Where to start

Before you even consider moving your balance to another credit card, you need to work out if it's even worth it.

If you have a large credit card balance, a 0% balance transfer credit card can help you clear your debt by taking interest charges away for a set term.

However, if you have a small balance, it may cost you more in transfer fees than the interest you currently pay.

When to pick a 0% deal

Start comparing deals when you are paying interest, or about to start paying interest, on your credit card balance.

0% credit card deals change regularly, so try not to plan too far in advance.

To make the most of a 0% balance transfer card, you will either be:

  • At the end of an existing 0% deal, but still have a balance to pay off

  • Already paying interest on your credit card balance

Avoid transferring your balance while you are in a 0% interest period, even if you get told to by your bank.

Which card to choose

It depends on why you want to transfer your balance:

  • If you only want to reduce your monthly repayments: Get the longest 0% deal possible. This will help you repay more of your balance each month.

  • If you want to clear your debt faster: Work out how much you can afford to pay each month, then choose a 0% term that matches to give yourself a repayment target.

Some credit cards charge a balance transfer fee which gets added to the balance you transfer. Don't forget to consider this fee when comparing 0% deals.

When you apply...

For a new 0% card, to complete the balance transfer you will need to give:

  1. 1.

    Your name; you may also need to give your passport or driving license number

  2. 2.

    Your address; usually any address you've lived at during the last 3-5 years

  3. 3.

    Your old card's PAN; this is the long 16 digit number on the front of your credit card

  4. 4.

    The amount you want to transfer; this is the balance on your old card

  5. 5.

    Your financial details; including your salary and any other existing debt you may have

You have to pass a credit check to get a 0% balance transfer credit card.

Your new credit limit

The credit limit you get offered could be higher or lower than your existing balance.

  • If the limit is lower, transfer what you can to save on some interest, but focus on repaying the balance left on your old card first.

  • If the limit is higher, think twice as this could entice you to spend more, and you may need to pay interest on anything new you spend.