Best zero-interest balance transfer cards
...Sometimes there will be a small fee to pay for the transfer. But this does not apply to all balance transfer cards. Do your research well and look for cards with no fee...
Is paying the regular monthly amount on your credit card becoming difficult? With interest added each month, do you feel that the balance is barely reducing? Many of us find ourselves in a similar situation and can feel helpless. But there is something that can be done to help. Take a look at the best zero-interest balance transfer cards available. Switching the balance to one of these credit cards can help.
But there are many things to consider before you take the plunge. Let's look at what is involved.
What is a zero-interest balance transfer card?
Some credit card companies and banks provide special deals for people in this situation. The idea is that they provide you with a zero-interest card and you transfer your balance to it. The debt can be a mix of other credit cards and even store card balances. Once transferred, you still owe the same amount but the interest is zero for a set period. Obviously, this makes your money work a lot smarter; the amount you pay off each month directly reduces the balance and doesn’t get swallowed up in interest charges. Most times the 0% time is for a set period, such as 24 months.
How do I find the best low-interest credit card for balance transfer?
The best method to use to identify the most suitable low-interest credit card transfer offers is to search online. Remember that you can’t take out a new card with the same bank. So, if your present credit card is with Lloyds Bank or Santander, you will have to opt for a different provider. There are specific websites available that will analyse your details, take you through a credit check and list the cards that for which you are most eligible. If you use a free credit score service such as www.clearscore.com, you will find a section that specifically identifies the best credit card transfer deals for you.
Zero-interest balance transfer credit cards with no fee
Sometimes there will be a small fee to pay for the transfer. But this does not apply to all balance transfer cards. Do your research well and look for cards with no fee. By shopping around you may be able to find a zero-fee card with a long interest-free period. When making a choice, it is usually wise to go for the card with a zero fee or the lowest fee available during the interest-free period.
Your credit score will also come into play when seeking the best deal. If your score is less than perfect, the deals available will not be quite so favourable i.e. the interest-free period may be shorter. Some card providers even accept applicants with CCJs or defaults. Remember that once the set period ends, the interest rate will apply and these can be very high if your credit score is low so don’t get caught out. Where the rate is high, only move the amount of debt that you can clear within the 0% period. This way, you will still save money.
Advantages and disadvantages of a zero percent balance transfer card
- 0% interest for a set period – the longer the better
- Ability to consolidate debt from several cards
- Improve your credit score by reducing your credit card utilisation amount
- Payment of a balance transfer fee
- Higher interest rate after 0% period
- New search showing on your credit file – too many can reduce your ability to obtain credit
Applying for a new zero-interest rate credit card
Before taking the plunge and applying for the new card, think carefully about what best suits you. If you have to choose between paying a balance transfer fee and going for the longest interest-free period available, which takes priority? Also, consider being able to use the new card once the promotional interest-free period ends. This will usually depend on the interest rate applicable.
Once you’ve done your research thoroughly, you can go ahead with the balance transfer. Always look at the amount of time you will need to reduce or clear your balance and go with the card that is the best match. Always read the terms and conditions and make sure that you are not missing something important. Online cost comparison sites are extremely useful and should provide you with a list showing the length of the 0% period, fees payable and interest rate applicable once the offer period has expired.
Finally, don’t rush into doing a balance transfer. It is a wise move and can make a lot of sense but only when considered carefully.