Credit cardsIf you have some credit card debt you're keen to pay off, the ongoing battle between credit card companies to offer the cheapest 0% balance transfer card is good news.

Barclaycard, the market leader for a long time, has again reduced the balance transfer fees on its Platinum 28-Month and 27-Month cards.

Balance transfer fees are a percentage of your debt the card provider charges in return for offering an interest-free period.



This makes them the runaway leaders of the best buy table when it comes to the length of the introductory interest-free period, as the table below shows.






Credit card

0% period

Balance transfer fee

Fee paid on £2,000 transfer

Representative APR after 0% period ends

Barclaycard 28-Month Platinum Visa

28 months

2.99%

£59.80

18.9%

Barclaycard 27-Month Platinum Visa

27 months

2.50%

£50

18.9%

Halifax 27-Month Balance Transfer

27 months

2.70%

£54

18.9%

NatWest Platinum MasterCard

27 months

2.99%

£59.80

18.9%

RBS Platinum MasterCard

27 months

2.99%

£59.80

18.9%

Tesco Clubcard Credit Card for Balance Transfers

27 months

3.15%

£63

16.9%


But what about if we look at the cards with the lowest balance transfer fees?

Credit card

0% period

Balance transfer fee

Fee paid on £2,000 transfer

Representative APR after 0% period ends

Lloyds TSB 15-Month Online Platinum Balance Transfer MasterCard

15 months

0.8%

£16

17.9%

NatWest Platinum Balance Transfer and Purchase Credit Card

15 months 0.9% £18 18.9%

Royal Bank of Scotland Platinum Balance Transfer and Purchase Credit Card

15 months

0.9%

£18

18.9%

Tesco Bank Clubcard Credit Card with No Balance Transfer Fee

12 months

0.9%

£18

16.9%

Halifax All In One Online MasterCard

15 months

1%

£20

17.9%

Fluid Low Fee Visa

14 months

1%

£20

16.9%

Lloyds TSB Online Platinum Purchase Online MasterCard

13 months

1%

£20

17.9%

Bank of Scotland Platinum 24-Month

24 months

1.5%

£30

17.9%

Lloyds TSB Platinum 24-Month

24 months

1.5%

£30

17.9%

Barclaycard Low Balance Transfer Fee Visa

16 months

1.5%

£30

18.9%


Glance down this second table and you'll see the Bank of Scotland Platinum and Lloyds TSB Platinum cards offering two years with no interest to pay on your debts and low balance transfer fees of 1.5%. So, right now, they arguably offer the best combination of 0% period and fee.

However, if you think you can pay off your debts in even less time, you can pay just 0.8% with the Lloyds TSB 15-Month Online Platinum Balance Transfer MasterCard. But you'll have 11 months fewer to pay them off.

It's crucial you think about how much time you'll realistically need to get your debts cleared. It makes no sense to pay a lower balance transfer fee now, only to find you're paying interest later because your 0% period has ended.

The importance of your credit rating
Sadly, some people won't be able to get any of the cards we've highlighted in this article. That's because the credit card companies are only willing to give these cards to people with good credit ratings.

If you want to improve your credit rating, follow the tips in How to build an excellent credit history.

Other options
Alternatively, you could apply for a personal loan and use the money you've borrowed to pay off your credit card debt. Right now, the top personal loans are charging just 4.9% in interest.

Compare personal loan rates

0% is best
But if you can get one of the top 0% cards, go for one of them. Just make sure you pay off your minimum monthly repayment promptly every time. Otherwise your credit card provider will use your late payment as an excuse to withdraw your 0% deal.

Compare 0% balance transfer credit cards