With 39% of current account customers often overdrawn, we look at how a type of credit card - a money transfer card - can get you back in the black.
Some 39% of current account customers are often, if not always, overdrawn, according to a new study by research firm Consumer Intelligence.
But if you're stuck in your overdraft and paying for the privilege, then a little-known type of credit card could help.
A money transfer credit card – also known as a super balance-transfer card - allows you to move funds from the card straight into your bank account.
If you're overdrawn, this boost to your bank balance can help lift you out of the red – and many money transfer credit cards offer lengthy 0% interest periods.
MBNA: 0% on money transfers for 29-months
There are currently 46 cards on the market that give you the option of transferring credit straight in to your current account.
Currently the MBNA Platinum credit card is the market-leader, offering 29-months interest-free on money transfers.
This is followed by the Fluid credit card which offers 28-months interest-free on money transfers.
The savings to be made with this type of deal are potentially big, according to Consumer Intelligence.
Save £320 with a money transfer credit card
According to the firm, someone with a regular £1,000 overdraft at a competitive rate would pay £360 in interest over 29 months on average.
But if they did a money transfer using the market-leading MBNA credit card, for example, they would avoid paying interest for 29 months.
So, after paying MBNA's 4% transfer fee for moving £1,000 from the credit card to their current account (£40), they could make an overall saving of £320.
David Black, spokesman for Consumer Intelligence, says money transfers are something of a hidden secret.
Money transfer cards offer 0% balance transfers too
"At the moment there are some very attractive deals available – but you have to be proactive and look for them," he says.
Nerys Lewis, head of credit cards at Confused.com, adds: "It’s worth noting that many money transfer cards also offer 0% deals on balance transfers too."
Balance transfer credit cards allow you to move your debt from one card to another.
"For example," Lewis adds, "the MBNA 29-month card also offers 29 months 0% on balance transfers, for a 2.89% fee.
"So a money transfer credit card could be a cost-effective way of getting back in the black for people with both credit card and overdraft debt to clear."
What to know before you apply
The typical 4% money transfer fee is higher than the fees charged for a balance transfer, which average around 2.5% to 3%.
Also, if you think you could benefit from this type of credit card, it’s worth knowing that you’ll need a good credit rating in order to qualify for the best deals.
"Lenders will also assess applicants on a number of different factors including existing levels of debt, so you may not be offered what you apply for," Black adds.
This means you may be presented with a shorter 0% period to the one you originally choose.
Try before you apply: Confused.com Card Matcher
Use Confused.com’s free Card Matcher to check your likelihood of acceptance for a range of different credit cards.
This is important because a negative application could harm your credit file.
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