You are here: Home - Credit Cards & Loans - News -

The best 0% credit cards for managing existing debt

Written by: Emma Lunn
The best buy 0% transfer deal without a fee is the Sainsbury's Bank credit card which offers 18 months interest-free on balance transfers.

Balance transfers cards with a 0% interest introductory period are handy for people who already have credit card debt and want to cut the amount of interest they pay.

According to Defaqto, there aren’t as many deals available as there were this time last year, with borrowers now having 69 0% balance transfer cards to choose from, down from 93 a year ago.

Most balance transfer cards charge a balance transfer fee if you switch over existing debts – but there are a handful of cards without a fee. These include:

  • Sainsbury’s Bank No Balance Transfer Fee Credit Card – 18 months at 0%
  • Santander Everyday Credit Card – 18 months at 0%
  • Barclaycard Platinum Balance Transfer – 15 months at 0%
  • Danske Bank Standard Credit Card – 5 months at 0%
  • TSB Advance Credit Card – 3 months at 0%

Defaqto suggests that borrowers who owe a significant amount of money might be better off with a  deal that offers a longer repayment period. However most of these cards charge a fee.

The best buy balance transfer cards charging a balance transfer fee include:

  • TSB Platinum Balance Transfer Card – 29 months at 0%, with a 2.95% balance transfer fee
  • M&S Bank Transfer Plus Credit Card – 28 months at 0%, with a 2.85% balance transfer fee
  • Sainsbury’s Bank Balance Transfer Credit Card – 27 months at 0%, with a 3% balance transfer fee
  • MBNA Balance Transfer Credit Card – 26 months at 0%, with a 2.99% balance transfer fee

Although a 0% balance transfer deal offers free credit for a certain number of months, interest will be charged on any outstanding balance at the end of the deal period.

This can be an expensive shock for anyone who has not budgeted for it, and consumers considering one of these deals should  plan ahead to ensure they have cleared any debt before the end of the interest-free period.

Katie Brain, consumer banking expert at Defaqto, said: “For those who already have credit card debt, interest-free balance transfer deals can be a useful tool to pay off the debt without building up more interest.

“The best deals on the market tend to only be available to those with an excellent credit rating, so where there is the option to check your eligibility before applying, this is worth doing. Also, any 0% deal will be limited for a fixed time and after this, the debt will start accruing interest; so make sure you make a note of the date and pay it off before it’s due. Check whether there is a fee with the card as that could eat into any introductory offer.”

Purchase credit cards

Borrowers looking for a 0% interest purchase card for their Christmas shopping have 71 cards to choose from.

Borrowers can get 26 months interest-free on purchases with Santander’s All in One credit card, but the card comes with a £3 monthly fee.

Tesco Bank Clubcard Plus has a 0% purchase offer for 24 months with no monthly fee, while M&S Bank has a 0% deal for 20 months.

Brain said: “This is a festive season like no other and after the year we have had, many are planning to make the most of the holidays and treat themselves and their loved ones. It is easy to get carried away with the festive spirit and end up spending more than you planned to, or worse – more than you can afford. It is important to remember that a credit card is still money that will have to be paid back and to make sure that you don’t take on any debt that you can’t afford.”

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Your right to a refund if travel is affected by train strikes

There have been a wave of train strikes in the past six months, and for anyone travelling today Friday 3 Febru...

Could you save money with a social broadband tariff?

Two-thirds of low-income households are unaware they could be saving on broadband, according to Uswitch.

How to help others and donate to food banks this winter

This winter is expected to be the most challenging yet for the food bank network as soaring costs push more pe...

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

DIY investors: 10 common mistakes to avoid

For those without the help and experience of an adviser, here are 10 common DIY investor mistakes to avoid.

Mortgage down-valuations: Tips to avoid pulling out of a house sale

Down-valuations are on the rise. So, what does it mean for home buyers, and what can you do?

Five tips for surviving a bear market mauling

The S&P 500 has slipped into bear market territory and for UK investors, the FTSE 250 is also on the edge. Her...

Money Tips of the Week