The cheapest balance transfer card around

Updated: 
BarclaycardYou can get an extra month of 0% interest on the Barclaycard Low Fee Platinum, already the cheapest balance transfer card around.
When looking for a balance transfer card, many of us get a little too preoccupied with just how long we can avoid interest for. Should I go for the card offering 21 months interest-free, or the one offering 22 months?

As a result, we may not stop to think about the other big consideration – the transfer fee.

Paying a tiny transfer fee
However, the transfer fee can make a pretty significant difference to the eventual cost of clearing your debt.


Barclaycard has made a number of changes to its cards this month, with the £30 discount on the transfer fee of its 22-month 0% card attracting plenty of attention, as we highlighted in Why the best balance transfer card just got better.

However, it's the change it's made to its Low Fee Platinum card that I want to look at today.

The card has long boasted the cheapest transfer fee on the market of 1.6%, with a 16 month 0% period on balance transfers. However, the card has been boosted with an extra month of interest-free credit, taking it to 17 months.

There's only one real rival in the low fee arena, from Virgin. Let's take a look at how they compare.

Card

0% period

Transfer fee

Barclaycard Low Fee Platinum Visa

17 months

1.6%

Virgin All Round MasterCard

16 months

1.99%



As you can see, there is now some clear water between the Barclaycard and Virgin offers.
Let's take an example. Jack has £5,000 on a credit card that he wants to clear. To move that balance onto the Barclaycard deal, he will have to pay a fee of £80. With the Virgin card, that fee would be £99.50.

The low fee sacrifice
What I like about this move is that it is chipping away at what I call the 'low fee sacrifice.' Generally, in order to get a card that only charges a small transfer fee, you will have to accept that the 0% period will be substantially smaller than from the leading cards.

By now offering 17 months of 0% interest on balance transfers, that sacrifice just got a little bit smaller. And that makes clearing the balance before you start being charged interest just a little bit more manageable.

Of course, if you are likely to need 22 months in order to pay off the whole balance, then you'll still be better off going for a card that offers as long a 0% period as possible. However, if you think you can clear your debt in 17 months, the Barclaycard Low Fee Platinum Visa cannot be beaten!

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