This is when you move an outstanding balance from one card onto another. If a card has a Balance Transfer Intro Rate it relates to the interest that is applied to the transferred balance and the duration the intro rate is applied for. So for example a 0% balance transfer intro rate for 12 months will mean that no interest will be added to your account for the balance transferred for 12 months from the date the account is opened. To qualify for the introductory rate you will need to transfer your balance within a set period from the account opening, this time limit varies by issuer. When the intro rate ends then you will be charged interest at the cards annual percentage rate (APR).
To ensure you maintain any introductory rates applied to your account you must manage the account in line with the issuer’s terms and conditions. Specifically that means that you must always make at least the minimum payment, on time each month, and must remain within your set credit limit.
Balance Transfer Fee
Sometimes also called a Balance Transfer Handling Fee. This is a charge that is applied if you do move a balance onto your new card. It is usually calculated as a percentage of the balance you wish to transfer, typically it is around 3%. So for example transferring a £2,000 balance onto your new card with a balance transfer handling fee of 3% will incur a charge of £60, this is added to the balance on the card.
You obtain a cash advance by using your card to draw cash. Cash advances will invariably attract interest from the moment they are made, so there is no 'interest free' grace period. There is usually a fee and the rate of interest for this facility could be higher than the card provider’s standard rate on regular purchases.
Joint Account Holder
Unlike an authorised user a Joint Account Holder has the same borrowing privileges as the main account holder, but they too will be responsible for the repayment of the account balance.
This is where you pay for goods or services using your card– it doesn’t include things like cash withdrawals, cash advances or money transfers.
APR stands for Annual Percentage Rate and is the effective rate of interest, over the year, which reflects all the costs of the credit, including interest charges and other fees (such as an initial arrangement fee and any annual charge). It is 'representative' as 51% of those accepted for the card have to be offered the advertised APR.