Best balance transfer credit cards offering up to 29 months 0% interest


IF you’ve got a large amount of credit card debt, it may pay you to switch to a 0% balance transfer card.

These types of cards allow you to move over what you already owe to a new card, and you won’t pay interest on this amount for a set period.

 Brits can save thousands by switching their existing debt to a balance transfer card

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Brits can save thousands by switching their existing debt to a balance transfer cardCredit: Getty – Contributor

By putting a stop on paying pricey interest, you can clear your debt much more cheaply.

In fact, you can potentially save thousands of pounds by using a 0% balance transfer card properly – but what do you need to know?

It’s worth noting that only people with the best credit ratings will be accepted for the best deals.

And even if you do get accepted, you may also be offered a smaller 0% period and be charged a bigger transfer fee.

MoneySavingExpert.com’s eligibility calculator will use a soft search to give you an idea of what deals you will likely qualify for.

After your 0% period is up, lenders will typically charge you between 15% and 20%.

The Sun has looked at the best deals available on the market.

Balance transfer cards with the longest 0% period

These cards give you the chance to pay off your debt over two years.

Transfer fee: 2.95%

Cost of transferring £1,000 balance: £29.50

Monthly payment to clear £1,000 balance over term: £34.48

  • NatWest 28 month balance transfer card – Apply here

Transfer fee: 2.75%

Cost of transferring £1,000 balance: £30

Monthly payment to clear £1,000 balance over term: £35.71

Note: This account is only available to existing NatWest, RBS or Ulster Bank customers.

  • M&S Bank 28 month balance transfer card – Apply here

Transfer fee: 2.85%

Cost of transferring £1,000 balance: £28.50

Monthly payment to clear £1,000 balance over term: £35.71

Balance transfer cards: what you need to know

SHIFTING your balance can be a great way to cut the cost of your debt. But you must use them properly so you don’t just add to it.

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Always clear your debt – Credit card firms don’t offer these deals out of the goodness of their hearts. They rely on you not clearing your balance by the time the 0% deal comes to an end so it can start charging you interest.

Always make your payments – If you don’t keep up with your monthly payments, you could lose the 0% offer and start being charged interest. Always try and pay-off more than the minimum payment too to clear your debt quicker and don’t spend on the card either.

Check your deal – Like with all credit cards, you might not be offered the headline deal if you don’t have the best credit history. Use MoneySavingExpert’s eligibility calculator to see what deals you are likely to be accepted for.

Balance transfer cards with shorter 0% periods and smaller fees

If you know you can pay-off your debt in a shorter length of time, it’ll be worth you looking at these deals instead as they’ll be cheaper in the long run but you’ll have higher monthly repayments.

These cards tend to come with smaller fees than the ones with the longest 0% periods.

  • HSBC 25 month balance transfer credit card – Apply here

Transfer fee: 1.5%

Cost of transferring £1,000 balance: £15

Monthly payment to clear £1,000 balance over term: £40

Transfer fee: 1.5%

Cost of transferring £1,000 balance: £15

Monthly payment to clear £1,000 over term: £41.66

  • Sainsbury’s Bank 25 month balance transfer credit card – Apply here

Transfer fee: 1.85%

Cost of transferring £1,000 balance: £18.50

Monthly payment to clear £1,000 over term: £40

Note: This account is only available to Nectar card holders and you must have been a member for six months to apply for this deal.

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How to cut the cost of your debt

BEING in large amounts of debts can be really worrying. Here are some tips from Citizens Advice on how you can take action.

Check your bank balance on a regular basis – knowing your spending patterns is the first step to managing your money.

Work out your budget – by writing down your income and taking away your essential bills such as food and transport.
If you have money left over, plan in advance what else you’ll spend or save. If you don’t, look at ways to cut your costs.

Pay off more than the minimum – If you’ve got credit card debts aim to pay off more than the minimum amount on your credit card each month to bring down your bill quicker

Pay your most expensive credit card sooner – If you have more than one credit card and can’t to pay them off in full each month, prioritise the most expensive card (the one with the highest interest rate).

Prioritise your debts – If you’ve got several debts and you can’t afford to pay them all it’s important to prioritise them.

Your rent, mortgage, council tax and energy bills should be paid first because the consequences can be more serious if you don’t pay.

Get a payment holiday – The majority of major credit card companies are offering three-month payment holidays if you’re struggling to meet your repayments. You should always keep paying until you’ve come to an agreement with your provider. Most lenders will also still charge interest during this time, so be aware that these costs will keep building up.

Get advice – If you’re struggling to pay your debts month after month it’s important you get advice as soon as possible, before they build up even further.

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Groups like Citizens Advice and National Debtline can help you prioritise and negotiate with your creditors to offer you more affordable repayment plans.

Balance transfer cards with no fee

Some providers don’t even charge a fee so you could switch your debt without having to pay anything at all – if you’re accepted for the deal.

  • Santander 18 month balance transfer card – Apply here

Transfer fee: 0%

Cost of transferring £1,000 balance: £0

Monthly payment to clear £1,000 balance over term: £55.55

  • Sainsbury’s Bank 18 month balance transfer card – Apply here

Transfer fee: 0%

Cost of transferring £1,000 balance: £0

Monthly payment to clear £1,000 balance over term: £55.55

Note: This account is only available to Nectar card holders and you must have been a member for six months to apply for this deal.

 

Struggling credit card borrowers will be offered lower repayments and more time to pay off interest-free overdrafts during the coronavirus crisis.

The latest announcement from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) comes after the regulator agreed to suspend plans to cut off credit cards for Brits who are persistently in debt.

Previously, credit card holders who regularly only made minimum repayments faced having their cards cut off starting in February if they failed to respond to warnings from their lender.

Brits won’t pay off their Christmas debt until APRIL





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