Best 0% balance transfer credit card deals

4 min Read Published: 02 Nov 2022

best 0% balance transfer credit cards

What is a balance-transfer credit card?

A balance-transfer credit card allow you to move existing debt from a credit or store card on to an interest-free introductory offer. This takes the pressure off having to make the interest payments on the debt and allows you to budget to clear the debt over the interest-free period. Moving your existing debts to a 0% deal will reduce the cost of your debts and help clear them for good.

When you take out a balance-transfer credit card you will still need to make a monthly repayment and, if you are late making this payment, you can risk losing the introductory offer and being moved on to the standard APR. You therefore need to be responsible with managing the card.

It is best to opt for the longest possible interest-free period to give you the maximum amount of time to clear your debt. Most cards have a balance-transfer fee and you will typically have to transfer the money within 30-90 days of taking out the card.

Find out which balance-transfer credit card is best for you

Money to the Masses has teamed up with Go.Compare to help find the best balance-transfer credit card for you. By entering a few simple details, you'll be provided with a tailored list of the best credit cards based on your own personal circumstances. It will even highlight credit cards that have been pre-approved, meaning you can be confident that you'll be accepted should you apply. Your details will be used for a soft credit search meaning your credit score will not be impacted. Click on this link to get started.

Which are the best balance-transfer credit cards in the UK?

When you are looking for the best balance-transfer credit card for you, you will need to consider certain factors, including the APR, how long the offer period lasts and whether there are any additional perks and benefits. Some cards may also have interest-free periods on purchases or money transfer, while others offer cashback or rewards.

Below we round up our pick of the best balance-transfer cards, divided into those with the longest interest-free periods and fee-free options.

Top 3 balance-transfer credit cards with longest 0% period

Name of card Representative APR Interest-free period Balance Transfer fee
Sainsbury's Bank 21.9% Up to 34 months 2.88% or 3.88%
Santander  21.9% Up to 33 months 2.65%
Sainsbury's Bank 21.9% Up to 31 months 1.98% or 2.98%

 

Sainsbury credit card Sainsbury's Bank

  • Representative APR: 21.9% variable
  • Interest-free period: Up to 34 months
  • Transfer fee: 2.88% or 3.88%
  • Annual fee: No annual fee

Santander Santander

  • Representative APR: 21.9% variable
  • Interest-free period: Up to 33 months
  • Transfer fee: 2.65%
  • Annual fee: No annual fee

Sainsbury credit card Sainsbury's Bank

  • Representative APR: 21.9% variable
  • Interest-free period: Up to 31 months
  • Transfer fee: 1.98% or 2.98%
  • Annual fee: No annual fee

Top 3 balance-transfer credit cards with no fee

Name of card Representative APR Interest-free period Balance Transfer fee 
NatWest 21.9% 22 months No fee
Sainsbury's Bank 21.9% Up to 22 months No or 1% fee
Santander  21.9% 21 months No fee

 

Natwest Credit Card NatWest

  • Representative APR:  21.9% variable
  • Interest-free period: 22 months
  • Transfer fee: No transfer fee
  • Annual fee: No annual fee

Sainsbury's Bank

  • Representative APR:  21.9% variable
  • Interest-free period: Up to 22 months
  • Transfer fee: No or 1% transfer fee
  • Annual fee: No annual fee

Santander Santander 

  • Representative APR:  21.9% variable
  • Interest-free period: 21 months
  • Transfer fee: No transfer fee
  • Annual fee: No annual fee

What to check to get the best 0% balance transfer credit card for you

Balance-transfer fee

When you move your money onto a new card with a 0% balance transfer offer there will typically be a handling fee of around 1-3% of the balance transferred, although some card companies now offer a 0% handling fee in exchange for a shorter interest-free period. So check exactly what you will have to pay.

While a lot of credit card companies will simply add this to the balance transferred, remember that as soon as your 0% promotional period is up you will pay the standard interest rate on this fee, as per the rest of your credit card balance, assuming of course you haven’t cleared your debt. But watch out as some providers apply the standard interest rate to the handling fee from the day the handling fee is applied to the account. Consequently your handling fee can work out more expensive than you first thought.

Alternatively, you could opt for a 'no-fee' balance transfer credit card. There are fewer 'no-fee' balance transfer offers available and the interest-free period will typically be less, however, you may consider that to be a good trade-off when it comes to not having to pay a fee.

The 0% cut-off period

In order to secure a 0% balance transfer offer you will usually need to transfer any existing balances across to the new card within a certain period of time, i.e. 60 days. If you miss the boat then you will have to try and secure another 0%, which will likely prove more difficult.

Interest on new purchases

Usually when you spend on a credit card you won’t be charged interest on the value of the purchases if you clear your balance by the end of the month. But some credit cards will only do this if you clear your entire balance, including any transferred balances. So check the small print and if in doubt don’t spend on a credit card where you’ve taken advantage of a 0% balance transfer deal.

Typical APR

Although you will want to move any unpaid balance away once the introductory 0% offer expires, keep an eye on the cards standard APR especially if you decide to move to a low interest rate card rather than a new 0% deal. Remember that the APR you see quoted in offers will be the’ typical APR’ which is only offered to those with impeccable credit records. EU rules state that the advertised APR only has to be given to 51% of applicants.

What to do if you are struggling with debt

If you are struggling with debt, first of all read my article "5 simple steps to clear your credit card debt". There are also a host of charities and organisations offering free debt advice. But be careful of companies pretending to offer free debt advice or passing themselves off as other legitimate debt charities. Full details of the legitimate organisations that offer debt advice and counselling can be found in my article "Where to get free debt advice".