What with the economy as it is, deep into the double dip recession, many people are looking for ways of saving money, spending less money and generally keeping a tight hold on their purse strings. This might mean switching energy providers, getting a different bank account or selling your old junk at a carboot sale. But have you thought of transferring your existing credit card balance to a card with less APR? Balance transfers are when you use a new credit card to pay off the balance of an old card.
This means that you now owe the existing money on the new card instead, but at a lower interest rate. The whole point is that you are now paying less interest with this new credit card than on your previous one. Trouble is, once this was quite easy to do and the credit card companies did not know what we were up to, now they have sussed us and levy a ‘balance transfer fee’ on any transfers that you wish to make. It still pays to transfer however as you can get a great deal on a lower APR than by staying with your old credit card.
Especially if you transfer to a specialist 0% balance transfer card, which could save you a packet. These are cards won’t charge any interest on balances transferred to them for an introductory period, often over 18 months. What this means is that you do not pay any interest on the balance that you have transferred and all the repayments that you make actually go to paying off the debt. So how much could you actually save? Taking this as an example: Transfer a balance of £3,000 from a credit card with interest of 18.9% Representative APR – to a card offering a 0% offer for 24 months – then you would save £1,134 in interest payments over the 0% period.
The only charge would be a fee of around 3% of the balance you transferred. Here we show you the five best balance transfer credit cards on the current market:
– 15.9% APR Representative (variable)
– 17 month Balance Transfer offer (2.95% fee applies)
– Use card to earn commission free spending abroad
– Lowest APR in this section of the market
– Apply to nationwide.co.uk
– 16.8% APR Representative (variable)
– 20 month Balance Transfer offer (2.99% fee applies)
– 3 month Purchase offer
– Discounts on Virgin holidays, DVDs, gym membership and more.
– Apply to uk.virginmoney.com.
– 16.9% APR Representative (variable)
– 0% on Balance Transfers for 16 month
– 0% on Purchases for 3 months
– Discounts on fluid travel insurance
– Apply to card.fluid.co.uk.
– 21 month 17.9% APR Representative (variable)
– 21 month Balance Transfer offer (2.6% fee applies)
– Lower transfer fee than 22 month card
– Could be a cheaper offer than the 22 month card if you can pay your balance off within 21 months
– Apply to barclaycard.co.uk.
HALIFAX BALANCE TRANSFER CREDIT CARD
– 17.9% APR Representative (variable)
– 22 month offer on Balance Transfers (3.5% fee)
– The maximum balance you can transfer is £3,000
– One of the longest Balance Transfer offers in UK
– Apply to halifax.co.uk.