0% balance transfer credit cards can be a great way to cut the cost of your credit card debts, reducing the amount of interest you pay to nothing for a number of months so you can focus on paying off what you owe.

It's tempting to go for the credit card that offers the longest 0% deal on balance transfers without properly researching your options. However, this could actually work out more expensive for you in the long run.

This is because most 0% balance transfer credit cards apply a transfer fee (also called a handling fee) when you move your debts. This tends to be around 3% but can sometimes be up to 5%, meaning you have more to pay back before you've even started.

Most of the balance transfer credit cards that offer the longest 0% periods charge high handling fees. However, if you could repay your borrowing sooner you could cut your costs considerably by applying for a low fee balance transfer credit card.

While 0% balance transfer with low fee credit cards tend to offer a shorter 0% interest period than the market leading balance transfer deals, more generous offers are becoming available.

So, if you're able to pay off the outstanding balance within the 0% period if you get one of the 0low fee credit card offers, you could save yourself money.

To find the best 0% low fee credit card for your circumstances, work out how many months it will take you to repay your credit card borrowing and then look for the credit card with the lowest transfer fee that offers the number of months you need interest free.

Even if you need longer to repay your debts there may be a low fee balance transfer credit card that meets your needs.

Several life of balance transfer credit card deals apply a low or zero transfer fee, so if you can't find a 0% balance transfer card with a long enough 0% period to repay your debts and don't want to switch between deals, they could be an alternative.

However, when looking at lifetime balance transfer credit card deals, although you will want to keep the balance fee as low as possible, it will be the interest rate that makes the biggest difference to the overall cost, as it will be applied from the day you make your balance transfer to the card.

You can compare cheap low handling fee credit cards side by side using our low fee credit card comparison table.