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Money Transfers Shift loans or overdrafts with 0% money transfers

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While normal balance transfers let you shift debt from other credit cards, money transfers allow you to shift cash from the card to your bank account, giving respite from overdrafts or loans onto 0% for up to 32 months, saving £1,000s.

This is a complex technique, but powerful. Read the guide and follow the steps so you minimise interest while you budget to pay your debt off.

What is a money transfer?

A few special credit cards let you pay money straight into your bank account for a fee, yet you still get the special cheap transfer interest rates.

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.

You can use a money transfer card to...

  • Undercut high street loan rates. Even the cheapest high street loan to borrow £2,000 is 14.9% representative APR. But, if you can pay it off within two-and-a-half years, doing a money transfer and paying for whatever you were planning to buy with the cash will cost you just a 4% fee. That works out at an APR of about 3.3%.

    For more information on how to do this, see Cheap Credit Card Loans.
  • Pay off expensive overdrafts. This effectively shifts the overdraft to the card (alternatively, see bank accounts with 0% overdrafts below).

    When doing this, it's important you're disciplined and don't just drift back into the red, leaving yourself in even more debt. Do a budget so you're in control of your spending.
  • Paying off nasty payday loans. Once the money's in your bank account, use the cash to pay your payday loan off. But make sure you then pay off the card - and DON'T take out any more loans. Read our Payday Loans guide for alternatives.
  • Making a big purchase. As the money is in cash, it's a way of paying for something where credit cards won't usually be accepted. Ensure you borrow as little as possible, and do a budget to check repayments are affordable. It's best to buy on a credit card where you can, to benefit from extra Section 75 protection.
  • Stoozing. This is an advanced technique for making free cash from credit cards. See the Stoozing guide for more.

The top money transfers

First and foremost, a huge warning. Many cards allow you to pay cash into your bank account. The difference is most charge a fortune for it. The key to a money transfer is that you're charged the special promotional interest rate.

So, to get this, never ever withdraw cash and never spend on the credit card. Instead, just ask the card provider to...

"Do a money transfer to my current account."

This way you'll get the cheap transfer deal, and the cash will end up in your bank. For double surety, you can even explain exactly what you think will happen, and get them to confirm.

Also, it's crucial you set up a direct debit to make AT LEAST the minimum repayment each month. If not, you'll lose the special deal and pay the 20%+ APR on all debts.

Though try to pay more than the minimum amount, so the debt is cleared by the end of the intro deal, or you'll pay that 20+% APR on the debt that's left.

Which cards let you do this?

The cards below are the current best options for doing this (and not many cards allow it at all). Always treble-check the details before making any payment, as terms and conditions can be changed at any time.

Plus just like when applying for any card, you'll need to pass a a credit check (see the Credit Rating guide). We've developed a tool to help you see which cards you could be eligible for.

Check My eligibility for the cards before I apply

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

  • 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.

The top 0% money transfer cards

mbna

MBNA* 32 months 0% with 4% fee

  • Money transfer length & fee: 32 months 0%, 4% fee (min £3)
  • Annual interest rate on money transfers after the 0%: 22.9%
  • Representative variable APR on spending: 18.9% (Official APR Example)

  • Card issuer: Visa
  • |
  • Min income: N/A
  • Min repayment: Greater of 1% of balance plus interest or £25.
  • Any restrictions? Must transfer within 60 days.

The MBNA* Platinum card (you can use our eligibility checker for this card) offers a market-leading 0% for 32 months on money transfers for a one-off fee of 4% (higher than the standard fees charged on balance transfers).

You can do the money transfer at any time within 60 days of opening the account to get the promotional 4% fee, if you do it after 60 days it'll charge a 5% fee. Once the 32-month 0% deal ends, the interest charged on the money transferred is a big 22.9% a year, so make sure you've repaid the money by then.

In addition, this card offers 0% balance transfers for 32 months, with a handling fee of 2.69%, which is a top pick. After the 32 months, you'll pay an interest rate of 20.9% a year on the balance transferred.

Always pay at least the minimum monthly repayments or you'll lose the 0% deal. And never spend on the card, as it's at a much higher APR.

Virgin

Virgin Money* 29 months 0% with 4% fee

  • Money transfer length & fee: 29 months 0%, 4% fee (min £3)
  • Annual interest on money transfers after the 0%: 20.9%
  • Representative variable APR on spending: 18.9% (Official APR Example)

  • Card issuer: Mastercard
  • |
  • Min income: N/A
  • Min repayment: Greater of 1% of balance plus interest or £25.
  • Any restrictions? Must transfer within 60 days.

The Virgin Money* credit card (you can use our eligibility checker for this card) offers 0% for 29 months on money transfers for a one-off fee of 4%.

You can do the money transfer at any time within 60 days of opening the account. After the 29-month 0% deal ends, the interest charged on any remaining money transferred is a huge 20.9%, so ensure you've repaid by then to avoid the charges.

In addition, this card offers 0% balance transfers for 29 months, with a handling fee of 2.99%. After 29 months, you'll pay 18.9% interest on the balance transfer.

Always pay at least the minimum monthly repayments or you'll lose the 0% deals. And never spend on the card, as it's not at 0%.

Fluid

Fluid* 29 months 0% with 4% fee

  • Money transfer length & fee: 29 months 0%, 4% fee (min £3)
  • Annual interest rate on money transfers after the 0%: 22.9%
  • Representative variable APR on spending: 18.9% (Official APR Example)

  • Card issuer: Visa
  • |
  • Min income: N/A
  • Min repayment: Greater of 1% of balance plus interest or £25.
  • Any restrictions? Must transfer within 60 days.

