When you're looking for the right 0% balance transfer credit card it's important to consider both the length of the interest-free period and the size of the balance transfer fee.
After all, you don't want to pay over the odds to take control of your debt, but you also don't want to run out of time to pay it off before interest starts being charged.
It's a tough balancing act, particularly as providers do not follow logical rules when creating these products. Paying a higher fee doesn't automatically mean you get the best interest-free period and vice versa.
Having said that, balance transfer fees have been tumbling in recent months so you can enjoy the best of both worlds if you shop around.
Cheapest 0% balance transfers cards
Here are the best cards around at the moment that offer small fees on 0% balance transfers. The table is ordered by the cheapest cards, in terms of balance transfer fee, and then length of interest-free period.
0% period on balance transfers
Balance transfer fee
Fee paid on £2,000 transfer
Representative APR after 0% period ends
If you think you'll need even longer, there are 0% balance transfer credit cards offering up to 40 months interest free. Just note that these tend to charge far higher balance transfer fees, usually between 2.5% and 3%.
It's worth pointing out that you'll need a good credit rating to qualify for most of these cards.
If you keep being turned down, don't carry on applying as you'll hurt your credit rating. Instead, try to make some cutbacks if you can and pay off more of your debts. Be sure to keep up your repayments and your credit rating will, in time, improve.
If you don't think you can keep up on moving your debt around, then a lifetime low-rate balance transfer credit card might suit you better.
Instead of remaining interest free for a certain amount of time, these credit cards have a low APR applied to the balance from the start of the transfer that lasts as long as you take to pay it off. Some of the best cards in this category don't charge a transfer fee and those that do keep it very low.