What is a no-fee balance-transfer card?
A no-fee balance transfer card lets you transfer a balance from an existing credit card or store card to a new credit card without paying a fee.
Transferring a balance to a new card lets you take advantage of lower interest rates, with some no-fee balance transfer cards offering 0% interest rates on your monthly repayments for a set period.
You’ll only be able to use a balance transfer card to transfer a credit card or store card balance from an existing credit card with a different provider.
Balance transfer credit cards can also be used to transfer a loan debt to a credit card to pay a lower interest rate on the money you owe.
How does a no-fee balance-transfer card work?
You can move money you owe on another credit card or store card to the new balance-transfer card without paying a fee.
You will still have to pay back the money you’ve borrowed and moved over to the new credit card – what changes is the amount of interest you’ll pay. If the balance-transfer credit card has a lower interest rate than your current card, you’ll end up paying less on the money you’ve borrowed.
You’ll need to log in to your no-fee balance-transfer credit card account and let your new provider know how much you want to transfer and from which card. Your new provider will then send a transfer request to your current card provider.
There will be a limit to the balance you can transfer to your new card, which will often be a percentage of the total credit limit.
0% balance-transfer no-fee credit cards
Some no-fee balance-transfer credit cards will offer a 0% interest rate for a set period – this will be in addition to paying no transfer fee.
The 0% interest period you’re offered will depend on your credit history and financial situation, and will start from the day your account opens.
Once the 0% interest rate period is over you will usually have to pay a high interest rate on the money you still have on your balance-transfer credit card. This higher rate will also apply to any money you then put on your card after this date.
What are the advantages of using no-fee balance-transfer credit cards?
The main advantage of these cards is that you don’t pay for the transfer of debt.
This can help to save you money when moving larger debts, as the fees are charged on a percentage basis. If you are planning on transferring a balance of £10,000 for example, a balance-transfer card which levies a 3% fee would charge you £300.
Another advantage of a no-fee balance-transfer credit card is that when your debt is transferred to the new card, the interest rates can be much lower than the typical APR (annual percentage rate) of conventional credit cards.
The quicker you can pay off the balance the better, but you can organise a manageable payment plan at the new lower rate of interest.
Using your no-fee balance-transfer card for money transfers
You can also use your card for money transfers. With a money transfer you can move some of your available credit to your current account to then use in cash or with your debit card. You will usually have to pay a fee for this.
Using your no-fee balance-transfer card for purchases
If you want to use credit once you’ve transferred a balance to your new card to make purchases, you will have usually have to pay the standard interest rate on your purchase repayments.
Some no-fee balance-transfer cards may offer 0% interest on spending, but this will only be for a limited time.
You may be able to earn rewards when you use your card for spending, but this will depend on the offer.
If you’re looking to pay low fees on balance transfers and purchases then a combined balance-transfer and purchase credit card may be a better option for you.
Things to be aware of when considering a no-fee balance-transfer credit card:
The following is worth thinking about:
- You won’t be able to transfer a balance from an existing credit or store card to a balance-transfer credit card if the new card is with the same provider
- Interest rates will rise after any 0% deal periods, and at a much higher rate. If you have any money you still need to pay off then you’ll start paying much higher interest rates
- You will often have to pay a higher rate of interest to use your no-fee balance-transfer card for purchases
- You will have to pay a set fee to transfer money from a credit card to a current account
- There will be fees to pay for any late payments and going over your credit limit
- If you have a 0% interest rate offer then the provider can withdraw this if you don’t meet your minimum monthly repayments or you go over your credit limit
- You will usually have to use the card to transfer a balance within a set period to access the offer – this could be within 60 days of receiving the card
The interest rate and credit limit you’re offered on your no-fee balance-transfer card and whether or not you’re accepted for a card will depend on your credit history and financial situation.
Comparing balance-transfer no-fee credit cards
Comparing balance-transfer cards can help you manage your debt. We show you a list of no-fee balance-transfer credit cards, sorted by their introductory balance-transfer rate.
You can then compare cards by balance-transfer interest rate offers and durations, and the interest rate charged after this period. You’ll also be able to see the interest charged when you use your no-fee balance-transfer card to make purchases and any deal periods.
Click into the product details to any other fees associated with that card. The product details will also tell you if this card offers any rewards for spending.
It’s important to remember that the no-fee balance-transfer card listing we show doesn’t account for your particular financial situation and borrowing history. Click the eligibility checker on a card deal listing to see the likelihood you will be approved for the card.
The eligibility checker runs a soft search on your credit history and won’t affect your credit score.