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Balance transfer credit cards

Don't pay interest on your credit card balance for up to 29 months

  • See which cards you're likely to get
  • Enjoy interest-free repayments
  • Searching won’t harm your credit score

Compare balance transfer credit cards from across the market

MoneySuperMarket works with a broad range of household-name credit card providers, including

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Great all-rounder for spending and shifting debt

0% for 20 months on purchases & balance transfers, plus £25 cashback

Only available through MoneySuperMarket or MoneySavingExpert

  • 0% for 20 months on purchases. 0% for 20 months on balance transfers made in the first 90 days. 21.9% p.a. (variable) after that. 2.9% fee, minimum £5.
  • To get the cashback, make a balance transfer or spend of over £100 within 90 days of account opening. £25 will be credited to the account within 60 days.
  • You can't get this card if you've had an M&S Bank credit card in the last 12 months. Offer ends 8 August 2021.

Representative example: If you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate 21.9% (variable) p.a. your representative APR is 21.9% APR (variable)

Get £25 cashback with our exclusive M&S credit card offer

 

 

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What is a balance transfer card?

A balance transfer card can help you pay off your debts faster by consolidating your existing credit card balances onto one credit card with no interest for up to two years – or even longer. 

Balance transfer cards are the most popular card choice for customers searching on our site, accounting for almost one in three card searches.

31% of card enquiries through MoneySuperMarket are for balance transfers

It’s easy to do a balance transfer - switching existing credit card balances to one, new balance transfer card - and you could save hundreds of pounds in interest charges over the term of the deal.

 

 

Which balance transfer card is best for you?

There are different types of balance transfer card. Choosing the best one will depend on your needs – whether you want interest-free borrowing for as long as possible, you want to avoid paying a fee to transfer your balances, or you want to continue to spend using the same credit card, for example.

0% interest-free balance transfer card

For many people the priority is to get an interest-free balance transfer card with 0% interest for the longest term. In some cases it may be possible to transfer existing card balances to a new balance transfer card at 0% for more than two years.

Many balance transfer cards charge a fee to switch a balance. This will typically be 2% to 3% of your debt, so bear this in mind when you are comparing deals. 

 

 

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    No-fee balance transfer

    Allows you to transfer credit card balances but without paying a transfer fee (which can be around 3% - and sometimes higher – on the best balance transfer card offers). The draw back might be a shorter interest free period on transferred balances, such as six months instead of 12 months or 18 months, for example

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    Balance transfer and purchase

    Combines the features of an interest-free or low interest rate balance transfer card with zero or low interest rates on new spending – all rolled into the same credit card. The 0% periods could be different for Balance transfers and purchases so check the small print. Ideal for those who need to switch a debt balance and continue to spend. Transfer fees may apply

Is it a good idea to transfer card balances?

There are lots of reasons why transferring card balances is a shrewd move. But it's only worthwhile if you aim to pay off your debt faster – and during the interest-free period. The interest rate will jump to a higher annual percentage rate after the 0% deal period ends. 

If you need a credit card for spending, or you want to pay off debts in other ways, there could be alternative options. 

 

A balance transfer credit card could be a good option for you if:

 

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    You’re currently paying a high rate of interest on other card debts

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    Your existing credit card charges high fees

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    You have multiple card accounts and balances

Can I get a balance transfer card with bad credit?

To get the best balance transfer cards – such as those with zero interest for two years, for example – you are likely to need a good or excellent credit score.

But even if you have a less than perfect credit history it could still be possible to get a good balance transfer deal. Depending on your credit score it could be that you'll be offered a card with a shorter 0% period for balance transfers. 

If you have a low credit score you are unlikely to be offered the best balance transfer deals, but again, it may be that you'll still be eligible for some balance transfer cards and you could save money in interest repayments by switching.

The good news is our eligibility checker tool will do a ‘soft search’ so you can see which cards you are likely to be accepted for before you apply – and the search won't show up on your credit file. 

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With a pre-approved credit card, the deal you see is what you get

When you apply for a credit card, it’s not always clear what deal you’ll be offered or whether you’ll be accepted. But when you’re pre-approved for a credit card, you know the deal you see is the deal you’ll get – you’ll know where you stand, with information that will help you make the right choice.

