17 October 2017 : 


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Balance Transfer Credit Cards

People with outstanding credit card balances, on which they are paying high standard interest, can save a considerable amount by switching their balance to a new card which offers an introductory 0% interest on transferred balances. These products are commonly called 'balance transfer credit cards' and they are available from a number of the UK's leading credit card issuers. Understandably, they tend to be amongst the most popular products and, used well, they offer some of the lowest interest rates of credit based products. However, if used badly, they can prove as expensive as many other credit products. Ensure you get the best deal and fully understand the terms and conditions on your balance transfer by comparing using our table below.



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Product Name Balance Transfer Intro Purchases
Intro
Representative
APR (variable)
Rewards
 
Representative Example: Representative 19.9% APR (variable). Based on a credit limit of £1,200 and a purchase rate of 19.9% p.a. (variable)
Barclaycard Platinum with Balance Transfer application
Representative Example: Representative 19.9% APR (variable). Based on a credit limit of £1,200 and a purchase rate of 19.9% p.a. (variable)
Barclaycard Platinum 32 Mths Balance Transfer application
Representative Example: Representative 18.9% APR (variable). Based on a credit limit of £1,200 and a purchase rate of 18.95% p.a. (variable)
Bank of Scotland 32 Month Balance Transfer application
Representative Example: Representative 18.9% APR (variable). Based on a credit limit of £1,200 and a purchase rate of 18.9% p.a. (variable)
M&S Balance Transfer Plus  application
Representative Example: Representative 18.9% APR (variable). Based on a credit limit of £1,200 and a purchase rate of 18.9% p.a. (variable)
Post Office Money Matched Card application
Representative Example: Representative 18.9% APR (variable). Based on a credit limit of £1,200 and a purchase rate of 18.95% p.a. (variable)
Halifax Credit Card application
Representative Example: Representative 19.9% APR (variable). Based on a credit limit of £1,200 and a purchase rate of 19.9% p.a. (variable)
Barclaycard Balance Transfer No Fee application
Representative Example: Representative 24.9% APR (variable). Based on a credit limit of £1,200 and a purchase rate of 24.9% p.a. (variable)
Barclaycard Platinum 18 Mths Balance Transfer application
Representative Example: Representative 18.9% APR (variable). Based on a credit limit of £1,200 and a purchase rate of 18.9% p.a. (variable)
Yorkshire Bank Gold MasterCard application
Representative Example: Representative 18.9% APR (variable). Based on a credit limit of £1,200 and a purchase rate of 18.9% p.a. (variable)
Clydesdale Bank Gold Credit Card application

 

compareandsave.com is a trading name of Freedom Marketing Ltd. Freedom Marketing Ltd is a credit broker, not a lender and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, firm reference number 493117.

The offers that appear on this site are from companies from which compareandsave.com receives compensation. compareandsave.com does not include the entire universe of available financial or credit offers.

This table comprises cards offering 0% introductory periods on balance transfers, ordered by the representative balance transfer duration.Table position does not imply product strength or superiority. Please ensure you have thoroughly investigated all available options before applying for products.



What is the best balance transfer card?

The UK credit card market is a highly evolved and very competitive. As such, there are a number of issuers offering balance transfer products and they are all different. What is right for one customer is almost certainly not right for another and customers should not simply assume that the card with the longest promotional period is the ‘best balance transfer card’.

To genuinely get the ‘right’ card, customers should think about their own personal circumstances and select a product based on a balance between a number of different elements.

  • Who is your current credit card issuer?  Balances cannot be transferred to an issuer you are already with
  • The length of the balance transfer period on offer
  • The fee the issuer will charge (as a percentage of the total balance) to switch a customer’s balance
  • The likelihood you have of getting the product you have applied for. Remember most issuers will have alternative products if you do not meet the criteria for their best products, but they may be considerably worse than the lead product offering

Basing a decision on all these elements, rather than simply the longest transfer period should mean that you get a product better suited to your needs. Remember, it’s sometimes also worth browsing through other credit card categories too. For instance, customers who need to transfer a balance, but who are also likely to buy products on their card might find that a transfer and purchase card is better suited to their needs. Equally customers who do not have a balance to clear, but who like the convenience and added protection that a credit card offers might find that a rewards-style card is better suited to their needs.

What different types of balance transfer cards are available?

Credit card issuers compete over practically every element which can be a point of difference between their products; from the design of plastic, the features they offer (contactless), the length of the transfer period, the fees they charge for transferring balances, any 0% purchase offer included (to encourage people to spend on their transfer cards) and the ‘go-to’ rate once the introductory offer has expired, so there are numerous different balance transfer types. However, in a practical sense there are 3 main types of products where issuers try to position their products:

Long Balance Transfers

These cards are often designed purely to top best buy tables. They offer customers a long 0% period and charge fees to do this. Whilst no two are exactly the same, they are broadly similar across the board.

Low Transfer Fees

Some issuers have developed cards specifically designed to appeal to people who have either a small balance to clear, which they will do quickly, or people who are happy to regularly switch their balance to another issuer. These cards are similar to the products that top best buy tables, but they have a lower balance transfer fee (an important factor given that the transfer fee tends to be most of the cost involved with transferring). For the reduced fee, issuers tend to ask customers to forfeit some of the period – ie. You get a cheaper transfer, but for a shorter period.

Low Rate Transfers

Low rate transfers (sometimes misleadingly called "rate-for-life cards") offer customers many of the advantages of a normal balance transfer, but instead of a 0% introductory period they tend to charge customers a low ongoing rate of interest. These cards can be great for people who do not necessarily have a perfect credit score (and therefore struggle to access the best deals available), but be warned – not all low rate cards offer ongoing rates, they can be capped like other transfer cards, so the interest your pay can increase dramatically.



 Compare Credit Cards by Issuer

American Express Credit Cards American Express
Aqua Credit Cards Aqua Credit Cards
Barclaycard Credit Cards Barclaycard
Bank of Scotland Credit Cards Bank of Scotland
Capital One Credit Cards Capital One
Halifax Credit Cards Halifax
Lloyds Bank Credit Cards Lloyds Bank
MBNA Credit Cards MBNA
Nationwide Credit Cards Nationwide
NatWest Credit Cards Natwest
Royal Bank of Scotland Credit Cards Royal Bank of Scotland
Sainsbury's Bank Credit Cards Sainsbury's Bank
Santander Credit Cards Santander
Tesco Bank Credit Cards Tesco Bank
TSB Credit Cards TSB Credit Cards
Vanquis Credit Cards Vanquis
Virgin Money Credit Cards Virgin Money


 
Product Offers
Please ensure that you fully read the terms & conditions of any product or policy before you decide to proceed and are fully aware of the total costs and the benefits and any exclusions or limitations applicable to the product or plan.

Please note that the product links will take you direct to the Issuer or Insurer's site direct and we cannot be held responsible for the information which they provide within their own sites. On some comparison tables we use a star rating which rates products by visitor popularity.
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©2017 compareandsave.com is a trading name of Freedom Marketing Ltd.
Freedom Marketing Ltd is a credit broker, not a lender and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, firm reference number 493117. This can be checked at http://www.fca.org.uk/register. Registered in England & Wales under registration number 05349340. The company's registered office is Freedom Marketing Limited, Colchester Centre, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex, United Kingdom, CO2 8JX.

The offers that appear on this site are from companies from which compareandsave.com receives compensation.

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) is an agency for arbitrating unresolved complaints between regulated firms and their clients. Full details of the FOS can be found on its website at www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk.