The longest 0% balance transfer credit cards

Get out of debt by using a top 0% balance transfer credit card. Here's a round-up of the longest interest-free deals on the market.

Getting a credit card to deal with your credit card debt sounds counterintuitive.

But that's exactly what a 0% balance transfer card is for: it gives you a set period – often more than two years – in which you don't get charged interest on your existing debt.

That means your debt isn't getting more expensive and, crucially, your repayments become more affordable.

A lot of cards offer balance transfers, but the specialised cards in this article have longer interest-free offers and lower fees.

Consider the costs

The issue with 0% balance transfer credit cards is you'll have to pay a balance transfer fee upfront (unless you go down the fee-free route). This is a percentage of the debt you’re transferring to your new balance transfer card.

This varies from one lender to the next but could cost around 3.5% of the total debt you're switching.

It's vital that you factor this in when deciding which is the right balance transfer credit card for you.

Compare credit cards (Image: CTM)

0% balance transfer cards with long interest-free periods

This table is arranged by the length of the interest-free period, then the balance transfer fee.

Credit card

0% period on balance transfers (months)

Balance transfer fee

Cost of transferring £1,000 balance

Representative APR after 0% period ends

Halifax Longest 0% Balance Transfer Card*

34

3.49%

£34.90

21.9%

Sainsbury’s Bank 34 Month Balance Transfer Card*

Up to 34

2.88% (min £3)**

£28.80

21.9%

Santander Everyday Long Term Balance Transfer Card

33

2.65% (min £5)

£26.50

21.9%

HSBC Balance Transfer Card***

33

2.84% (min £5)

£28.40

21.9%

Tesco Bank Balance Transfer Card*

Up to 33

2.59%

£25.90

21.9%

M&S Transfer Plus Offer Card*

32

1.99% (min £5)

£19.90

21.9%

*0% on all balance transfers made within the first three months of account opening.

**You could get charged a 3.88% fee depending on your personal circumstances.

***0% on all balance transfers made within the first two months of account opening.

Halifax offers the longest 0% balance transfer period at 34 months but comes with a hefty 3.49% balance transfer fee.

You could get a 1.99% fee (min £5) with M&S Bank and the chance to collect M&S points, although you’ll get a slightly shorter interest-free period with this card.

It’s vital to stress that you might not get the full 0% interest-free period advertised or you could get a higher interest rate for some of the above cards.

Of course, this depends on your credit history, but you can find out what kind of credit cards you’re likely to successfully apply for (without hurting your credit score) by using an eligibility calculator.

We're working with Compare the Market* where you can find out what credit cards you are eligible for without harming your credit score. Click here to find out more or jump straight in and discover which credit cards you're likely to qualify for.

Factor in your credit rating

Sadly, some people won’t be able to get any of the cards we’ve highlighted in this article. That’s because credit card firms are only willing to give these cards to people with good credit ratings.

For this reason, it's vital you do a soft search for any card you're interested in to see your chance of getting it without damaging your credit rating.

If you want to improve your credit rating, follow the tips in this handy guide, or if you need to borrow right now, have a look at our round-up of the best credit cards for people with a poor credit history.

If you can't manage your debts, it's time to get help: find out how here.

Other options

If you want even longer to get back into the black, you could apply for a personal loan and use the money you’ve borrowed to pay off your credit card debt.

Of course, this isn't interest-free, and you risk getting yourself further into debt. Read our guide on getting out of debt for more tips.

0% is best

If you can get one of the top 0% cards, you should go for one of them. Just make sure you pay off your minimum monthly repayment promptly every time.

Otherwise, your credit card provider will use your late payment as an excuse to withdraw your 0% deal.

*loveMONEY has teamed up with Compare the Market to provide credit card price comparison services. Compare the Market Limited acts as a credit broker, not a lender. To apply you must be a UK resident and aged 18 or over. Credit is subject to status and eligibility. Click here to find out more or jump straight in and discover which credit cards you're likely to qualify for.

 

More on credit cards:

The best 0% money transfer credit cards

The best credit cards to use on your travels

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