Balance Transfers Explained

How are balance transfers explained? How are balance transfer credit cards explained?

Here at Balance Transfer Expert we aim to explain all about balance transfers and balance transfer credit cards in as plain and simple language as we can.

Balance transfers have become increasingly popular over recent years with UK credit card customers looking to save money.

Balance Transfers Explained

The process:-

Balance Transfers ExplainedA balance transfer occurs when a credit card customer moves the outstanding debt on their existing credit card, to a new credit card.

This process of moving the existing debt from one credit card to another is what is known as a balance transfer.

When a balance transfer is made,  the new credit card company pays the debt to the old credit card company and the customer then has a debt with the new card company, often at a lower or 0% interest rate.

Balance Transfer Credit Cards Explained

Why do a balance transfer?

Most balance transfers occur because a credit card customer wants to save money by paying no interest on their outstanding debt.

By making a balance transfer from an existing credit card where the customer is paying a high rate of interest to a new credit card with a 0% rate of interest, the customer can save large amounts of money.

A new credit card that offers an introductory 0% interest on balance transfers for as long as 34 months, means that the customer will pay no interest on the amount transferred during this promotional 34 month period.

Most balance transfers are made when a credit card customer applies for a new credit card offering a 0% balance transfer deal for an introductory period.

Balance Transfer Fee Explained

Are there any fees when making a balance transfer?

In most cases a balance transfer fee or handling fee will be charged by the credit card company you transfer the balance to.Balance Transfer Credit Cards Explained

You only pay this fee to the credit card company you transfer to. No fee is charged by the credit card company you transfer from.

The balance transfer fee is charged as a percentage of the amount you balance transfer so as an example,  a £2,000 balance transfer with a 3% fee would result in a £60 fee.

Balance Transfers Explained

An example:-

Lets assume that Mrs Smith currently owes £3,000 on her existing Barclaycard credit card that has a 18.9% interest rate and she pays it off at £110 a month.

  • Mrs Smith then applies for a new Halifax credit card with 0% for 28 months on balance transfers with a 1.5% fee
  • Mrs Smith asks Halifax to make a balance transfer to Barclaycard for the full amount as part of her application
  • Halifax will then pay Barclaycard the £3,000

Now Mrs Smith has a £0 balance left on her Barclaycard and she now owes £3,000 to Halifax.

  • Mrs Smith will pay no interest on her £3,000 debt for the 28 months of the 0% balance transfer period
  • Mrs Smith will have to pay a £45 balance transfer fee to Halifax
  • Assuming the same £110 payment per month, Mrs Smith will save £760.41 over the 28 months by paying no interest over the 28 months

With a balance transfer a customer can save money by paying no interest during the 0% offer period and also pay off the debt faster, as all payments pay off the debt rather than going towards paying interest.

All of the following popular featured 0% credit cards currently offer 0% balance transfers:-

Card Offers

Balance Transfers:
0% interest for 40 Months
Balance Transfer Fee:
2.69%
Purchases:
0% interest for 3 Months
Representative APR:
18.9% APR (variable)
More Information

Card Details

Tesco Clubcard Credit Card for Balance Transfers*
  • 0% interest for up to 40 Months on balance transfers from account opening
  • 2.69% balance transfer fee
  • 0% interest for 3 Months on purchases from account opening
  • Earn Clubcard points wherever you use your card, plus your usual points in Tesco. Terms apply
  • The 0% offer is applied to any balances or money transferred within the first 90 days of opening your account
  • Apply online and get a decision within 60 seconds
  • Annual Fee: None
More Information

Application Criteria

Tesco Clubcard Credit Card for Balance Transfers*
  • You have an annual income of at least £5,000
  • You are at least 18 years of age
  • You have a good credit history
  • You live in the UK, or have a British Forces Post Office address
  • You don't currently hold more than 1 Tesco Bank Credit Card
  • You have not applied for a Tesco Bank Credit Card in the last month or have an application currently in progress
More Information
Representative Example: 18.9% APR representative (variable). Based on an assumed credit limit of £1,200 and a purchase rate of 18.9% p.a. (variable)
The APR, length of promotional offer, and credit limit may vary as they are dependent on your personal circumstances

