What is a balance transfer and purchase card?

Find out about combined balance transfer and purchase cards.

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With a combined balance transfer and purchase card, you can move debt from another card, and pay no interest for a set period of time. And you can also use the card for interest-free spending for a fixed time.

Is a balance transfer and purchase card right for me?

If you’re looking to move debt and spend interest free, then this type of card could be a sensible option as it serves as an all-rounder.

Through MoneySuperMarket’s Credit Monitor app we only showcase the balance transfer and purchase cards you are likely to get. We also show the interest rate you are likely to be offered. With Credit Monitor, you'll only see cards that are within your reach.

Alongside this, Credit Monitor gives personalised tips on how you could improve your credit score. If you’re after a balance transfer and purchase card with a competitive 0% interest period but your credit score isn’t good, we’ll provide you with the actions you could take to get it to a place where you’re likely to get the best deal on the market.

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What are the main advantages of a balance transfer and purchase card?

Interest free spending: Got a large purchase coming up? The ‘purchase’ aspect of the card allows you to pay for a big purchase upfront while using the interest-free period to repay your balance monthly.

Cost effective way of managing debt: If you are only making minimum payments, it’s possible that you’re only covering the interest on your balance rather than chipping away at your outstanding debt. Balance transfer cards allow you to use the interest free period to clear your debt, without interest payments.

Our handy credit card calculator can help you work out just how much you can save by moving to a balance transfer card.

Avoid having multiple cards for different purposes: The dual purpose of the card can help when it comes to your repayments as you’ll only have one to make, as opposed to multiple direct debits for various cards.

What to look out for

Cost associated with the card after the 0% period: Balance transfer and purchase cards are most cost effective if you use them within the promotional 0% period. Once this period has ended, you’ll probably be put on a standard rate of anything from 15% to 20%.

Fees and promotional periods: Always check what the balance transfer fee is ahead of moving your debt from one card to another and whether you need to do so within a fixed period (or you could be charged more for doing so at a later date). Also, make sure you can pay off what you owe before the interest-free period ends, otherwise the card provider will start to charge you interest.

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