The best balance transfer credit cards are those which offer a no or low transfer fee and the longest interest free period. As with any credit card, it is important to compare deals and work out which one may be the best fit for your circumstances.
Now that credit cards are repaid with the highest interest balances being repaid first, credit cards offering balance transfers interest free are more attractive than ever, although the current credit environment means that the credit scoring for balance transfer cards is tighter than ever.
Consider running a credit card check using a service such as Credit Expert - which is subject to a monthly fee, but allows a 30 day trial period first during which a credit check can be run free of charge
Best Buy Credit Card for Balance Transfer Cards
A Balance Transfer Credit Card can be an excellent way of clearing credit card debts more quickly. Rather than paying the 'standard' rate of interest - normally around 25% or so - you can switch the balance to a new credit card, paying a fee of around 3% - and then get a lengthy interest free period during which you can make repayments without seeing them eaten up by the monthly interest payment. Many borrowers have used this process over a number of cards to manage their debts down.
You normally need to find a credit card company with whom you do not currently have a relationship to be successful in your application - but there is a lot of choice in the market at the moment with competition really hotting up. You cannot transfer a balance between two cards from the same bank or banking group - so say between a Natwest card and one through the Royal Bank of Scotland. Companies who are traditionally strong include Barclaycard, Virgin, Nationwide, Halifax and Lloyds so it's not normally too difficult to find a 'new' company.
The fees involved in making a balance transfer differ from card to card, so the cheapest card will depend on the length of time you wish to borrow for - work out the maximum period you wish to take an interest free balance transfer for and then find the one offering the lower balance transfer fee for that period. Sometimes there are deals with a lower rate of interest on balance transfers (rather than 0%) but there is no fee. Whether this type of deal works out cheaper for you will depend on how quickly you are planning on paying off the balance.
Natwest and Royal Bank of Scotland currently offer a credit card with 30 months interest free on balance transfers with a 2.99% fee and an APR of 23.9%. Natwest have a fee free card with the same APR but only 19 months interest free of transfers.
Sainsburys offering is 21 months interest free on balance transfers but a lower fee of 1% (min £3) and 23.9%APR.
Barclaycard also offer 30 months balance transfers interest free with an APR of 23.9% and their fee is very slightly lower than Natwest and RBS at 2.98%.
If you are looking for an alternative type of card (such as a long interest free purchase, cashback or reward card) please refer to our credit card index.
This content was last reviewed on 10/05/2023