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Clear your credit card balance by 2015

Looking to start the New Year by tackling your credit card debt? Here are some of the best balance transfer deals to help you clear what you owe by 2015. 

Switching to an interest-free balance transfer card can be a cost-effective way to clear your credit card debt.

But there are a few things to consider before you switch, says Nerys Lewis, head of credit cards at Confused.com.

Don’t always be tempted by the longest 0% deal

"When it comes to balance transfers, people are often tempted by the card with the longest 0 per cent deal."

This is currently the Barclaycard Platinum credit card which offers 30 months interest-free.

"However, we would urge borrowers to do their sums first before switching as this may not always be the most suitable option," she says.

How long will it take you to clear your debt?

"You should start by looking at how much you want to transfer and then work out how long it will realistically take to pay this off.

"If you need two years or more, you will probably be better off picking a card with a long zero per cent deal.

"However, if you could clear your debt in around 12 to 15 months you may benefit off switching to a credit card with a shorter interest-free period as it may have a cheaper handling fee."

A handling fee is the charge you pay for shifting your balance from one card to another.

Balance transfer cards with low handling fees

The Fluid Low Fee credit card has a low transfer fee.

It offers borrowers 12 months interest-free for a 0.75 per cent fee.

So if you transferred a balance of £1,500, for example, you would be charged £11.25.

By contrast, if you transferred £1,500 to the market-leading 30-month Barclaycard you would pay £43.35 – because of its higher 2.89 per cent handling fee.

Top five 0% low fee balance transfer cards

Lewis adds: "The balance transfer credit card market used to be all about the card that could offer the longest interest-free deal.

"So if this is the first time in a while that you’ve looked for a new credit card you may not be aware of low fee deals as they are a relatively new thing."

The table below shows the five interest-free balance transfer cards with the lowest handling fees on the market.

Credit card

0% balance transfer period

Transfer fee

Fee paid on £1,500 balance

Fluid Low fee

12 months

0.75%

£11.25

Barclaycard Platinum Low Balance Transfer Fee

12 months

0.79%

£11.85

Halifax All in One

15 months

0.8%

£12

Lloyds Bank Platinum

15 months

0.8%

£12

Tesco credit card with low BT fee

12 months

0.85%

£12.75


Check your likelihood of acceptance

Before you apply, Lewis adds a word of caution.

"As with all balance transfer cards the best deals are often aimed at customers with a good credit rating.

"If you are not sure about your credit rating, you can use Confused.com's free Card Matcher tool before you apply.

"This allows you to check your likelihood of acceptance for any of the credit cards we have on offer."

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Adam Jolley

Adam Jolley

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

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