Money transfer credit cards

Shift cash from a card to your bank account at 0% interest

A 0% money transfer allows you to shift cash from a card to your bank account to clear your overdraft or give yourself a 0% cash loan for up to 12 months. This guide has full info and the best deals, though not many cards offer these transfers any more.

Who's this guide for? Anyone looking to transfer cash to their bank account. If you've already got card debt, and you want to make it cheaper, try a balance transfer credit card.

Other related guides... 
0% purchase credit cards | Cut overdraft costs | Cheap loans | Debt help

What is a money transfer card?

A 0% money transfer card is a type of credit card that pays cash straight into your bank account, for a one-off fee. During the 0% period you won't pay any interest, though you do need to make at least the minimum repayment.  

You'll need to ask the lender to transfer the money to your chosen account for it to count – you can't just withdraw it as cash and pay it in (doing so usually incurs expensive interest and fees). When the 0% promotional period ends, interest kicks in. So always aim to clear the card before then. 

How best to use a money transfer card

Money transfers usually mean new borrowing – which can be dangerous. So ensure it's planned, budgeted for and affordable. The best way to handle these debts is to treat them like a loan.

Once you've done the transfer, divide the debt by the number of 0% months and pay that amount each month so you clear the card before interest kicks in. It's best to set up a direct debit or standing order to do it.

Here are two examples where a money transfer card comes into its own.

  • Beat loan rates for purchases under £5k – where card isn't accepted. 0% spending card offers the cheapest way to pay, as there are no fees at all. Yet for cases where credit cards are not accepted, using a money transfer card to get cash is often much cheaper than a personal loan – provided you can get a large enough credit limit.

    For example, use the top money transfer card to move £2,000 to your bank account and – as long as it's fully repaid within the 12 month 0% period – you'd only pay a one-off fee of £80. Yet a loan over the same period (even at the cheapest loan rate of 13.5%) would cost you around £140 in interest, so over double the amount. 
  • Pay off expensive debts – overdrafts, payday loans and high-cost loans. Use the cash from the card to pay off your highest cost debt. Then, as you're no longer paying interest, more of your payments go towards clearing the balance on the card.

    You'll need to be disciplined though, and ensure you don't slip back into your overdraft or need to borrow again, or you'll be in even more debt. See our Budget Planner, Cut Overdraft Costs and Payday Loans guides for more help.

The four golden rules

A money transfer can be one of the cheapest ways to borrow up to around £5,000 (though more's possible if you're lucky enough to get a higher credit limit). But make sure you know what you're doing...

  • Set up a direct debit for at least the minimum repayment as soon as you're accepted. Even though you pay 0% interest, you still need to make repayments each month. If you miss one, you may lose your 0% deal, get a £12ish charge and a missed payment marked on your credit report, which may make it difficult to get other credit.

    Aim to pay more than the minimum – unless you've pricey debts elsewhere, in which case focus max repayments on them. Minimum payments are designed to make debts last as long as possible – try to avoid this. See tips to beat this in Danger: Minimum Repayments.

  • These cards are designed to make lenders money when you fail to pay them off within the 0% period. At that point, the interest rate jumps massively, to a standard 25%-ish APR.

    Your aim should always be to clear the amount you transferred during the 0% period, minimising interest. If you've not cleared it in time, see our Best Balance Transfers guide to move it to another 0% card.

  • While money transfers on these cards are interest-free for a number of months, you'll need to check if other uses, such as spending and balance-transfers, are as well. For example, from our best buys below, both the Tesco Bank and Virgin Money cards offer a 0% period on spending in addition to transfers, but purchases made on other cards may incur interest (unless cleared in full each month).

    Cash withdrawals are a different case, and you'll usually pay interest from the date of making the cash withdrawal until it's paid off.

    This means you'll most probably see an interest charge on the first statement after the cash withdrawal, which is the interest charged from the date you made the cash withdrawal until the date the statement was issued.

    But you may also see interest charged on the following statement. There'll be a delay between your statement being drawn up, and you paying it. It may be a couple of days, it may be a couple of weeks. But you'll be charged interest on the cash withdrawal until you pay it off.

  • For most cards, the 0% period is only reserved for money transfers that are made within the first 60 or 90 days – though always check your card for its time limit, as it does vary. After this has passed, any transfers would incur expensive interest at the card's normal rate, unless it's paid off in full.

    This can sometimes apply to the one-off transfer fee too, so it's likely you'd incur a higher fee on later transfers, in addition to interest.

Will using a money transfer card hurt my credit score?

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This all depends on how you use the card. If you never miss a repayment and stay within your credit limit, you should avoid negatively impacting your credit score. You could even improve it by demonstrating your creditworthiness to lenders.

Fail to do so, however, and it could be both expensive and very damaging to your credit score. 

When you apply for a money transfer card, you will have to pass a credit check with your credit card provider. If you are rejected, this will leave a mark on your credit history, which may hurt your chances of successfully applying for credit in future.

Our eligibility calculator does a 'soft' credit check, which will give you your odds of approval for a variety of money transfer credit cards without impacting your credit rating.

Best 0% money transfer credit cards

There are very few cards these days that let you do this for any length of time. The two standouts are ranked by length of interest-free period below (and we can only give your eligibility scores for one of them...) 

Top 0% money transfer cards for new cardholders

LENDER 0% LENGTH + FEE CHECK ELIGIBILITY / APPLY

 

Virgin Money 

Longest 0% period. All accepted for this card get the full 12 months at 0%. Make sure you budget to pay off the debt you transfer before the 0% ends. 

- 12mths 0%

- 4% fee

- 26.9% rep APR

Check eligibility
Apply*

strawberry credit card

Tesco Bank 
A contender if you've low eligibility scores for the Virgin Money card above. Another definite 0% term, though only for 9 months. Again, it's a very short period, so only transfer what you can repay in the time.

9mths 0%

3.99% fee

- 24.9% rep APR

Apply
(
not in our eligibility calc)

Important: To get the 0%, you must usually do the money transfer within 60 or 90 days of opening. Representative APR (variable) is stated above, but your money transfer interest may be different. See all official APR examples.

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