Card Offers

Balance Transfers:
0% for up to 40 Months
Balance Transfer Fee:
1.69%
Purchases:
0% for 6 Months
Representative APR:
18.9% APR (variable)
More Information

Card Details

Halifax Balance Transfer*
  • 0% for up to 40 months from account opening on balance transfers made in first 90 days
  • 1.69% balance transfer fee in first 90 days (after 1.31% refund), 3% fee applies after 90 days
  • 0% for 6 months from account opening on purchases
  • Cover against online fraud when purchasing on the Internet
  • Online account management
  • Annual Fee: None
More Information

Application Criteria

Halifax Balance Transfer*
  • You are a UK resident
  • You have a regular income
  • You do not have any Count Court Judgements against you
  • You are aged 18 or over
More Information
1.69% balance transfer fee (after refund) in first 90 days, 3% fee applies after 90 days
Representative Example: 18.9% APR representative (variable). Based on an assumed credit limit of £1,200 and a purchase rate of 18.95% p.a. (variable)
The APR and length of the promotional offer are dependent on your personal circumstances

Card Offers

Balance Transfers:
0% for up to 39 Months
Balance Transfer Fee:
1.6%
Purchases:
0% for 6 Months
Representative APR:
18.9% APR (variable)
More Information

Card Details

Lloyds Platinum 39 Month*
  • 0% for up to 39 months from account opening on balance transfers
  • 1.6% balance transfer fee (after 1.4% refund) in first 90 days, 3% fee applies after 90 days
  • 0% for 6 months from account opening on purchases
  • Lloyds Clicksafe and Internet fraud protection
  • Online card servicing
  • Annual Fee: None
More Information

Application Criteria

Lloyds Platinum 39 Month*
  • You are a UK resident
  • You have a regular income
  • You are free from any county court judgements
  • You are aged 18 or over
More Information
1.6% balance transfer fee (after refund) in first 90 days, 3% fee applies after 90 days
Representative Example: 18.9% APR representative (variable). Based on an assumed credit limit of £1,200 and a purchase rate of 18.94% p.a. (variable)
The APR and length of the promotional offer are dependent on your personal circumstances

Card Offers

Balance Transfers:
0% for 41 Months
Balance Transfer Fee:
3%
Purchases:
0% for 3 Months
Representative APR:
20.9% APR (variable)
More Information

Card Details

Virgin Money 41 Month Balance Transfer*
  • 0% on balance transfers for 41 months from date account opened (20.9% APR thereafter)
  • 3% balance transfer fee in first 60 days, 5% fee applies after 60 days
  • 0% on purchases for 3 months from the date your account is opened
  • 0% on money transfers for 41 months from date account opened (20.9% APR thereafter)
  • 3.80% money transfer fee in first 60 days , 5% fee applies after 60 days
  • Contactless payments to quickly and securely pay for purchases up to £30
  • Annual Fee: None
More Information

Application Criteria

Virgin Money 41 Month Balance Transfer*
  • You are a UK resident
  • You have a bank or building society account
  • You have a good credit history
  • You are aged 18 or over
More Information
Representative Example: 20.9% APR representative (variable). Based on an assumed credit limit of £1,200 and a purchase rate of 20.9% p.a. (variable)
Credit limits will vary based on your individual circumstances

Card Offers

Balance Transfers:
0% for up to 32 Months
Balance Transfer Fee:
0.8%
Purchases:
0% for 12 Months
Representative APR:
18.9% APR (variable)
More Information

Card Details

Bank of Scotland 32 Month Balance Transfer*
  • 0% for up to 32 months from account opening on balance transfers made within first 90 days
  • 0.8% fee applies on balance transfers made in first 90 days, 3% fee applies after first 90 days
  • 0% for 12 months from account opening on purchases
  • Cover against online fraud when purchasing on the Internet
  • Online account management
  • Annual Fee: None
More Information

