If you’re struggling to pay off your debt across multiple credit cards, moving your debt onto one single credit card with an introductory zero or low interest rate could be an option to consider. With a balance transfer credit card, you can secure 0% or low interest for up to 12 months and focus on paying off your debt virtually interest free.
Before you start applying, read our guide to learn how to compare long-term balance transfer credit cards and discover the features you should consider in order to find the best card for your financial situation.
Scotiabank Value Visa Card
Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply
Purchase interest rate
Scotiabank Value Visa Card
Apply today and enjoy a 0.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months when your new credit card account is opened by July 1, 2020.
- Purchase interest rate: 12.99%
- Cash advance rate: 12.99%
- Intro balance transfer rate: 0.99% for the first 6 months
- Standard balance transfer rate: 12.99%
- Annual fee: $29
- Minimum income: $12,000
Compare long-term balance transfer credit cards
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A long-term balance transfer credit card offers 0% interest on balance transfers for up to 12 months. Sometimes they can be as long as 30 months, however this can be quite difficult to find. Meanwhile, other balance transfer cards may only charge no interest for three to six months.
Cards with long interest-free balance transfer terms are designed to help cardholders who have a large amount of debt or need more time to repay their debt without collecting interest on top of it. At the end of the promotional period, any remaining debt will collect a higher revert rate. So, even if you have a card with a long balance transfer deal of 12 months or more, you should aim to pay off your balance before the promotional period ends.
How to compare cards with a long-term 0% interest balance transfer offer
Before you apply for a balance transfer credit card, there are some factors you should consider first:
- How long is the interest-free period?
Balance transfer cards generally offer 0% interest on balance transfers for 3-12 months, but the exact promotion will vary between credit card providers and the specific credit card. To decide how long you’ll need, consider the amount of debt you have and divide it by the number of months in the promotional period. This is how much you’ll have to pay each month to clear the debt before the revert interest rate applies. If you don’t think you can afford this repayment each month, consider a card with a longer interest-free period to reduce and spread out your monthly repayments.
- Is there a balance transfer fee?
You will likely be charged a balance transfer fee when you first move your debt. This one-time fee usually ranges between 1% and 3% of the transfer amount, however it can reach as high as 5%. If you have a lot of debt, this can be a substantial fee, so consider it carefully.
- What’s the revert interest rate?
At the end of the promotional period, any remaining balance will attract the revert interest rate. This is usually the standard cash advance rate, which generally sits around 19.99%. Your goal with a balance transfer credit card should be to repay your entire balance before this interest rate kicks in. However, it’s an important factor to consider in case you’re unable to pay off your debt in the promo period so you’re not hit with a nasty surprise when the introductory period ends.
- Does the card charge an annual fee?
Some cards with long-term balance transfers offers have no annual fee, however this may only be for the first year. Some cards will charge annual fees that can range from a small amount into the hundreds. Before you apply for a card, make sure that the annual fee doesn’t offset the savings you’ll get from the interest-free period.
A long-term balance transfer credit card can help you get your debt under control without paying the additional cost of interest. However, it’s important that you plan ahead to ensure you can pay off your debt in full before the revert interest rate kicks in, so that you can get the most out of your 0% interest balance transfer card.Check out our guide to 0% interest balance transfer credit cards