfer a balance from another Halifax card.
  • You must transfer within 90 days or you'll pay a 3% fee.
  • Our which card is cheapest? tool explains if this is best for you.
Eligibility Calculator
(MSE’s free tool)
APPLY*
(at lender site)

Protect your credit score and check your chances of getting card

Stats box
  • Balance transfer length & fee: 6.4% interest, no fee
  • Minimum payment: Greater of 1% of balance plus interest, or £5
  • Min income: N/A | Card issuer: Mastercard | Balance transfer time limit: 90 days
  • Rate: 6.4% representative APR (see Official APR Example)
MBNA Low Rate*

Slightly costlier card, but best if you have the cards above

MBNA* 6.5% interest, no fee (6.6% rep APR)

A lot of relationships don’t last, but here’s one that does. MBNA’s* card lets you balance transfer at 6.5% interest for the life of the balance. You don’t get an introductory 0%, but you also avoid nasty 20%+ APRs later on. Beware though, the rate is variable so could rise, though it won't in the first year. However, like the cards above, you can reject any rate rise and maintain the 6.5% rate, as long as you don't spend on the card.

Need-to-knows
  • Not everybody gets the 6.5% rate, poorer credit scorers get 8.9% or 11.9% rates.
  • No balance transfers are allowed from other MBNA cards.
  • This card also allows you to do a money transfer, where you take cash from the card & put it in your current account.
  • Our Which card is cheapest? tool explains if this card could be a good option for you.
Eligibility Calculator
(MSE’s free tool)
APPLY*
(at lender site)

Protect your credit score and check chances of getting card

Stats box
  • Balance transfer length & fee: 6.5%, no fee
  • Minimum payment: Greater of 1% of balance plus interest, or £25
  • Min income: n/a | Card issuer: Mastercard | Time limit: n/a
  • Rate: 6.6% representative APR (see Official APR Examples)
Key questions

What happens if it increases the rate?
If a rate change is announced, as long as you agree not to borrow more, you have a right to reject any rise and pay off your balance at the current rate. See the Rate Jacking guide for the full rules.

Is there a time limit to transfer balances?
No. You can transfer a balance on to the card at any time and providing the rate hasn't changed in the future, you'll only pay the 6.5% annual rate on the debt transferred.

Best buys Cards for poorer credit scorers

To be accepted for most of the card 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 it.

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

Barclaycard Platinum card

Best balance transfer card if you haven't had much credit before

Barclaycard* 18mths 0%, 2.99% fee (24.9% rep APR after)

If your credit history's short and you need to build it up to get decent products, the Barclaycard Platinum* card gives 18 months at 0%. If you've debts on high-interest cards, but maybe have only had one card in the past, then this is aimed at you. It's a mid-range 0% offer, but with a higher fee. But, use this card well, and it's a route out of debt.

Need-to-knows
  • It's easier to qualify for than other cards in this guide that require a top credit score.
  • If accepted, you'll get 18 months. Barclaycard doesn’t operate risk-based offers for this card.
  • You can’t transfer a balance from another Barclaycard.
  • After the 0% period ends, interest varies depending on your credit score, but will be at least 24.9% so aim to clear it by then, or shift the debt again.
  • It is NOT for those with serious credit problems, such as recent CCJs or defaults.
Eligibility Calculator
(MSE’s free tool)
APPLY*
(at lender site)

Protect your credit score and check chances of getting card

Stats box
  • Balance transfer length & fee: 18 months, 2.99% 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)
Key questions

Will I definitely get 24.9% APR?
Some accepted applicants with a slightly poorer credit score will be given a 29.9% interest rate as Barclaycard operates rate-for-risk pricing. This can hit the cost of your balance transfer, especially if you find you can't pay it off within the 18-month 0% period.

What should I do when the 0% ends?
After the 18 months 0% is up, any debt left on the card will start to accrue interest at 24.9% or 29.9%. Either clear the card before interest hits, or, if you can't, do a balance transfer to another card.

