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Making the most of Balance Transfer Information

home Balance Transfer Tips for Credit Cards


Using balance transfer to your advantage.

In today’s market, we are overwhelmed by the number of credit cards available, every company from banks, football teams, charities, high street stores even down to the petrol supplier seems to offer them, all claiming their card is the one for you.

Although the free availability of credit cards is often seen as a bad thing and encouraging yet more debt problems than people have already, one side effect has emerged that can actually help, or at least ease, your finance problems – competition.

Credit card companies have some serious competition and ways to attract you to their particular card have had to be devised such as low interest rates, cash back, free insurance the list seems endless. But perhaps the offer that can be used best to actually help you with your problems is the balance transfer.

Companies appear to be extremely generous in allowing you to transfer your debt to them and waiving interest but the reality is, they just want the interest for themselves and a way for them to achieve this is to entice you over by offering a zero or low interest rate. The minimum payment that has to be made barely scrapes the surface and when the interest free period runs out, you have lots of debt left and they get lots of your cash in the form of interest payments.

How to use this to your advantage:

1/ Balance transfer can vary from 0% interest upwards with the period that this will continue for from a few months to nearly a year. Spend time looking at all the current providers offering this (www.1st-uk-credit-cards.co.uk/summary_by_Transfer_Rate )

2/ Determine how much you will need to pay off each month so that you clear the debt on the last payment in the 0% grace period. If this is easier said that done, try to pay off as much as you feel you can handle and look to transferring the remaining balance onto a different card which is also offering special deals when the current one finishes.

3/ Make sure you ALWAYS pay the minimum amount, failure to do this can blow the whole deal and you’ll find the interest back in your life and potentially a record stored in a dungeon somewhere preventing you getting another card. Set up a standing order immediately you get the card to pay the minimum amount so you don’t have to worry about meeting this and top up every month via online banking or at any bank with the paying in slip up to the required amount.

4/ If you do have to use the card for new purchases, think about using a card offering 0% interest on new purchase too (a summary of up-to-date offers for purchase can be found here: www.1st-uk-credit-cards.co.uk/summary_by_Transfer_Rate ) but be careful to pick a card that is offering a months interest free period on new purchases. There are many cards that appear quite cheap, but reading the small print shows they will charge you interest from the day you make your purchase. In the long run, they will make up the difference by doing this.

5/ Spend a few hours examining all the cards on offer and write down which things you need and which you don’t, calculate how much you can save by using the free offers such as insurance, cashback and such, and how much you can pay each month to clear your debt.

6/ If you have to use another card at the end of the offer, apply for it a month before you need it and transfer your balance a few weeks before the first one expires. These offers usually only allow a few weeks window to make a transfer, make sure the 0% offer is actually what it seems and make the transfer quickly after getting the card, that way you can avoid any problems and delays and ensure you don’t get into any interest period by mistake.

Which credit card to use will be different for every one and will depend on your current debt, how you live your life and your income. Remember, these offers will NOT solve your debt problems, nor will they postpone repayment for ever, they are however, a good, interest free way of gaining more time and can give you breathing space while you concentrate on tackling the problem.

Finally, like the best diet plans, have a well thought out plan and stick to it!


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For help or information on finance in the UK please visit the Governments Financial Services Authority at: http://www.fsa.gov.uk/
* Balance Transfers : Made within 6 weeks after account opening. After the specified period Balance Transfers charged at standard purchase rate. Payments applied towards Balance Transfers first.
**You are advised to check the card issuer's Terms & Conditions for up to date information relating to interest rates, fees and charges.