Application Criteria

Bank of Scotland 32 Month Balance Transfer*
  • You are a UK resident
  • You have a regular income
  • You have not bankrupt or subject to an IVA and have no County Court Judgments
  • You are aged 18 or over
More Information
0.8% fee applies on balance transfers made in first 90 days, 3% fee applies after first 90 days
Representative Example: 18.9% APR representative (variable). Based on an assumed credit limit of £1,200 and a purchase rate of 18.95% p.a. (variable)
The APR and length of the promotional offer are dependent on your personal circumstances

Card Offers

Balance Transfers:
0% interest for 24 Months
Balance Transfer Fee:
0%
Purchases:
No offer
Representative APR:
18.9% APR (variable)
More Information

Card Details

Tesco Clubcard Credit Card with No Balance Transfer Fee*
  • 0% interest for up to 24 Months on balance transfers made within the first 90 days of opening your account
  • No balance transfer fee
  • No introductory offer on purchases
  • Earn Clubcard points wherever you use your card, plus your usual points in Tesco. Terms apply
  • Apply online and get a decision within 60 seconds
  • Online Account Management
  • Annual Fee: None
More Information

Application Criteria

Tesco Clubcard Credit Card with No Balance Transfer Fee*
  • You have an annual income of at least £5,000
  • You are at least 18 years of age
  • You have a good credit history
  • You live in the UK, or have a British Forces Post Office address
  • You don't currently hold more than 1 Tesco Bank Credit Card
  • You have not applied for a Tesco Bank Credit Card in the last month or have an application currently in progress
More Information
Representative Example: 18.9% APR representative (variable). Based on an assumed credit limit of £1,200 and a purchase rate of 18.9% p.a. (variable)

Card Offers

Balance Transfers:
0% for up to 32 Months*
Balance Transfer Fee:
0.8%
Purchases:
0% for 12 Months
Representative APR:
18.9% APR (variable)
More Information

Card Details

Lloyds Platinum 32 Month*
  • 0% for up to 32 months from account opening on balance transfers made within first 90 days
  • 0.8% fee applies on balance transfers made in first 90 days, 3% fee applies after first 90 days
  • 0% on purchases for 12 months from account opening
  • Lloyds Clicksafe and Internet fraud protection
  • Online card servicing
  • Annual Fee: None
More Information

Application Criteria

Lloyds Platinum 32 Month*
  • You are a UK resident
  • You have a regular income
  • You have a good credit history free from any county court judgements
  • You are aged 18 or over
More Information
0.8% fee applies on balance transfers made in first 90 days, 3% fee applies after first 90 days
Representative Example: 18.9% APR representative (variable). Based on an assumed credit limit of £1,200 and a purchase rate of 18.94% p.a. (variable)
The APR and length of the promotional offer are dependent on your personal circumstances

Card Offers

Balance Transfers:
0% for up to 29 Months
Balance Transfer Fee:
0%
Purchases:
0% for 3 Months
Representative APR:
18.9% APR (variable)
More Information

Card Details

Halifax 29 Month Balance Transfer*
  • 0% for up to 29 months from account opening on balance transfers within first 90 days
  • 0% balance transfer fee in first 90 days, 3% fee applies after 90 days
  • 0% for 3 months from account opening on purchases
  • Cover against online fraud when purchasing on the Internet
  • Online account management
  • Annual Fee: None
More Information

Application Criteria

Halifax 29 Month Balance Transfer*
  • You are a UK resident
  • You have a regular income
  • You do not have any Count Court Judgements against you
  • You are aged 18 or over
More Information
0% balance transfer fee in first 90 days, 3% fee after 90 days
Representative Example: 18.9% APR representative (variable). Based on an assumed credit limit of £1,200 and a purchase rate of 18.95% p.a. (variable)
The APR and length of the promotional offer are dependent on your personal circumstances

In summary, balance transfer are best explained as the process of moving an outstanding debt from a high interest credit card to a new lower interest credit card to save money.

For further reading, Wikipedia, the online encyclopaedia’s definition of what is a balance transfer can be found here.


Related Content From Balance Transfer Expert:-

Today Balance Transfer Expert has:-

112 UK 0% balance transfer credit cards offering:-

  • 0% balance transfers for up to 40 months with a 1.69% fee
  • 0% balance transfers for up to 33 months with a 0.59% fee
  • 0% balance transfers for up to 29 months with no fee