The cheap 0% credit cards you might have missed

lovemoney.com
The cheap 0% credit card you might have missed
The cheap 0% credit card you might have missed



Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland are the latest providers to launch new 0% balance transfer credit cards, which are offering 40 months to freeze the size of your debt.

There are longer lasting deals on the market, so at first look the cards might not seem like a top deal. However, it's when you consider the fee you'll be charged to transfer your balance that they become a best buy.

Fee vs 0% offer

It's easy to compare credit cards that offer interest-free periods on new purchases. All you need to know is how long the 0% period is – the longest offer will be the best card.

However, things are more complicated with 0% balance transfer credit cards.

Generally speaking, these are great products. You can move an existing credit card debt to a new card and then not pay any interest on that debt for a long period.

The problem is you will usually have to pay a balance transfer fee up front. This is a percentage of the debt you're transferring to your new balance transfer card.

This varies from one provider to the next. Some charge nothing at all, while others charge a hefty 4% of the total debt transferred.

So when you're choosing a balance transfer card, you need to compare both the length of the 0% period and how expensive the fee is.

A good example of this can be seen in the fact that the longest balance transfer offers on the market probably aren't the cheapest overall.

The Halifax 41 Month Balance Transfer Card and MBNA Platinum 41-Month Credit Card are the only cards to offer 41 months interest-free.

However, they charge hefty transfer fees of 3.44% and 3.45% respectively, making transfers significantly more expensive than their nearest 40-month rivals, the Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Bank Platinum cards, which charge just 2.39%

0% balance transfer cards with long interest-free periods

Let's take a look at the cards with the longest 0% balance transfer offers to see how they stack up. This table is ranked purely on length of offer.

Credit card

0% period on balance transfers

Balance transfer fee

Cost of transferring £2,000 balance

Representative APR after 0% period ends

Halifax 41 Month Balance Transfer Card

41 months

3.44%

£68.80

18.9%

MBNA Platinum 41-Month Credit Card

41 months

3.45%

£69

18.9%

Bank of Scotland 40-Month Balance Transfer Credit Card

40 months

2.39%

£47.80

18.9%

Lloyds Bank Platinum 40-Month Balance Transfer Credit Card

40 months

2.39%

£47.80

18.9%

Virgin 40-Month Balance Transfer Credit Card

40 months

2.4%

£48

20.9%

Sainsbury's Nectar Exclusive Long Balance Transfer Credit Card

40 months

2.42%

£48.40

18.9%

Tesco Bank Clubcard Credit Card for Balance Transfers

40 months

2.69%

£53.80

18.9%

0% cards with low balance transfer fees

However, if you're willing to go for a card with a shorter interest-free period, you can pay a much lower fee or even no fee at all, as the table below shows.

Here are some of the best deals for various 0% periods between 24 and 34 months.

Credit card

0% period on balance transfers

Balance transfer fee

Cost of transferring £2,000 balance

Representative APR after 0% period ends

Halifax 25-Month Balance Transfer Credit Card

25 months

None

£0

18.9%

Virgin 30-Month Balance Transfer Credit Card

30 months

0.59%

£11.80

19.9%

Barclaycard Platinum 32-Month Balance Transfer Credit Card

32 months

0.68%

£13.60

18.9%

Virgin Money 34-Month Balance Transfer Credit Card

34 months

1.49%

£29.80

19.9%

Just make sure you weigh up how long you'll need to pay off your debts. It's better to have longer at 0% interest and pay a slightly larger fee than run out of time and end up paying interest.

Average credit rating

Sadly, some people won't be able to get any of the cards we've highlighted in this article. That's because the credit card companies are only willing to give these cards to people with good credit ratings.

Other options

If you want even longer to get back into the black, you could apply for a personal loan and use the money you've borrowed to pay off your credit card debt. Right now, the top personal loans are charging as little as 3.2% in interest.

0% is best

But if you can get one of the top 0% cards, go for one of them. Just make sure you pay off your minimum monthly repayment promptly every time. Otherwise your credit card provider will use your late payment as an excuse to withdraw your 0% deal.

Compare credit cards