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Apply with confidence

When you’re pre-approved, the interest rate, interest-free period and fee (if there is one) are all confirmed – the only thing not guaranteed is your credit limit

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Tailored to you

You’ll see your personalised chance of approval for all credit cards, so you can easily compare your options

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You’re in safe hands

This helps protect your credit score as you’re less likely to be rejected when you apply

How to choose the best balance transfer card

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    Purpose

    Think about what you need the card for. Are you looking to pay off the debt as quickly as possible or do you still need a card to use for purchases? These decisions will affect the sort of balance transfer card that suits you best

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    Length of deal

    Consider how long it might take to pay off your card debts. If you have a large debt to repay aim to get the longest possible interest-free balance transfer period even if there is a bigger transfer fee on the card

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    Transfer fees

    If you think you’ll be unlikely to pay off the debt within the interest-free term then factor in the transfer fee and any other charges. You may need to switch your debt to another balance transfer card and pay fees again

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    Eligibility

    Your credit score and other factors, such as your income, will impact on the ‘best’ balance transfer credit card you’ll be offered. Check your credit file and see if you can make changes to boost your chance of getting a great deal

What are the pros and cons of balance transfer cards?

A balance transfer card can be a good way to manage your existing debt, but there are some things you should be aware of before you apply. Here are the pros and cons:

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    The pros:

    • Save money on debt interest payments
    • Consolidate several card balances
    • You can pay off your debt quicker
    • Easier to keep track of your money
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    The cons:

    • You might have to pay a fee to transfer your balance
    • The interest rate will rise steeply after the interest-free period 
    • Miss a payment or make it late and you’ll lose your 0% interest
    • Can't usually transfer balances between cards with the same lender

Compare balance transfer cards with MoneySuperMarket

Comparing credit cards couldn’t be easier with us. Our eligibility checker tool will show you the cards you’re most likely to be approved for – so you can protect your credit score.

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Tell us about yourself

We'll ask you a handful of simple questions about you and your financial circumstances, and what you need from a credit card

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We browse the market

We'll sift through dozens of credit cards offers from across the market, and show you the cards we think will suit you best

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Pick the card you want

You'll be shown a range of credit cards, which you'll be able to sort according to APR, features and your chances of being approved

There are a number of factors that affect your credit score, including the number of credit applications you’ve made, your employment status and whether you’re on the electoral register.

As such, making a new credit application – even for a balance transfer credit card – can cause an initial drop in your credit score. However as with any kind of credit product, if you make your repayments on time your score should eventually start climbing again.

When you get your new credit card, you should destroy any old ones you have – even though they may be expired or the account may be closed, an identity thief can still use the information on the card.

You should be able to transfer any existing credit card balances on to your new credit card. But it isn’t usually possible to transfer a card balance between two cards issued by the same bank or banking group. 

Most providers will let you transfer balances between £100 and £10,000 to a new card – at most, around 90% of your current credit limit.

Balance transfer fees are generally given as a percentage of the overall amount you’re transferring – this will usually be between 1% and 3%, but could range anywhere from 0.5% to 5% of the total sum.

Some balance transfer deals may be fee-free, but typically they will have shorter 0% interest periods.

If you have a balance on one or more credit cards that you can’t repay in full it is likely you’re paying a high standard APR on this debt. By switching it to an interest-free balance transfer card you can reduce your monthly repayments and pay down the debt faster. 

Once you’ve found a suitable balance transfer card you can apply online and if you’re accepted you can ask the new provider to pay off the debt on your old credit card or cards, transfering the balance across to your new card – paying any balance transfer fees in the process. Typically you will have a window – such as 60 days – within which to make the balance transfers to your new card.

There are no limits on how many times you can transfer a credit card balance from lender to lender. But remember your credit score can be negatively affected when you apply for credit, so if you make a lot of applications in a short space of time this could impact on your ability to get the best balance transfer deals.  

An online balance transfer to a new card can usually be done within a few days. But transfer times will vary between providers due to their different procedures. In some cases it could take a couple of weeks.

Divide the amount you transfer by the number of months your interest-free deal lasts for. The result is the amount you need to pay each month to clear the debt.

If you do not clear the balance by the end of the 0% period, you will be charged interest on what you owe.

You will have to make at least a minimum payment each month.

If you know you’re not going to clear the balance within the 0% period, you could consider transferring to another card with an interest-free period.

Always pay the minimum monthly payment on time to avoid penalties and interest charges.

Avoid exceeding your credit limit or you’ll face penalties such as losing your interest-free deal.

Make the necessary payments to the card or cards you move the balance from, especially if you do not clear the balance completely.

If you do not clear the balance by the end of the interest-free period, transfer that sum to another 0% balance transfer card.

Can't find what you're looking for? Try looking at our news, views and in-depth credit cards guides

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Credit card companies

American Express - Aqua - Asda - Bank of Scotland - Barclaycard - Capital One - Fluid - Halifax - HSBC - John Lewis - Lloyds Bank - M&S - MasterCard - MBNA - Nationwide - Ocean Finance - Post Office - Sainsbury's - Santander - Tandem - Tesco - TSB - Vanquis - Virgin - Visa - 118 118 Money

MoneySuperMarket gives you lots of clever ways to save a lot, by doing very little.

  • Take control of your credit score by checking and improving it for free with Credit Monitor 
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