Best balance transfer and 0% purchase cards

Choosing the right card can be a difficult task but Moneywise has sifted through the plastic to find the very best credit cards to suit a variety of spending patterns.

Our weekly round-up contains all the best buys, putting you in charge of your money and letting you know how to get the most out of your plastic. Before you take the plunge however, it is worth thinking about what you want a credit card to do and what you want to use it for.

If you are going to spend large amounts, find a credit card offering 0% on purchases - ideally one with a long interest-free period that charges a reasonable interest rate after the introductory deal. Alternatively, if you will be clearing your balance in full each month, you may do better out of a cashback or reward card.

If you’re planning to use your card abroad watch out for exchange rate fees. These are easily missed, and can cost 5% or more of your withdrawals. We’ve rounded up the best fee-free cards to take abroad here.

Finally, if you already have credit card debt, you might want to find the best credit card for balance transfer deals - preferably one charging 0% on balance transfers. But don't forget to look out for the fees too. 

Here's our line-up of the best credit cards for rewards and cashback.

Find the best credit card with Moneywise Best Buys

Best 0% purchase cards

Sainsbury’s Bank’s Nectar Purchase Credit Card offers a market leading 29-month interest free period, with an 18 month 0% interest for balance transfers (subject to a 3% fee). You’ll earn 1p worth of Nectar points for each £1 you spend in Sainsbury’s, and 1p worth for every £10 you spend elsewhere. The interest rate is 18.9% APR representative.

The MBNA All Round Credit Card charges no interest on purchases for 29 months, rising to 18.9% APR after this period. The card also offers 0% on balance transfers for up to 29 months (with a 2.95% fee) and 0% on money transfers for up to 29 months from the date your account is opened (subject to a 4% fee).

Tesco Bank’s Clubcard Purchase Card charges no interest for 28 months, providing you don’t go over your credit limit or miss a payment. It charges no interest on balance transfers for three months, with a 2.9% fee. You’ll earn Clubcard points worth 1p per £1 you spend in Tesco and 1p worth of points for every £8 you spend elsewhere. Outside the introductory deals, the interest rate is 18.9% APR.

Best balance transfer cards

If you are in debt then a balance transfer card, if used properly, can be a great way to manage that debt and reduce the amount you’ll need to pay back.

Look for a card that offers a substantial 0% period, so you can clear your debt before it reverts to its normal APR and you end up paying interest. Remember 0% interest doesn't mean free - many of these cards will charge a balance transfer fee.

The Santander All in One Credit Card comes with a 0% balance transfer for 41 months and no transfer fee, although this card does have an ongoing £3 monthly account fee. It also offers 0% on purchases for six months.

If you’re willing to pay a balance transfer fee to get more time to clear your balance, the Halifax 43 Month Balance Transfer Credit Card has a promotional balance transfer offer with 43-months interest free, with a one off 3.28% balance transfer fee. 

Money Transfers

Money transfers work similarly to balance transfers, except the cash is paid into your current account so you can use it to pay off a loan or an overdraft instead of credit card balance.

But remember to watch out for the high fees associated with these accounts - you can often pay between 3%-4% for money transfers. 

Our top pick is the Virgin Money Transfer Credit Card which offers a 32 month money transfer credit card with a 1.99% fee.

Your Comments

Is there a way of enquiring about what cc I could get without it going on my credit report?

You can try a 'soft search' like this one from MoneySuperMarket: