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Best balance transfer credit cards

If you are paying interest on a credit card debt or overdraft, a 0 per cent interest balance transfer card can help you save money. We round up some of the best deals on the market.

Most balance transfer credit cards offer interest-free introductory periods.

Moving your credit card debt or, in some cases, an overdraft to one of these cards, can buy you time to clear the balance without having to pay interest on top.

Here we round up some of the best balance transfer deals currently available.

Barclaycard Platinum

This credit card has a 22-month interest-free period on balance transfers - currently the joint longest available to new customers. 

And at 2.9 per cent, the balance transfer fee is very competitive compared with similar cards on the market.

Halifax’s Balance Transfer credit card offers 22-months interest-free but has a 3.5 per cent fee.

And the HSBC credit card offers a 23-month interest-free period but only existing customers can apply for this one. 

MBNA Credit Card

Customers have the additional ability to do a money transfer with this credit card, which has a 20-month 0 per cent period.

This enables cardholders to move money to their current account, so it can be used to repay overdrafts.

MBNA charge 4 per cent of the balance being transferred, but this is still lower than the annual rate of interest on many overdraft facilities, which can be around 14 per cent.

Fluid Credit Card

The Fluid Visa card, issued by MBNA, offers prospective cardholders a useful feature called ‘Apply with Confidence’.

This means potential customers can see their chances of being accepted or rejected for this card before they apply.

If it looks like you will be accepted, you can go on to apply.

And if not, you simply don’t complete the application process and avoid the risk of getting rejected, which can harm your credit file as lenders can see credit applications you’ve made.

If you’ve made a few applications in a short space of time lenders are more likely to turn you down as it looks as if the applicant is desperate for credit and may be overstretched financially.

Barclaycard Platinum Low Fee

The main benefit of this credit card is a transfer fee of just 1.6 per cent - one of the lowest on the market.

It has a 16-month 0 per cent period on balance transfers, so could be a good option for those with smaller amounts to move.

Customers can also take advantage of a three-month interest-free deal on purchases.

Sainsbury’s Low Rate

This card is a little different from the others on the list as it doesn’t have an interest-free deal on balance transfers but has a low rate of interest – 6.9 per cent APR.

It has the big advantage of no fees to pay for moving a balance, so could be an option for moving smaller sums.

For those looking to spend on their credit card this may be worth looking at too, as the rate of interest is the same.

As long as you pay back the balance in full and on time every month, you won’t be hit with extra charges.

The best card for you

It’s important to remember that balance transfer credit cards are generally aimed at so-called prime customers and so only accept people with a good credit profile.

So if you’re not registered to vote, for example, or have missed some debt repayments then there’s a fair chance you’ll be rejected.

Confused.com offers a Card Matcher service that can help you to judge whether your application for a credit card will be successful before you apply.

Nerys Lewis, head of credit cards at Confused.com, says: "By taking into account several factors you can work out what the best card is for you.

"It is important to think about how long it will take you to clear the balance, as this will affect the card you choose.

"If you don’t need a 22-month interest-free period, you may save more money by going for a shorter 0 per cent deal with a lower balance transfer fee.

"Your credit rating will also affect your decision so once you know your situation you can pick the best card for your own circumstances."

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Adam Jolley

Adam Jolley

Adam Jolley is a writer at Confused.com, focusing on credit cards and financial products. Wannabe mountaineer Adam joined us from the world of financial services PR.

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