Use our guide to the top ten best balance transfer credit cards to find the right card and save the most money on interest payments.
|Balance Transfer Credit Card||APR||Transfer fee||What's the deal?||Extra incentives||Why we like it||What to watch out for|
|HSBC Balance Transfer credit card||21.90%||2.75%||Interest free for 29 months on balance transfers made with 60 days of opening||Apple Pay with immediate access to spending, 0% on purchases for the first three months of opening. Cashback and rewards from participating retailers||Long repayment period, cashback and rewards||Relatively high transfer fee|
|Nectar 28 Month Balance Transfer credit card||21.90%||2-3%||Nectar members only||Up to 7,500 bonus Nectar points in the first two months. Collect 750 bonus points each time you spend £35 or more on Sainsbury’s shopping. Collect up to 3 points per £1 spent on Sainsbury’s shopping/clothing, Argos and Habitat. Collect 1 Nectar point for every £5 you spend elsewhere||Excellent rewards for Nectar users||Have to be a Nectar member for 6 or more months to get the rewards. Borrowers could pay higher transfer fees if they do not met certain eligibility criteria|
|Virgin Money 26 month balance transfer card||21.90%||1%||Interest free for 26 months for balances transferred within 60 days of opening. Transfers made after pay 21.9% and incur a 5% fee||Borrowers can earn cashback on money spent at participating retailers so long as the use the Virgin Mobile App||Low transfer fee for a long borrowing period.||Higher eligibility criteria than MNBA|
|MBNA 26 month low fee 0% balance transfer card||20.90%||1%||Interest free for 26 months for balances transferred within 60 days of opening. Balances made after pay 20.93% and incur a 5% fee||None||Low transfer fee for a long borrowing period.||MBNA may not offer the 26 month repayment period if borrowers do not meet the eligibility criteria. No additional incentives or rewards|
|Tesco Balance Transfer credit card||20.90%||2.99%||22 months with no interest (depending on circumstance, Tesco may offer 19 or 16 months instead). Transfer to be made within 90 days of opening||For every £4 spent in Tesco instore or on fuel, you’ll collect 5 Clubcard points.||Good for Tesco shoppers. Transfers can be made within 90 days rather than the typical 60||Tesco charge a relatively high fee to transfer|
|Sainsbury's 18 month balance transfer card||20.90%||0-0.5%||0% on balance transfers for 18 months. There is a fee of 0% or 0.5% for transfers made within the first three months, depending on individual circumstances.||750 bonus points each time you spend £35 or more on Sainsbury's shopping up to ten times in the first 2 months||No balance transfer fees and attractive Nectar rewards||You may pay a marginal transfer fee and you need to repay within 18 months|
|Santander every day credit card||20.90%||0%||0% interest on balance transfers for 18 months from account opening with no balance transfer fee||None||No balance transfer fees||You need to repay within 18 months|
|NatWest balance transfer credit card||21.90%||0%||No interest for 18 months on balances made within three months of opening||None||No charge for balance transfers||You need to be able to repay within 18 months to enjoy 0%, but NatWest does offer a longer balance transfer card with a 1.99% fee|
|Barclaycard 15 month balance transfer platinum card||21.90%||0%||0% interest for up to 15 months on balance transfers from the date you open your account||None||No balance transfer fees||You will pay balance transfer fees if you want to repay over a longer period|
|Fluid Credit Card||34.90%||4.00%||0% interest on balance transfers for 9 months from account opening||None||Offers a change for those with poor credit histories to take out a balance transfer card||High transfer fees and higher than normal APR, but these vary depending on circumstance|
What is a balance transfer credit card?
A balance transfer credit card allows you to reduce the amount of interest you pay on credit card debt by transferring your credit card debt from another card to a credit card with a balance transfer deal.
Failing to pay off the balance on a credit card can prove a crippling expense. Fortunately balance transfer cards exist which allow borrowers to transfer all their credit and store card debt to a new card, and no longer pay any interest for an agreed period.
Put simply, borrowers can transfer their existing credit and store card debt on which they are paying interest to a new card which moves them to zero interest for an agreed period.
And since, the balance transfer card provider charges no interest on the money which has been moved over, borrowers can better manage their credit card debt.
How do balance transfer credit cards work?
Typically, balance transfers do not charge a fee for short borrowing periods. The fees tend to increase if you want a longer repayment period. For example, the Santander balance transfer card with an 18-month repayment rate charges no fee. In contrast, the HSBC balance transfer card with a 29-month repayment period, charges a 2.75% fee.
The trick is to decide how quickly you can realistically repay the debt and find a card offering the closet repayment period. You should also shop around. As you can see from the comparison table below, the rates and rewards vary, and often quite significantly.
How do you transfer a balance to a different credit card?
Transferring is relatively straightforward and can usually be done online. However, it is not possible to transfer to a new card offered by the same company with which you already hold cards. This might mean it is trickier it may be to find a balance transfer card provider if you hold a lot of cards. Borrowers will also need to meet eligibility criteria. The worse your credit score, the tougher it will be to get accepted, and lenders may charge higher fees or make the borrowing conditions more stringent.
What are the benefits of using a balance transfer card?
The benefits to moving to a balance transfer card are clear; you no longer have to pay interest which means you can repay your debt more quickly and efficiently. Second, credit card companies may also incentivise borrowers to transfer by offering them rewards and other perks. What are the downsides of transferring a balance to a different credit card?
The major drawback of a balance transfer card lies in the high APR. If you fail to pay off the balance within the agreed time parameters, you may end up paying much higher interest than you might on an ordinary credit card. Similarly, if you do not pay off at least the minimum each month, the lender may drop the 0% rate. You must also understand the transfer fees.
Our choice of balance transfer credit cards
We have selected some of the most attractive balance transfer cards on the market (based on a credit limit of £1,200) showing a range of repayment periods. None of the providers in this table charge an annual fee.