Compare balance transfer credit cards

Pay off your debt faster with 0% interest for over 2 years on a balance transfer credit card.

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Slash the interest on your credit card debt with a balance transfer and potentially save £1000's. We share our top picks and everything you need to know before taking the plunge.

Our top 10 balance transfer cards compared

Table: sorted by length of 0% balance transfer offer, promoted deals first
£
Name Product Balance transfers Purchases Annual/monthly fees Representative APR Incentive Link Monthly repayment
Santander Everyday Long Term Balance Transfer Credit Card
0% for 33 months
(2.65% fee)
0% for 3 months reverting to 21.9%
£0
21.9% APR (variable)
Earn 1% cashback on purchases made between 13 June and 18 September 2022 when using your card abroad.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
£93.32 per month
HSBC Balance Transfer Credit Card
0% for 33 months
(2.7% fee)
0% for 3 months reverting to 21.9%
£0
21.9% APR (variable)
Discounts and exclusive offers for dining experiences, leisure activities and shopping available through HSBC Home and Away.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
£93.36 per month
M&S Bank Credit Card Transfer Plus Offer Mastercard
0% for 32 months
(1.99% fee)
0% for 3 months reverting to 21.9%
£0
21.9% APR (variable)
1 point per £1 spent with M&S and 1 point per £5 spent elsewhere. Enjoy 55 days interest free, preferential rates plus no cash advance fee when buying M&S travel money with the card.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
£95.62 per month
HSBC Balance Transfer Low Fee Credit Card
0% for 28 months
(1% fee, min £5 fee)
0% for 3 months reverting to 21.9%
£0
21.9% APR (variable)
Discounts and exclusive offers for dining experiences, leisure activities and shopping available through HSBC Home and Away.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
£108.21 per month
Santander All in One Credit Card
0% for 26 months
(0% fee)
0% for 23 months reverting to 18.9%
£3 per month
24.7% APR (variable)
0.5% cashback on all your eligible purchases, paid monthly into card account. Maximum spend for cashback purposes is limited to credit limit. Terms apply.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £3 per month, your representative rate is 24.7% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
£115.38 per month
M&S Bank Shopping Plus Credit Card
0% for 24 months
(2.9% fee)
0% for 24 months reverting to 21.9%
£0
21.9% APR (variable)
Earn 1 point for every £1 spent at Marks and Spencer's and 1 point for every £5 spent elsewhere. 100 points = £1 reward voucher. Points will be converted into reward vouchers 4 times a year.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
£128.62 per month
Royal Bank of Scotland Purchase & Balance Transfer Credit Card (existing customers only)
0% for 23 months
(2.49% fee)
0% for 23 months reverting to 21.9%
£0
21.9% APR (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
£133.68 per month
NatWest Purchase & Balance Transfer Credit Card (existing customers only)
0% for 23 months
(2.49% fee)
0% for 23 months reverting to 21.9%
£0
21.9% APR (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
£133.68 per month
HSBC Purchase Plus Credit Card Visa
0% for 23 months
(2.9% fee)
0% for 23 months reverting to 22.9%
£0
22.9% APR (variable)
Discounts and exclusive offers for dining experiences, leisure activities and shopping available through HSBC Home and Away.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
£134.22 per month
The NatWest Balance Transfer Credit Card (existing customers only)
0% for 22 months
(0% fee)
0% for 3 months reverting to 21.9%
£0
21.9% APR (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
£136.36 per month
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Approval for any credit card will depend on your status. The representative APRs shown represent the interest rate offered to most successful applicants. Depending on your personal circumstances the APR you're offered may be higher, or you may not be offered credit at all. Fees and rates are subject to change without notice. It's always wise to check the terms of any deal before you borrow.

An intro to balance transfers

A balance transfer refers to the process of transferring your existing credit card debt to a new card issued by a different bank, in return for a lower interest rate during the introductory period. Generally, this promotional interest rate is 0% for a specific number of months – varying from as little as three all the way up to today’s market-leading maximum of 34 months.

For the card issuers, it’s a way to get new customers on board. But they usually won’t make any money out of you unless you still have outstanding debt when the 0% period expires or use the card to make new purchases.

Balance transfers illustrated

How does it work?

Let’s assume that you already have existing card debt and you want to save on interest by moving it to another card issuer.

Once you’ve picked a balance transfer deal, you’ll usually be prompted to check your eligibility. Provided it’s good news, you can then go ahead and apply for the new card.

During the application process you’ll be asked if you want to transfer a balance and prompted to provide details of how much it is, which bank it’s currently held with and the account number.

When you’ve received your shiny new card (which can take up to two weeks) and activated it, the card issuer will then request the transfer of all outstanding funds from your old bank. From this point, the transfer will typically take around 1-3 working days. If there’s a transfer fee involved then this can be added onto your balance.

From then on it’s over to you. You can pay as much or as little as you like each month, subject to the new card’s minimum repayment requirement (typically 1% or 2% of your outstanding balance). Ideally you should pay enough each month to ensure you’re debt-free before the introductory low-rate period expires.

