- Balance transfers let you move high-interest debt to a zero percent APR credit card account.
- Strategically transferring balances can help save money on interest charges and focus repayments on principal amounts.
- Although some balance transfer credit cards don’t impose a fee, most card options have a balance transfer fee of three to five percent.
A balance transfer credit card allows you to transfer balances from other accounts. These cards come with benefits such as zero percent introductory interest rates for about 12 to 34 months. Since standard credit cards generally carry high interest rates, a zero percent rate can help relieve debt burdens and prioritize principal repayment.
There are many balance transfer credit card options in the UK, most of which have relaxed credit requirements and no annual fees.
What Is a Balance Transfer Credit Card?
A balance transfer credit card is any credit card that allows you to move balances from other sources. Consumers use these cards to transfer high-interest balances to cards with better interest rates, benefits, and rewards programs.
Balance transfer credit cards carry some conditions. You may need to pay a balance transfer fee of three to five percent and may not be able to transfer the full balance of your debt if your new card’s limit is too low. You still have to maintain regular minimum payments for any new purchases.
Benefits of Balance Transfer Credit Cards
Balance transfer credit cards are a good solution for people who carry a high balance on credit cards. This type of credit card lets them temporarily relieve interest payments and allows for faster principal balance repayment. This strategy can also consolidate all of your balances into a single account, giving you a single bill each month instead of several smaller ones.
Other perks of balance transfer credit cards include:
- Free premium card;
- Interest-free periods;
- Purchase cashbacks;
- Rewards programs, and;
- Consumer protections.
Many balance transfer cards in the UK carry few credit requirements or restrictions. These cards offer fast or instant approval, low credit score requirements and no credit checks or impact.
NatWest Balance Transfer
The NatWest Balance Transfer card offers zero percent interest for 22 months on balance transfers and three months on purchases. There are no annual fees and no transfer fees for this card. Late payments receive a £12 penalty charge, but NatWest won’t remove zero percent interest offers.
The standard purchase interest rate and representative APR is 21.9 percent, but this can vary depending on NatWest’s credit assessment. Balance transfers are limited to 95 percent of your available credit limit, and the assumed credit limit for this card is £1,200.1
Barclaycard Platinum Balance Transfer and Purchase Credit Card
The Barclaycard Platinum Balance Transfer and Purchase credit card is available with varying zero percent interest periods up to 30 months. Transfers must be completed within 60 days of opening the account to take advantage of the zero percent offer. A 2.69 percent balance transfer fee applies in most cases. Cardholders can also get up to five free months of Apple Music, TV+, and more.
Rates and limits vary according to credit assessments, but the standard APR and purchase interest rate is 21.9 percent and based on a £1,200 limit. There’s no annual fee for this card.2
Sainsbury’s Bank Dual Offer Credit Card
The Sainsbury’s Bank Dual 24-Month credit card provides benefits including a zero percent interest period on balance transfers for either 16 or 24 months. A 2.88 percent balance transfer fee applies at the time of transfer. There’s no annual fee for this card. Cardholders also get access to rewards, including up to 5,000 bonus Nectar points and extra points for shopping at Sainsbury’s or other merchants.
Minimum payments must be maintained to keep the promotional interest rate. The purchase rate is 21.95 percent, and the APR variable is 21.9 percent with a £1,200 assumed credit limit, although these may vary depending on individual credit assessments.3
Sainsbury’s Balance Transfer Credit Card
The Sainsbury’s Balance Transfer credit card offers zero percent interest periods ranging from 22 to 33 months as well as zero percent for the first three months. A 2.48 or 3.48 percent balance transfer fee applies for the 33-month option, but fees are progressively lower for shorter zero percent interest periods. The 22-month option doesn’t have a transfer fee.
Depending on credit assessment, the purchase rate is 21.9 percent, and the APR variable rate is 21.9 percent based on a £1,200 credit limit.4
Halifax Longest 0% Balance Transfer Credit Card
Halifax has several balance transfer cards available, including the Longest zero percent Balance Transfer credit card. Cardholders can enjoy zero percent interest for 34 months with a 2.89 percent balance transfer fee, as well as zero percent on purchases made for the first nine months.
You must stay within your credit limit and maintain minimum payments to keep the promotional offers. The standard interest purchase rate is 21.94 percent, with a 21.9 percent APR variable. There’s no annual fee for this card.5
Santander Everyday No Balance Transfer Fee Credit Card
The Santander Everyday No Balance Transfer Fee credit card helps cardholders manage their debt with low costs. This card offers zero percent interest on balance transfers for 21 months and doesn’t have any transfer fees. Cardholders can enjoy zero percent interest on purchases for the first three months. This card also carries benefits, including one percent cashback on purchases abroad between June 13 and September 18, 2022.
Subject to credit assessment, the standard purchase interest rate is 21.9 percent, and the variable APR is 21.9 percent. There’s no annual fee for this card.6
Santander Everyday Long-Term Balance Transfer
The Santander Everyday Long-Term Balance Transfer credit card helps you save money and take control of your finances. Cardholders get a zero percent interest rate on balance transfers for the first 33 months with a 2.65 percent balance transfer fee, as well as zero percent interest on purchases for the first three months. Earn one percent cashback on purchases made abroad between June 13 and September 18, 2022.
Rates depend on credit assessment, but the standard variable APR and purchase interest rate is 21.9 percent. There’s no annual fee.7
Virgin Money Balance Transfer Credit Card
The Virgin Money Balance Transfer credit card comes with zero percent interest on balance transfers for up to 34 months with no annual fee. Balance transfer fees vary for different zero percent interest periods, but cardholders pay 2.7 percent on transfers for 34 months. The card also comes with a promotional zero percent purchase interest rate for the first three months.
Missed payments or going over your credit limit results in a withdrawn promotional rate. The standard purchase interest rate and variable APR is 21.9 percent.8
MBNA Balance Transfer Low Fee
Cardholders pay no interest for the first 28 months when they open an MBNA Balance Transfer Low Fee credit card with a 0.99 percent transfer fee. There’s also no interest for the first 12 months on money transfers made in the first 60 days, but money transfers are subject to a four percent fee.
This card carries a standard purchase interest rate of 21.94 percent and APR variable rate of 21.9 percent based on an assumed £1,200 credit limit.
MBNA Long Balance Transfer Credit Card
The MBNA Long Balance Transfer credit card benefits cardholders who need more time to manage their balance. This card carries zero percent interest for the first 34 months on transfers made in the initial 60 days, and each transfer is subject to a 2.99 percent fee. Cardholders also enjoy 12 months of zero percent interest on money transfers made in the first 60 days.
The standard purchase interest rate is 21.94 percent, and the APR variable is 21.9 percent, based on an assumed £1,200 credit limit, but these rates depend on individual credit assessments.9