Skip to content
Did you know your browser is out of date?
To get the best experience when using our website we recommend that you upgrade to the latest version of one of these browsers.

Balance transfer credit cards

Don't pay interest on your credit card balance

Compare balance transfer quotes

  • See which balance transfer card you're likely to get
  • Enjoy interest-free repayments
  • Searching won’t damage your credit score
balance transfer illustration

Compare balance transfer credit cards

A balance transfer credit card can help you pay off your debts quicker by consolidating what you owe into one monthly payment with no interest for up to two years – or even more

You can compare deals for balance transfer credit cards with MoneySuperMarket. MoneySuperMarket is a credit broker – this means that we'll show you products offered by lenders. You must be 18 or over and a UK resident.

What is a balance transfer credit card?

A balance transfer credit card lets you move the existing balance from one or more credit cards you already have onto one single new card – which has a low or 0% interest rate for a set period.

How do balance transfers work?

When you take out a balance transfer credit card, you’ll specify which balances from other cards you want to transfer. Your new provider will usually charge a small percentage fee of the total balance you’re transferring, but the new card will have one major advantage: you will pay 0% or very low interest for a set period.

This is designed to help you clear the debt faster and reduce the amount you repay in total on what you’ve borrowed.

What happens when the 0% offer ends?

Depending on which provider and which credit card offer you pick, you should be offered a low- or no-interest period of between about six months and two-and-a-half years. This is the window where you should be aiming to pay off the whole debt.

When the interest-free period ends, interest will be charged on any remaining debt at a much higher rate, so it’s important to clear the outstanding balance within the interest-free period if you can.

 

 

brand mark with lady using credit card inside

What are the pros and cons of balance transfer credit 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:

  • Tick icon

    The pros:

    • You can save money on interest payments
    • You can consolidate several card balances
    • You can pay off your debt quicker
  • cross icon

    The cons:

    • You might have to pay a fee to transfer your balance
    • You’ll need to pay a minimum amount each month 
    • If you miss a payment or make it late you’ll lose your 0% interest

When should I transfer my balance?

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

  • Tick icon

    You’re currently on a high interest rate

  • Tick icon

    Your existing credit card charges high fees

  • Tick icon

    You have multiple open credit accounts

However, a balance transfer card is only worthwhile if it prompts you to pay your debt off quicker. If you just want a credit card for spending, or you're paying off debts in other ways, there are different credit card types which you might find more useful.


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.

question set image

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

chance of approval image

Tailored to you

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

Credit Monitor image

You’re in safe hands

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

Compare cashback credit cards from across the market

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

company logo for Amexcompany logo for MBNAcompany logo for Capital Onecompany logo for Sainsbury's bankcompany logo for Virgin moneycompany logo for barclayscompany logo for Santander

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 compare balance transfer credit cards, pay attention to the following factors to help you decide which card to take out:

  • Your 0% interest period: This is the length of time you won’t pay any interest on your balance
  • The standard APR after this period: This is the rate you’ll be put on once the introductory 0% interest period ends
  • Any fees you’ll need to pay: There may be a fee for transferring your balance over as well as a monthly or annual usage fee

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.

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.

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

Credit card guides - Credit card news - See all guides

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 
  • Never overpay again with Energy Monitor, our energy monitoring service 
  • Over 50 ways to Get Money Calm

So how do we make our money? In a nutshell, when you use us to buy a product, we get a reward from the company you’re buying from.

But you might have other questions. Do we provide access to all the companies operating in a given market? Do we have commercial relationships or ownership ties that might make us feature one company above another?

We commit to providing you with clear and informative answers on all points such as this, so we have gathered the relevant information on this page.