Balance transfer offers let you pay off an old credit card with a new one. With an interest free deal you can repay the balance without any interest over a period from one month up to more than three years.

How to find the best balance transfer for you

  1. 1.

    Decide how long you need to repay the balance you want to transfer. Divide this balance by the amount you can repay each month to work out the number of months you need. For example if you repaid 1,500 at 100 a month, it would take 15 months.

  2. 2.

    Use the comparison above to find the best deals. Look for cards with a 0% period long enough for you to repay the full balance interest free.

  3. 3.

    Check the fee that comes with each balance transfer card. This is charged as a percentage of the amount you transfer (although some cards come with no fee).

  4. 4.

    Choose the card with the cheapest fee that offers a 0% period long enough for you to repay the full balance.

Unable to get a long enough deal?

If you cannot find a balance transfer that gives you long enough to pay back the full balance before the interest free period ends you could:

  • Use another balance transfer deal once the 0% period ends

  • Get a lifetime balance transfer card that charges a low interest rate for as long as you need to pay it off

Balance transfer FAQs

Q

How long will it take to make a balance transfer?

A

It can only take a few days but might take up to two weeks to get a new credit card and up to another week to make the balance transfer.

Q

When should I apply for a balance transfer?

A

Apply at least three weeks before you need the balance on your old card to be paid off.

Q

How much can I transfer?

A

Your provider will let you transfer a percentage of your credit limit (usually 90-95%), e.g. 90% of a 2,000 credit limit would mean you could use 1,800 towards balance transfers.

Q

What will my credit limit be?

A

This confirmed by your provider after they have approved your application. Here is how credit limits work and how much it costs if you exceed it.

Q

How do I repay my balance transfer?

A

Repay the amount that will clear your balance by the end of the 0% period by direct debit so you never miss a payment or pay interest.

Q

Can I transfer money to my bank account?

A

Money transfer credit cards let you send money to your bank account with 0% interest for several months. Here is how to make a money transfer.

Q

Does my credit record matter?

A

Yes, lenders decide whether to offer you a balance transfer as well as what APR and credit limit they offer you based on your credit record.