Most credit cards will let you transfer a balance, although this will be subject to the following conditions:
- Your credit limit.
- The size of the balance you want to transfer.
- Who the balance is with (if your balance is on a card that is part of the same group, you may not be allowed to transfer it).
If you want to transfer a balance, you will normally have to pay a fee to the credit card provider you are transferring the balance to. This is usually in the region of 2% to 3% of the amount you transfer, although some fees can be higher while other providers charge absolutely no fee at all.
At the end of the introductory period, your transferred balance will go onto your lender's standard balance transfer rate, which will most likely be around 19% per year.
- Make sure you pay at least the minimum payment each month on your credit card, otherwise the provider may decide to withdraw the introductory 0% offer and put you on a more expensive interest rate.
- Try to pay more than the minimum balance – It’s unlikely you’ll clear your debt before the interest-free period ends if you only pay the bare minimum.
- Make a monthly repayment plan and try to pay more than the minimum payment. Some providers will let you set up a Direct Debit for a set amount or fixed percentage every month or you can set up a standing order, so take advantage of this and get your debt repaid!
- Make purchases or withdraw cash using the credit card, as this will mean that you're paying interest and not using the card in the cheapest and most efficient way.
- If you like to spend on your credit card, keep a separate card for purchases. However, even if this has a generous interest-free period of its own, try not to spend too much as you could end up paying off one debt only to find you have run up another!
- If you have a big purchase in mind, and want to do a balance transfer at the same time, you could go for a combined 0% card for balance transfers and purchases. These tend not to have the longest 0% period for either transfers or spending, but on the plus side you have just the one card to manage.