The Fluid* card offers 0% for 29 months on money transfers for a one-off fee of 4% (higher than the standard fees charged on balance transfers).

Money transfers must be done within 60 days of opening the account to get the 29-month 0% deal. After it ends, if you've still got a balance on the card, you'll pay 20.9% interest a year on it, so budget to pay off within the 29 months.

This Fluid card also offers 0% on balance transfers for 29 months, with a 2.9% fee, though this can be beaten - see Best Balance Transfers for more. If you've done a balance transfer, you'll pay interest of 20.9% a year on any remaining balance.

Always pay at least the minimum monthly repayment, or you'll lose the 0% deals. And never spend on the card - it's at a much higher APR if you do.

Got a Barclaycard?

Some site and forum users have told us that they’re getting letters from Barclaycard offering them an exclusive 0% money transfer deal for between six to 12 months for a 1.9% fee. This is a lower fee then the cards above and can provide respite from overdraft charges or payday loans.

Barclaycard have said this is an existing customer only deal, and will be available to around four million of its cardholders.


Pay it off or shift the debt before the 0% ends

Of course, once you've got the cash in the bank, you can use it for whatever you intended. Yet as well as always meeting the minimum repayments, remember to ensure the debt is cleared before the end of the 0% period.

There are two simple ways to do this. Hopefully you can simply repay it. If not, six weeks before it ends, apply for a new 0% Balance Transfer card to shift the debt again. If you want a free text or email reminder to do this, use the Tart Alert.

If you know you can't pay the debt off within 32 months, you may want to consider the long term, low rate card below.

The top low-rate money transfer cards

MBNA Low Rate

MBNA Low Rate* Permanent 6.5%, no fee

  • Money transfer rate & fee: 6.5% for life, no fee
  • Representative variable APR on spending: 6.6% (Official APR Example)

  • Card issuer: Mastercard
  • |
  • Min income: N/A
  • Min repayment: Greater of 1% of balance plus interest or £25.
  • Any restrictions? None.

The MBNA Low Rate* credit card (you can use our eligibility checker for this card) gives a permanently low rate of 6.5% on money transfers. If you can repay quickly, 0% wins. If you're not sure, this low rate card may be a better option.

Unlike most money transfer cards, there's no fee to make the transfer. It also has no time limit, so you can do as many transfers as you want, whenever you want to make them - the 6.5% is a standard rate rather than a promotional rate.

However, some poorer credit scorers who get this card may get given interest rates of 8.9% or 11.9%, which can hit the cost severely.

Is the rate fixed? The card is variable rate, meaning MBNA is allowed to increase it. But credit card regulations mean it's not allowed to increase it within the first year.

After that, 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.

In addition, this card offers balance transfers, also at 6.5% interest.

Other ways to cut overdraft costs

Overdrafts are debts, and often much more expensive than credit cards, especially when the latter are handled well. Avoid paying overdraft interest by using the free Budget Planner, give yourself a Money Makeover.

If you have already run up an overdraft, as well as trying the money transfer route above, there are other things to try...

Get a 0% overdraft

Nationwide logo

12 months 0% overdraft - 50p/day after* Nationwide: 5% AER in credit interest

  • First year overdraft: 0% EAR
  • In-credit interest: 5% AER up to £2,500 balance in year one, 1% AER after
  • Arranged overdraft cost: 50p/day (£10 buffer)
  • Unarranged overdraft fees: 50p/day (if under £10 in unarranged overdraft). Then £5/day over £10 in unarranged overdraft.
  • Min monthly pay-in: n/a

Nationwide's* FlexDirect account has a 0% EAR arranged overdraft for the first 12 months, and reduced fees of 50p/day after that.

Customer services poll (In-credit and overdrawn)
Great Nationwide 69%
OK Nationwide 25%
Poor Nationwide 6%
Date: Aug 2014 | Voters: 954

Never stray more than £10 over your arranged overdraft limit, as there's a £5/day charge for each day you're over, capped at £60/mth. Nationwide'll also charge you £5 for each paid & unpaid item you charge to of the account (capped at £35/mth).

Your overdraft limit depends on your credit score. So if you're switching an overdraft, or other payday debts, there's no guarantee Nationwide will match it.

It's best to use the overdraft as short-term respite, though if you can stay within your agreed overdraft limit, 50p/day is one of the cheaper overdrafts on the market. However, always plan - if you can - to clear the overdraft by the end of the 0% period.

Spend on a 0% card

Spending your way out of your overdraft might sound dangerous, and it is if you aren't organised. The premise is simple - make your usual purchases on a 0% credit card, and let your earnings build up to pay down the overdraft. Follow these steps to the letter:

  • Step 1. Apply for a cheap 0% card for spending.
    Apply for a 0% card for spending on so that everything you spend on that card is then at a cheap rate.
  • Step 2. Use that credit card instead of a debit card/taking cash out.
    Now use the credit card for your normal day-to-day spending, making only the minimum monthly repayments on it. This means your monthly income pays off your overdraft as there's no money being taken out. Instead the debt builds up on the credit card, but at 0%.
  • Step 3. Stop using the card once your bank account is in credit.
    Doing this is technically the best solution for those with self-discipline, but don't spend more on this card or build up more debt. Stop using the card once your account is in credit. The aim is to try to pay the card off by the end of the 0% period, or at the worst, shift it to a cheap balance transfer deal.

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Duplicate links of the * links above for the sake of transparency, but this version doesn't help MoneySavingExpert.com: Fluid, MBNA, Nationwide FlexDirect, Virgin

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