Compare credit cards with no balance transfer fee

Credit cards with no balance transfer fee allow you take a break from paying interest on your existing credit card debt with no extra costs.

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Most balance transfer credit cards on the market offer an introductory 0% interest period for anything from 6 months to 3 years. However, many customers don’t realise these come with a balance transfer fee, usually 1-3% of the balance. If you’re planning to transfer a hefty sum, this fee could be painful.

The good news is that many lenders also offer balance transfer cards that don’t charge a fee, provided you transfer the balance within a set period. Typically these cards won’t have the lender’s headline-grabbing, longest 0% periods, so you’ll need to pay back your debt within a shorter period of time, but there are still some lengthy deals out there.

If you’re paying interest on existing credit card debt, switching it to a credit card with no balance transfer fee may seem like a no-brainer. However, the shorter lengths of the 0% balance transfer deals on these cards mean that you can’t find exactly the deal you’re after.

Comparison of balance transfer cards with introductory no-fee periods

Comparison ordered by representative APR with affiliated products shown first.

The length of the introductory 0% interest deal is the main factor to compare when looking for a credit card with no balance transfer fee. The longer the deal is, the less you’ll have to pay off each month to be debt-free without paying interest.

It’s also worth paying attention to the deadline for making no-fee balance transfers. With most cards, the no-fee deal only applies to transfers made in the first few months of card ownership.

Updated July 20th, 2019
Name Product Balance transfers Balance transfer fee Purchases Rep. APR Incentive Representative example
0% for 23 months reverting to 19.9%
0% for transfers in first 3 months
0% for 3 months reverting to 19.9% p.a. (variable)
19.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
0% for 23 months reverting to 19.9%
0% for transfers in first 3 months
0% for 3 months reverting to 19.9% p.a. (variable)
19.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
0% for 26 months reverting to 15.9%
0% for 26 months reverting to 3% (min. £5)
0% for 26 months reverting to 15.9%
21.7% p.a. (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 15.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £3 per month, your representative rate is 21.7% APR (variable).
0% for 23 months reverting to 19.9%
0%
0% for 3 months reverting to 19.9%
19.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
0% for 20 months reverting to 21.814%
0% for 3 months reverting to 3.99%
19.944%
19.9% p.a. (variable)
1 point per £4 spent (£4 minimum) in Tesco and 1 point per £8 spent (£8 minimum) outside Tesco. Must have available credit to earn points. Points are converted to Tesco vouchers or can be exchanged for Partner rewards to receive money off a variety of restaurants, entertainment or Avios points.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.944% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
0% for 20 months reverting to 19.9%
0% for transfers in first 60 days
0% for 6 months reverting to 19.9%
19.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
0% for 20 months reverting to 19.95%
0% for 3 months reverting to 3% (min. £3)
0% for 6 months reverting to 19.95%
19.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
0% for 20 months reverting to 19.94%
0% for 3 months reverting to 3% (min. £3)
0% for 6 months reverting to 19.94%
19.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.94% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
0% for 20 months reverting to 20.95%
0% for transfers made within 3 months
0% for 3 months reverting to 20.95%
20.9% p.a. (variable)
Earn 750 bonus Nectar points each time £35 or more spent on Sainsbury's shopping, up to ten times in your first 2 months, up to a total of 7,500 points, offer available for new customers. Earn 2 Nectar points per £1 spent on Sainsbury's shopping and fuel. Earn 1 Nectar point for every £5 spent elsewhere.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 20.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 20.9% APR (variable).
0% for 18 months reverting to 18.9%
0% for 18 months reverting to 3% (min. £5)
0% for 3 months reverting to 18.9%
18.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 18.9% APR (variable).

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What is a credit card with no balance transfer fee?

The opportunity to transfer a balance from one credit card to another usually comes with a one-off cost, known as a balance transfer fee.

Most credit cards charge this fee as a percentage of the debt being transferred. It’s typical to see fees around 3%, although some cards charge more – even up to 5%.

Many consumers will still choose to transfer debt and pay this fee because the card in question includes an introductory 0% interest period on balance transfers. For many cardholders, this 0% period makes the one-off fee cheaper than continuing to pay interest.

However, there are some 0% balance transfer credit cards that charge no fee at all. Provided you can pay off your debt before the 0% period ends, these cards are likely to be among the most appealing for those with existing credit card debt.
Balance transfers illustrated

Who is a credit card with no balance transfer fee suitable for?

Credit cards with no balance transfer fee tend to have shorter 0% deals attached to them than fee-charging balance transfer cards.

If you can pay off your transferred debt in the short interest-free periods available on these cards, they will be suitable for you.

The interest rate skyrockets on these cards when the 0% deal ends, so you don’t want any debt remaining when this happens. You’re better off paying a small fee on a card with a longer 0% deal than failing to pay off your no-fee card on time.

These no-fee cards are unlikely to be suitable for those who want to make credit card purchases, either. Few of these cards have decent 0%-interest deals on purchases and the APR tends to be very high. In most cases, you’re better off applying for a second card to make purchases on.

Janet and Marcus pay off their £10,000 wedding credit card debt

Married couple Janet and Marcus ran up a £10,000 credit card debt when paying for their recent wedding. The couple were looking to transfer their £10,000 debt to a balance transfer card and were considering two different types of card.

They considered a 30 month 0% balance transfer card with a 3% balance transfer fee. With this card, they would have to pay off a total of £10,300 through monthly payments of £343.

However, they also looked at a no balance transfer fee card with a shorter 0% interest period of 22 months, but no extra fees. They would have to pay back a total of £10,000 over monthly payments of £454.

Janet and Marcus realised they could afford these larger monthly payments over the shorter period so decided to get the no balance transfer fee card, saving them hundreds of pounds of interest.

Pros and cons of credit cards with no balance transfer fee

Pros

  • These cards let you take a break on paying interest on credit card debt.
  • They will cost you nothing, provided you pay off your balance before the 0% period ends.
  • Can help clear a large existing credit card debt with no interest or fees.

Cons

  • The 0% deals tend to be shorter than those on credit cards which charge a balance transfer fee.
  • These cards rarely offer a competitive deal on purchases.
  • APR skyrockets after the 0% deal ends.

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