What is a balance transfer fee?

Most – but not all – balance transfer cards (particularly those with the longest promotional periods) charge a balance transfer fee. This is a one-time fee that’s calculated as a percentage of the debt you wish to transfer to the new card. Typically the balance transfer fee is between 1.5% and 3.5%. A minimum is usually also specified, so a card issuer might describe its balance transfer fee as “3% (minimum £5). So if you had a £2,000 debt to transfer, the transfer fee would cost you £60. If you had just a £150 debt to transfer, the fee would cost you £5.

The fee is usually added to the balance and so also benefits from the 0% promotional period.

Best long 0% balance transfer deal

To access the longest possible 0% deals, you’ll need good credit and you’ll probably have to pay a small transfer fee – this can be added onto the balance you’re transferring. The absolute longest 0% deal currently available is 34 months, but it’s important to factor in the transfer fee and any ongoing fees when you’re picking the right deal for you.

M&S Bank Credit Card Transfer Plus Offer Mastercard

32 months

0% interest on balance transfers

21.9%

Representative APR

£0

Account fee

1 point

per £5 spent

This card offers the longest 0% on balance transfers period of all M&S Bank’s credit cards, and also offers 0% interest on purchases for an introductory period. There’s no annual fee to worry about, so provided you clear your existing balance before the 0% period expires, this could be an almost catch-free option.
  • Extra-long 0% period
  • No annual fee
  • Up to 3 months of 0% interest on purchases made using the card
  • Balance transfer fee
  • Requires good credit
AvailabilityAvailable to new customers
Min. income6800
Foreign usage charge (EU)2.99%
Cash advance fee2.99% (min. £3)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).

If you don’t need quite so long at 0%, you should consider a low- or no-fee balance transfer deal.

Best no-fee balance transfer deal

Although these offers won’t have the very longest 0% interest periods on the market, if the 0% periods that they do offer can give you long enough to clear your card debt, they’re likely to be the cheapest option.

Santander Everyday No Balance Transfer Fee Credit Card

21 months

0% interest on balance transfers

0%

Balance transfer fee

21.9%

Representative APR

£0

Account fee

Yes, you could easily find a longer 0% deal on the market, but this is one of the longest deals with no transfer fee or account fee (albeit with a fairly average revert interest rate charged after the 0% period is over). So if 21 months gives you long enough to clear your balance, this could be the card for you.
  • Long 0% period
  • No balance transfer fee
  • No annual/monthly fee
  • Outside of the balance transfer deal, rates and fees are nothing to write home about
AvailabilityAvailable to new customers
ResidencyUK Resident
Min. income7500
Foreign usage charge (EU)2.95%
Cash advance fee3% (min. £3)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).

Expert video: Choosing the right balance transfer card

Use Finder’s eligibility checker (no effect on your credit score)

How much money can I save with a balance transfer?

Exactly how much you’ll save will depend on the size of your debt, the length of the 0% balance transfer offer and your repayments, but you could save hundreds or thousands of pounds in interest while you clear your debt. Here’s an example:

How The Balance Transfer Process Works

Balance transfer illustration

Let’s say you have £3,000 debt on a card that’s currently charging 20% interest annually, but you’ve been offered a new card with 0% on balance transfers for 18 months, a 3% transfer fee and no annual fee.

Clearing your debt over 18 months would be around £407 cheaper using the new 0% card than it would on the old card. What’s more, you’d be debt-free three months sooner than if you’d made the same monthly repayments to your old card. All in all, a worthwhile exercise!

Remember that this isn’t based on simply paying the minimum monthly repayments, but on overpaying as much as is necessary in order to completely clear the debt before the revert rate kicks in. In this example you’d want to pay around £172 each month to clear the debt in time. To get that figure we divided £3,090 (the balance being transferred with the transfer fee on top) by 18 (the number of months in the introductory rate period).

The dos and don’ts of balance transfers

Used intelligently, a 0% balance transfer card will reduce your interest payments and get you out of credit card debt faster. Used the wrong way, your debts can actually become larger and last, well, indefinitely. Ensure you don’t get trapped in problem balance transfer debt with our dos and don’ts.

