The truth

The simple truth and biggest benefit of a 0% balance transfer is - you can pay off your balance faster when you're not paying interest.

You could also save hundreds of pounds in interest charges by switching to a 0% balance transfer credit card.

Paying off your balance

If you can afford to repay a large amount of money each month, you can reduce the interest charged on your balance and clear your debt faster without switching.

However, a 0% balance transfer credit card could help you repay your debt quicker and cost you less overall.

19.9% APR credit card example

The table below shows how long it takes to repay different credit card balances based on an APR of 19.9%:

Balance 50 monthly repayments 100 monthly repayments 150 monthly repayments
500 1 year* 7 months* 5 months*
1,000 2 years, 2 months* 1 year* 9 months*
1,500 3 years, 6 months* 1 year, 7 months* 1 year*
2,000 5 years, 4 months* 2 years, 2 months* 1 year, 5 months*
2,500 8 years* 2 years, 9 months* 1 year, 9 months*
* Rounded up to the nearest month - the final payment will be smaller.

0% credit card example

If you have a 0% credit card, and therefore do not pay interest on your balance, the table below shows how long it takes to repay different balance amounts:

Balance 50 monthly repayments 100 monthly repayments 150 monthly repayments
500 10 months 5 months 3 months*
1,000 1 year, 8 months 10 months 7 months*
1,500 2 years, 6 months 1 year, 3 months 10 months
2,000 3 years, 2 months 1 year, 8 months 1 year, 2 months*
2,500 4 years 2 years, 1 month 1 year, 5 months*
* Rounded up to the nearest month - the final payment will be smaller.

Is it worth switching?

  • If you can only afford to repay a small amount each month: It will take you longer to pay off your balance, and you'll pay more interest too. Consider paying more each month or switching to a 0% balance transfer card.

Using a credit card with an 19.9% APR means it could take twice as long to repay a 2,500 balance compared to a 0% card, and you pay approximately 2,245 in interest*.

  • If you can afford to pay a large amount each month: You will repay your balance faster, but still get charged some interest. Compare the tables above, and switch to a 0% balance transfer card if it could help you repay your balance faster.

* Based on a 50 monthly repayment amount.

How to get the right deal

Compare as many credit cards as possible to find the best balance transfer deal for you.

Most cards will charge you a balance transfer fee, which is usually added to your balance, but some do not charge anything to transfer.

You could avoid a rejected application by seeing the balance transfer cards that are most likely to accept you. Use our eligibility checker to see your chances of acceptance, without it affecting your credit record.

Q

How many balance transfer cards can you have?

A

If each application you make is accepted, there is no limit. The more cards you have, the higher the chance of your credit debt spiralling out of control.

Q

When should you avoid a balance transfer?

A

If you don't stand to save money on interest charges by transferring. Here are more reasons why you should avoid balance transfer cards.