0% balance transfer credit cards

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What can you expect of a 0% balance transfer card?

The big attraction of 0% balance transfer cards is in the name: if you are accepted at the advertised 0% rate and given a high enough credit limit, you can move your existing debt with another provider into this new card and benefit from a much lower rate of interest, or a set period of 0% interest promotional offer - some now last up to 40 months.

With a 0% card you can shift that debt and potentially give yourself a longer period of time to pay it off – but try to remember to pay back at least the minimum amount required each month, otherwise you may lose the promotional rate.

Some 0% balance transfer cards also offer 0% on purchases for a period of time, however this is often not the case so it’s best to fully understand the terms and conditions of use and in particular what interest rate applies for new purchases before you start using your new credit card.

What about fees?

You’ll normally have to pay a fee to your new credit card provider – usually 2-3% of the balance you’ve transferred, sometimes higher – and after the 0% deal finishes, you'll start being charged interest at the card's standard rate, so it is usually a good idea to pay it off before the rate goes up.

How to boost your chances of getting a 0% balance transfer card:

  • Research your options! Many banks now offer 0% balance transfer cards however the terms and conditions differ and in particular those with the longest promotional periods may not be available to everyone.
  • Check carefully any conditions set by the lender to issue the card together with information that indicates you may satisfy the criteria.
  • Review your credit position ahead of applying. The better your credit report, the higher your chances of having your application accepted. Don’t forget that repeatedly applying for credit could reduce your credit score.
  • You can find out your Experian Credit Score and check your chances of being approved by viewing Eligibility Rating for relevant 0% balance transfer cards on . When choosing a card, it’s worth knowing that lenders always reserve the right to offer you a card with an interest rate that may be different to the one advertised.

Managing your credit card: 3 key things to remember:

  • Whether a long-term 0% offer or a standard rate card, try to make the minimum repayment required.
  • Try not to miss a repayment, as missed or late payments stay on your credit report for at least six years and can have a negative effect on future credit applications you make. Setting up direct debits can help make sure you pay on time.
  • Try not to make more than one application in a short period, as each application is recorded as a ‘footprint’ on your credit report.

Helping find the right deal for you

Experian CreditMatcher uses your credit information - as well as information you provide about your requirements and financial circumstances - to show you products that are matched to you.

This means you can see a list of credit products that you are more likely to be accepted for, and as it is a ‘soft search’ only you can see it on your credit report. For a credit product search that matches your credit information just visit .

Experian CreditMatcher does not give advice on the suitability of products to customer’s needs. If you would like to get help on which products suit your needs, it is best to seek help from a financial adviser.