If you're looking for a lengthy 0% balance transfer deal, but don't want to pay a transfer fee, then the new credit card from Tesco Bank is worth a look.
The Tesco Clubcard Credit Card 18-Month No Balance Transfer Fee allows users to shift debt and freeze it for 18 months, free of charge.
The best fee-free 0% balance transfer deals
Here's how Tesco's new card shapes up compared to other cards that don't charge a transfer fee.
0% period on balance transfers
Monthly payment to clear £2,000 debt within 0% period
*£24 annual fee
As you can see the Santander 123 Credit Card offers the longest fee-free 0% balance transfer deal. In 23 months you could clear a £2,000 debt with monthly payments of £87.
The card also offers 0% on purchases for 23 months, which is market leading, as well as up to 3% cashback when you spend at supermarkets, department stores and on travel.
However the card attracts a £24 annual fee, though you can get the card fee-free for a year if you have or open a 123 Current Account.
If you aren't willing to hand over any money at all, the Tesco Clubcard Credit Card 18-Month No Balance Transfer Fee is now the best fee-free 0% balance transfer deal around.
When it's worth paying a fee
If you have big credit card debts, you might be better off with a longer lasting deal that allows you to spread your repayments further.
At the moment you can get 36 months of 0% interest on balance transfers with the Barclaycard Platinum Balance Transfer 36-Month Credit Card or the Virgin Money Balance Transfer Credit Card which both come with a 2.99% fee.
With a £6,000 debt you would need to pay a £179.40 fee with both of these cards, but you could pay off the total balance (including the fee) in monthly instalments of £170.82.
If the same £6,000 debt was shifted onto the Tesco Clubcard Credit Card 18-Month No Balance Transfer Fee there would be no fee to pay but to clear the balance within 18 months would mean monthly payments of £333.33.
There are deals which provide some middle ground though, with reasonable fees on longer lasting 0% periods. The Tesco Bank Clubcard 28-Month Balance Transfer Credit Card for example offers 28 months of 0% on transfers with a 1.49% fee. Shifting £6,000 worth of debt means a fee of £89.40 and monthly instalments of £217.48 (based on the total debt plus the fee).
How to pick the best deal for you
It's important to strike a balance between the length of the interest-free period on offer and the size of the balance transfer fee.
This will stop you paying more than you need to in order to regain control of your debt and give you enough time to clear what you owe before interest kicks in again.
The balancing act is tricky as shorter deals aren't necessarily cheaper. One way to go about it is to work out how much you can afford to pay each month and use this to figure out how long it will take you to clear your balance. Then it's just a case of trying to find the cheapest deal going in that range.
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