Paying interest on your existing credit card? A balance transfer card allows you to transfer your balance from an existing card to your new card, potentially saving you hundreds of pounds in interest charges during the 0% introductory period. Consider it a new card helping you pay off debts from old cards, but at a lower rate, meaning you could be debt free quicker.
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Your guide to credit cards
Switching credit card providers can be daunting but as you can’t swap your balance to a card from the same provider or bank it makes sense to compare a range of providers to find out which one is best suited to you. We compare a number of leading providers such as Nationwide. Barclaycard and Halifax .
Typically, cards with longer introductory periods have higher balance transfer fees. Though some balance transfer cards offer low balance transfer fees they tend to have short introductory periods. If you think you will be able to pay off your balance within 15 months, then a card with a lower transfer fee which offers a 15 month introductory period may be worth considering rather than a card that offers a longer introductory period.
Some balance transfer cards offer a lower rate of interest for the length of the balance, rather than for a fixed period. This type of card may be more suitable if you have a larger debt that will take longer to pay
Balance transfer cards typically offer interest-free introductory periods. so you could benefit from having a low or 0% interest rate for anywhere between three months and two and a half years. allowing you to pay the balance on the card without paying interest (balance transfer fee may apply).
For instance, if you have debt on several credit cards at a typical rate of 18%, by switching the outstanding balance on those cards to a 0% balance transfer card, you will pay 0% interest until the deal expires. If you clear the debt by the end of the 0% deal, you will pay no interest on the balance. If you don’t pay off the balance, any remaining balance would revert to the interest rate for that card.
For more information, take a look at one of our useful articles on how to pick the right balance transfer card .
Everyone has a different financial situation, so it’s impossible to say what the best card is, but there are several factors that could be taken into account before taking out a new card:
Credit cards terms
Often banks and credit card companies will charge a balance transfer fee or balance transfer handling fee if you transfer a balance onto a new card. It is usually calculated as a percentage of your balance.
Representative APR refers to the rate that at least 51% of credit card applicants are able to get, as APR can always vary from customer to customer. In terms of a balance transfer the 0% interest rate refers to the balance that you transfer but the APR determines how much you will pay on any further spending on a card of this type.