Compare balanced credit cards for October 2021

Looking for a credit card with a 0% deal that applies to both balance transfers AND purchases? Check out "matched" or "balanced" cards.

Balanced credit card comparison

Table: sorted by length of 0% balance transfer offer, promoted deals first
Name Product Balance transfers Balance transfer fee Purchases Annual/monthly fees Representative APR Incentive Link
M&S Bank Shopping Plus Credit Card
0% for 22 months reverting to 21.9%
2.9% (min. £5)
0% for 22 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
HSBC Purchase Plus Credit Card Visa
0% for 18 months reverting to 22.9%
2.9% (min. £5) for transfers in first 60 days
0% for 18 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
Sainsbury's Bank Dual 22 Month Offer Credit Card Mastercard
0% for 22 months reverting to 20.95%
3% (min. £3)
0% for 22 months reverting to 20.95%
£0
20.9% APR (variable)
Earn 3 Nectar points per £1 spent in Sainsbury's and Argos. Earn 1 Nectar point for every £5 spent elsewhere. Earn 500 bonus points each time you spend £35 or more on Sainsbury's shopping with your credit card, up to ten times in your first 2 months, offer available for new customers.
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).
MBNA 0% Transfer and Purchase Credit Card
0% for 21 months reverting to 21.93%
2.99% for 2 months reverting to 5%
0% for 21 months reverting to 21.93%
£0
21.9% APR (variable)
Earn up to 15% cashback on purchases through Smart Rewards at popular retailers.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.93% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
Tesco Bank Clubcard Balance Transfer and Purchases Credit Card
0% for 20 months reverting to 20.94%
1.99% for 20 months reverting to 3.99%
0% for 20 months reverting to 20.94%
£0
20.9% APR (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. Card can also be used as a Clubcard to collect standard points at 1 point per £1 spent on shopping and 1 point per £2 spent on fuel. Points are converted to Tesco vouchers which can be used towards shopping or exchanged for Partner Rewards.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 20.94% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 20.9% APR (variable).
Ulster Bank Purchase & Balance Transfer Credit Card Mastercard
0% for 20 months reverting to 21.9%
1.99%
0% for 20 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).
Royal Bank of Scotland Purchase & Balance Transfer Credit Card Mastercard
0% for 20 months reverting to 21.9%
1.99%
0% for 20 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).
NatWest Purchase & Balance Transfer Credit Card Mastercard
0% for 20 months reverting to 21.9%
1.99%
0% for 20 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).
Virgin Money 19 Month All Round Credit Card Mastercard
0% for 19 months reverting to 21.9%
2.9% for 2 months reverting to 5%
0% for 19 months reverting to 21.9%
£0
21.9% APR (variable)
Enjoy exclusive offers and rewards on the Virgin Red app.
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).
Santander World Elite Mastercard
0% for 18 months reverting to 18.9%
0% for 18 months reverting to 3% (min. £5)
0% for 18 months reverting to 18.9%
£15 per month
49.8% APR (variable)
0.5% cashback on £1 to £3000 of monthly spend. Maximum of £15 cashback paid per month. Cashback paid monthly into card account.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £15 per month, your representative rate is 49.8% APR (variable).
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Compare up to 4 providers

There’s a large selection of credit cards on the market that offer 0% interest introductory offers on either balance transfers or purchases. However, if you want the best of both worlds, a balanced or matched deal could be the right fit for you.

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.

What are balanced credit cards?

“Balanced” or “matched” credit cards offer an introductory interest-free period that applies to both balances transferred from your old credit card(s) and also to forthcoming purchases. After the introductory period finishes, any outstanding balance will start to accrue interest at the card’s standard rate.

Some of these cards may also offer an interest-free period on money transfers (that’s when you transfer money from your credit card to another account), although the duration of the offer period won’t necessarily be the same.

If you’re looking to transfer an existing credit card debt, but anticipate using your new card to make further purchases, it’s worth considering a “balanced” or “matched” credit card. Although the interest-free periods tend to be shorter than cards just offering 0% on only balance transfers or purchases, it could save you money in the long run.

What are dual credit cards?

Rather confusingly, the term “dual” is used by different card issuers to describe two completely different types of product.

Some card issuers, such as those featured in the table above, might refer to their credit cards as “dual” because they offer a dual interest-free period – applying to both balance transfers and purchases.

Other issuers might use the term “dual” to describe a totally different type of product: when you have two separate cards, each on a different network, tied to the same account. For example, you might have a credit account with one card operating on the Mastercard network and a second card operating on the American Express network. In this situation, despite having the two cards, you would be issued just one bill each billing cycle. These tend to be reward or frequent flyer cards which may offer different perks or reward rates depending on the network.

How do balanced credit cards work?

Balanced or matched credit cards offer a break from interest on your existing card debt by letting you close your old credit card(s) and move the balance across to the new, cheaper card (you’ll normally be charged a transfer fee to move the funds across to the new card – typically around 3% of the balance). The cards also give you the opportunity to spread the cost of forthcoming purchases over the same timeframe by not charging interest (at least initially) on purchases made using the card.

You’ll still need to make a minimum repayment every month, which will be a percentage of your overall debt, but reassuringly 100% of each repayment will go towards clearing debt (unless you incur any fees, say by using the card to withdraw cash).

You should aim to pay off the full balance by the time the interest-free period ends, to avoid accruing interest once the card has reverted to its standard rate.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Clear credit card debt faster. With no interest charges, your money can go to clearing your balance instead.
  • Spread the cost of upcoming expenditure. Enjoy interest-free purchases for an introductory period.
  • No annual fee (usually). Most “balanced” or “matched” cards do not charge an annual or monthly fee, although it’s crucial to check.
  • Flexibility. If you’re confident that the balance transfer offer gives you time enough to clear your existing debt, the purchases offer might simply act as a cheap “just in case” option should you need to use the card for any future expenditure.

Cons

  • Balance transfer fee. Most of these cards will charge a fee for you to move your existing credit card debt, usually around 1-3% of the balance. Weigh up if the fee would be more than the interest you would pay on your existing card.
  • High rate after the 0% period ends. Interest rates typically skyrocket after the 0% deal expires.
  • Slightly shorter 0% periods. If you want to spread a balance transfer over the very longest period you can, it may be better to go for a specialised card.
  • Fewer rewards. These types of cards don’t usually offer many rewards as an added incentive.

Frequently asked questions

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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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