Money transfer credit cards pay cash straight into your current account. And some even charge 0% interest on that cash for an agreed period – although there’s usually a fee to pay. So if you are after a low-cost loan to make a major purchase, or pay off existing debts, these cards are an option worth considering.
What is a money transfer credit card?
Money transfer credit cards, sometimes known as cash advance cards, allow you to move available credit on your card straight across to your current account. And many of these cards offer 0% promotional rates on these funds for several months.
Once it’s landed in your account, you can then use this money as you wish – pay off your overdraft or other debts, cover any other expenses or make a purchase.
So, for example, if you’re buying a second hand car for £2,000, you can transfer this £2,000 from your credit card into your bank account (minus any fee), and then pay the seller direct from your account. (Bear in mind however that you won’t be covered under the Consumer Credit Act or the Consumer Credit Directive when using your debit card as you would when using a credit card).
Why would I use a money transfer card rather than a loan?
Most money transfer cards are effectively balance transfer cards which offer a lengthy 0% introductory rate. That means it is much cheaper to make a balance transfer to your current account than to take out a loan as you can avoid paying interest on what you owe for a decent chunk of time.
However, you must be certain you can pay off what you owe during the 0% money transfer period, otherwise you are likely to end up paying a typical representative annual percentage rate (APR) of around 17% or 18%, much higher than many personal loan rates – the best of which are in the region of 4%.
Why not use a 0% purchase card instead?
The advantage of using a money transfer card to switch interest-free cash into your current account is that these cards can offer longer promotional rates than 0% purchase cards, giving you longer to pay off what you owe without having to worry about interest charges. Also, the balance transfer converts straight into cash which you can use for whatever you need.
Are there any drawbacks?
The biggest disadvantage of most balance transfer credit cards is the fact that they charge a balance transfer fee. This is typically around 3% of the amount you transfer, so charges can soon mount up if large sums are involved. But if the card also allows you to transfer cash, the fee on that can be higher, for example, 4%.
It is possible to pay a lower balance transfer fee on cash transfers, but these deals are likely to come with a shorter promotional 0% term. So, provided you are confident you can repay what you owe during the 0% period, this could be a more cost-effective option.
Not many credit cards allow money transfers though, and terms and conditions on the ones that do can change. So it’s always a good idea to compare all available deals to make sure you find the best card to suit your needs.
Moneysupermarket is a credit broker – this means we’ll show you products offered by lenders. We never take a fee from customers for this broking service. Instead we are usually paid a fee by the lenders – though the size of that payment doesn’t affect how we show products to customers.
Your personalised chance of approval
We've taken the details you gave, and used them to show you personalised scores to tell you the chance that your application for each card would be successful.
Why is this important?
Every time you apply for a credit card, a mark is left on your credit score. That means it's better get it right first time. Your scores help you understand which cards you have the strongest chance of getting.
The higher the score, the stronger chance you have of getting the card. If you see a very low score, you're probably better off choosing a different card.
- Consider a different card
- Not eligible
- Your chances are good
- You've been pre approved
If you see a high score, you can be fairly confident. The scores aren't a guarantee, as acceptance of your application is at the sole discretion of the card issuer, but they should help guide your choice.
If you see a pre-approved score it may be subject to you passing additional fraud checks by the provider.
In some cases, we will not be able to display a score for a product because we do not have enough information about the card issuer’s acceptance criteria or we have not been able to match your details at the credit bureau.
We work closely with our partners to improve our eligibility scores for all products that are of interest to you.