How to do balance transfers right

  • DO: Compare the best deals and use eligibility checkers.
    Your goals should be to get debt-free as cheaply as possible and in as little time as possible. To do this, you’ll want to pin down the best deal available to you.
  • DO: Look at deals with no balance transfer fee first.
    Many people don’t take the time to understand balance transfers and the potential costs involved, and end up paying a balance transfer fee that they hadn’t been banking on. If you’re reading this, you’re already ahead of the curve.
  • Do: Consider all applicable fees
    While you won’t be charged interest with a 0% balance transfer, you may have to pay annual fees and a balance transfer fee. Make sure you consider these when choosing a balance transfer deal, but bear in mind it can be a mistake to dismiss cards purely on the basis of fees.
  • DO: Request the transfer at the earliest possible opportunity.
    Most balance transfer deals only apply to balances transferred within the first x days of account opening, so it’s better not to hang around.
  • DO: Keep making payments on your old card until you’re sure the transfer has gone through.
    Balance transfers are still far from instant, frustratingly. In fact they can take a couple of weeks. Don’t risk damaging your credit record by missing a repayment on your old card.
  • DO: Set up a direct debit for repayments.
    Ensure you’ll never miss a repayment and protect your credit score by setting up a direct debit for repayments. You can do this during application, when you accept the offer that the card issuer has made. You can set up a direct debit to pay the minimum monthly repayment, a fixed amount or a fixed percentage of the outstanding balance. Choosing a fixed amount direct debit is likely to be the most straightforward option – simply divide your balance (plus the transfer fee, if applicable) by the number of months in the 0% deal to see what you need to pay each month to be debt free at the end of the promotional period.

Mistakes to avoid with balance transfers

  • DON’T: Forget you still have to make payments.
    Despite the promotional period with interest at 0%, you still have a debt, and you still have to make at least the minimum payment each month. You can’t simply transfer a balance and then stop making payments. The minimum repayment is usually stated in terms like “2.5% of your outstanding balance or £5 (whichever is greater)”.
  • DON’T: Forget to checking the standard purchases rate.
    Once your balance transfer promotion finishes, you’ll be paying the standard rate on any remaining balance. Choose a card with a standard rate that’s lower than your current credit card rate if possible or make sure you repay the entire debt before the standard rate applies.
  • DON’T: Use your card for further spending.
    Adding new debt will slow down your ability to repay your card. Don’t buy anything new on your credit card that you can’t immediately pay off in full. Also, banks are required to allocate repayments to whichever debt is accruing the highest interest on your account. So, if your balance accrues 0% interest and your purchase collects the standard interest rate, your repayments will go to the purchases rather than your balance transfer. It’s usually better to focus on clearing the debt you have, rather than adding to it. However, there are cards which offer 0% deals on both existing debt and additional purchases. Watch out for rewards programmes that incentivise additional spending – you could end up paying much more in interest than you earn in points.
  • DON’T: Only pay the minimum repayment each month.
    If you’re only paying the minimum repayment each month, you won’t be able to repay the entire balance by the time the 0% balance transfer offer ends. Then your debt will start to collect interest and it will grow again. Instead, you should calculate exactly how much you need to pay each month to repay the entire balance by the time the interest-free period ends. You can do this by dividing the size of your debt by the number of months in the balance transfer offer. This will give you a goal repayment to meet every statement period to clear the debt before the 0% promotion ends.
  • DON’T: Keep your old card open
    It’s tempting to hang on to your old card “for use in emergencies”. Realistically, if you’ve run up debt on it before, you’re likely to do so again. Cancel the card and concentrate on paying off your balance. Remember to transfer any regular payments, and ask your old bank for your final balance so you don’t have any leftover debt. Even after you’ve made a balance transfer you may still be liable for accrued interest from your final statement, or for missed payment charges. Make sure these are cleared – if you don’t take action they’ll continue to build up interest and penalties.

How to do a balance transfer in five steps

Follow these five steps to successfully apply for a balance transfer credit card and improve your chances of approval:

  1. Find a balance transfer offer that meets your needs. Use our comparison tables to easily compare a range of cards and see how much you could save.
  2. Check how much you’re eligible to transfer. The amount you can transfer to your new account will vary, but is usually capped at between 90% and 95% of your approved credit limit. So, if you can only transfer 90% of your £1,000 credit limit, you’ll only be able to transfer up to £900. Remember, you won’t know for sure what your credit limit will be until you’ve made your application, and this will depend on a number of factors, such as your overall credit rating, address and employment status. You can contact the bank in question to get an estimate before you apply. You’ll also need to make sure that you’ve selected a new card that accepts transfers from your current bank and card.
  3. Submit your application. If you’ve found a balance transfer credit card that is right for you, you can click on the ‘Go to site’ button to be directed to a secure online application. Check out our guidelines for successfully applying to maximise your chances of approval.
  4. Wait for your application to be approved. Some banks can process your request and offer approval within 60 seconds of applying, but others can take between 5-7 days. If you haven’t heard from the bank after this time, you may wish to contact them to find out if there’s an issue.
  5. Confirm transfer and close your old account. Once your new card is set up, contact your old bank and make sure the previous account is closed to avoid any further fees or interest payments. Now it’s time to start repaying your debt. Use our tips for paying off your credit card debts faster to clear your debt and maximise your interest savings.

Do I have to contact my old bank and new bank to make the switch?

Your new card issuer manages this process after both your card and the balance transfer are approved. You just need to provide details of your existing card when you apply. But if you want to close your old card, you’ll need to do that yourself by contacting your bank. If you don’t close your old account, you could be stuck with annual fees and any other maintenance costs that come with your existing account.

Your questions about balance transfers answered

Applying for balance transfers

Using balance transfers

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.

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