Unlike the Barclaycard above, this Capital One card is specifically designed for people who have had past credit problems.

Capital One* - 0% until April 2015, 3% fee

A short-term respite from interest if you've a poor credit history

Capital One* 0% for 6mths, 3% fee (34.9% rep APR after)

For those who've had past credit problems, Capital One's* Balance card provides a rare lifeline – even if you’ve had past defaults or CCJs. The 0% on balance transfers only lasts for six months, so treat it as an opportunity to shift debt short-term, giving you a respite from interest which you should use to clear the card, if you can.

Need-to-knows
  • After the 0%, the rate jumps to a huge 34.9% interest so clear it by then or transfer again.
  • Credit limits are low, ranging from £200 to £1,500.
  • You still have to pass a credit check and CCJs or defaults must be more than a year old.
Eligibility Calculator
(MSE’s free tool)
APPLY*
(at lender site)

Protect your credit score and check chances of getting card

Stats box
  • Balance transfer length & fee: 6 months 0%, 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 Example)
Key questions

How do I use this card best? In a perfect world, you'd shift all debts to it, repay by June and be debt-free. Yet if your debts are too big, that may not be possible. So, here's the best way to use it:

  • Shift as much debt as possible from the card(s) you have with the highest APR.
  • Use the 0% period on this card to pay as much off as possible, so that when it hits 34.9% you’ve little debt left.
  • After the 0% ends, if you shifted it from a card with a lower APR than this 34.9%, try to shift the remainder back on to the original card. There should be room if you’ve not spent on it – see the Credit Card Shuffle. If you can't shift back, then try to pay this card off as quickly as possible.

What happens when the deal ends?
This is only a short-term deal so ensure you diarise the end date and check to see if you can transfer the balance to another card then, if you still owe cash.

This will be easier if you make sure you always make the minimum repayments – if you don’t, you may lose the deal anyway and have little chance of a new deal if your credit rating takes another hit.

Can I spend on the card?
All spending is at the huge 34.9% representative APR from day one – AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE.

Get Martin's Free
Money Tips Email!

For all the latest deals, guides and loopholes - get our FREE tips email. Don't miss out.

Calculator Which card is cheapest for you?

Choosing your balance transfer weapon's more complicated than it used to be.

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 gives you an indication of which card might be cheapest, based on your debt and likely repayments. However, do note that not every card above is included within the tool.

What's the cheapest card? Quick tool compares cost and length of using top deals

£1500
£0 £10,000
£100
£0 £1,000

Be careful, this is just an ESTIMATE

The calculator estimates total costs and interest, yet it makes some assumptions.

  • It assumes repayments are fixed: If not, be safe and pick the min you'll repay in a month.
  • It assumes you won't spend on the card: As this isn't usually at the 0% rate, so avoid.
  • It assumes you pay the representative APR when the 0% ends: If your input monthly payment won't clear the debt before the end of the 0%, the tool adds interest for the remaining time.
  • Not all cards are included

Caution, this is an ESTIMATE. See assumptions.


Last Updated: August 2015

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

Balance transfers Q&A

  • How do I actually do a balance transfer?

  • Does a lower interest rate mean I pay less each month?

  • How much should I pay off each month?

  • If a lower interest rate doesn't mean I pay less, why bother?

  • What if the credit limit I get isn't high enough?

  • Will transferring a balance close my old card for me?

  • Should I cancel my old card?

  • How many times can I balance transfer?

  • At what point during tarting should I apply for a new card?

  • Will card tarting hurt my credit score?

  • What if my card's got a 0% spending deal?

  • Is the balance transfer fee interest-free as well?

  • Which cards give the best limits?

  • Why did it reject me? I've got a great credit score!

  • Why did it give me a different card to the one I applied for?

  • Any other things I should look for when picking a 0% card?

  • My question hasn't been answered yet, what should I do?

Glossary