Barclaycard will launch the longest-ever standard 0% balance transfer credit card later today.

The UK's largest credit card provider will offer an 18-month interest-free period to borrowers who shift debt to it.

The plastic comes with a fee of 2.9% of the amount shifted, though anyone who applies online by the end of the month and transfers 3,000 or more will get 20 knocked off the fee.

This would turn an 87 charge on a 3,000 transfer into 67, which translates into a 2.23% fee in that example.

You can't balance transfer between two Barclaycards, so if you need a different provider consider other cards.

The Nationwide Building Society Credit Card offers 0% for 17 months with a 2.95% fee (see the Balance Transfers guide for more options).

Alternatives to 0% deals

If you need longer to pay off your debt, the MBNA Rate For Life card gives 5.9% on balance transfers for life, plus a 1.5% fee (see the Long Term Balance Transfers guide).

You don't necessarily need a new card to get cheap credit. It's possible to play the system and get much cheaper debt by utilising existing customer balance transfer deals .

Simply call your provider and ask if it will offer a special rate. Barclaycard often allows existing customers to move debt from others cards to it at 6.9% with a 2.5% fee (see the Credit Card Shuffle article).

Further reading/Key links

Cut credit card debt: Best Balance Transfers, Long Term Balance Transfers, Credit Card Shuffle