Lots of credit card companies are offering 0% balance transfers for 6, 12 or even 41 months.
Searching for “balance transfer credit card” yields millions of results.
So how do you go about choosing the right one?
Finding the best credit card deal
You will want to consider the following points if you want the best deal available.
- Interest free period
- Transfer fee
- Credit limit
- Minimum payment
- Percentage of credit limit available for balance transfer
- Minimum income required
- Credit rating
- Different provider to your current provider
Interest free period
The amount of time that, if you pay the minimum payments, the balance will be interest-free for.
Upfront charge for setting up the balance transfer. Usually between 1% and 3%, but charges of less than 1% are now starting to become more common.
Even if you get a great rate for a long period, you won’t be able to do anything with it if the limit you get is too low.
The minimum payment is usually a percentage of the total balance (between 2% and 5%), or a minimum amount which is usually £5. The higher the percent will mean higher payments, but the balance will go down quicker. The best strategy would be to set a fixed payment, ideally so your balance will be paid off before the end of the interest-free period.
Percentage of credit limit available for balance transfer
Not every credit card will allow you to use the whole credit limit for balance transfers. This could be limited to 90% – 95% of your credit limit. There could be a maximum limit per balance.
Minimum income required
Credit card providers want to know that you have the ability to pay back whatever you borrow. One of the ways they do this is by enforcing a minimum yearly salary.
There are companies that give your ability to use credit a rating out of 1000. The higher the number, the more likely you are to get a favourable credit offer from a provider.
Different provider to your current provider
You won’t be able to transfer your balance if your current balance is within the same group of companies.
Now you know what information to look for when doing your research comparing different credit cards for balance transfers.
You should now be armed with all you need to know to figure out which balance transfers are the best for you!
Warning: if you fail to make a minimum payment for any month, you risk losing the promotion rate. If you are ever in this situation then talk to your credit provider ASAP.