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Halifax launches 24 month fee-free balance transfer credit card: our verdict

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Written by: Paloma Kubiak
06/07/2016
Halifax has launched its longest ever balance transfer credit card offering 0% interest and zero fees for moving your existing debt across. But how does it stack up?

Halifax has launched a new credit card offering customers up to 24 months interest free on balance transfers with no balance transfer fee and 0% interest on purchases made during the first six months of opening the account.

This is Halifax’s longest ever balance transfer offer on a zero fee product and puts it on par with the AA’s market leading card.

It is available to both new and existing customers who don’t already have two Halifax credit cards.

Existing customers can transfer the balance from a non-Halifax credit card to the 24 month balance transfer card but are not able to transfer a balance from one Halifax card to another.

To be eligible, customers must make a minimum balance transfer of £100 within the first 90 days of opening the account. They will have to pay 3% on any balances transferred after this time.

You can apply for the card online, in branch and by phone, and you can use Halifax’s online eligibility checker to see how likely it is you’ll be accepted for the product without it affecting your credit score.

The 24 month fee-free balance transfer comes with a representative rate of 18.9% APR (variable) though some who apply for the card will receive 0% interest on balance transfers for the first 13 months and at a rate of 21.9% APR (variable) or 25.9% APR, depending on your credit score and whether you fit the lender’s criteria.

The verdict

We’ve recently seen a number of market-leading 39 and 40 month balance transfer credit cards launch, which are great if you know it’ll take you more than three years to clear your existing debt.

However, the long balance transfer periods are often mired by balance transfer fees in the region of 2.5% to 3%.

For example, if you have existing debt of £1,000, shifting this to a 39-month 3% balance transfer credit card would cost you £30 in fees, whereas shifting it to Halifax wouldn’t incur any fees – though you need to weigh up whether you really can repay this debt within the two year time-frame.

Andrew Hagger of MoneyComms said the new Halifax 24 month balance transfer deal at 0% with no fee is an excellent opportunity to switch expensive card borrowing and to clear it in full it without paying a single penny extra in interest or fees.

“The best buy tables tend to focus on the length of the 0% deal, however as a rule of thumb the longer the interest free offer the higher the one-off balance transfer fee.

“If you know it will take you 40 months to be able to afford to repay your card balance then Halifax’s 40 month 2.49% balance transfer fee credit card or MBNA 40 month 2.50% fee are the best deals but will cost you £2.49/£2.50 per £100 transferred whereas shorter terms are more cost effective.”

Matt Sanders, head of money at Gocompare.com, said Halifax’s latest offering is indicative of how competitive the credit card market currently is, which is good news is for consumers.

“Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen providers compete to offer increasingly longer 0% periods on purchase and balance transfer cards, with some cards on the market offering a staggering 0% period of 40 months on balance transfers.

“Halifax’s latest offering now means it shares the top spot of both balance transfer cards, and fee-free balance transfer cards and suggests a shift in the market.”

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