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The only real credit that exists is when you are not in debt.

So check out these posts on little steps you can take to grow actual credit - note that this is a narrow path, but it helps your finances. This is especially the case now, because the UK and worldwide economies are so unforgiving:

Balance Transfer Credit Cards

In this guide, we’ll cover the top balance transfer credit cards.


Our Top Pick of Balance Transfer Credit Cards (UK) ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง

Considering a balance credit card? When looking into your Trading Data, take the time to act practically without being lost in your imagination.


Service ProviderRating
1. RBSโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…Open Account
2. HSBCโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…Open Account
3. Virgin Moneyโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…Open Account
4. MBNAโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…Open Account


1. RBS Balance Transfer Credit Card โ€“ Top Balance Transfer Credit Cards Choice

If you’re stressed out about the high interest rate of your credit card debt, the first step is to be aware of this stress.  

Debt is linked to emotions and awareness is how you lower the hold that emotions have over your decisions.

That said, a balance transfer credit card can be a handy tool. Instead of paying off your card, you move the entire balance to another card with a lower interest rate.

This is an especially interesting option if you have a low credit score and can’t qualify for a low-rate loan. By transferring your debt to another card with a lower rate, you can eventually pay off the old debt and possibly improve your credit score. 

With a balance transfer credit card, your overall interest rate is likely to be higher than that of a regular credit card. This is because the transfer amount often counts as “new debt” on your credit report. It’s important to note that the interest you accrue is still money that you owe the bank. Ideally, you’ll be able to pay it off quickly and save yourself a lot of money in interest payments.

How to Apply for the RBS Balance Transfer Credit Card

If you want to apply, you’ll first need to search for the card on the application site.

The website will give you all the information you need to apply, including the card’s name, the minimum and maximum purchase amounts, the fees and interest rates, and any promotional offers. Once you know this information, you can go online to the application site and complete your application.

The RBS Rewards Program

If you’d like to transfer a balance and earn rewards while doing so, the RBS Balance Transfer Credit Card is a great choice. This card comes with a generous rewards program that provides you with 1% rewards on all your purchases. 

If you transfer a balance, you’ll also be able to transfer these rewards to another card. Depending on how much you transfer, this could save you thousands of dollars over the course of your lifetime. To maximise your rewards and earn the most value from the RBS Rewards Program, you’ll want to make sure you transfer as much as possible. 

If you don’t have a large balance to transfer, you’ll be “earning” a lot less. You’ll also want to transfer as soon as possible. The sooner you transfer a balance, the more you’ll be able to “earn”.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a balance transfer credit card that comes with a generous rewards program and low interest rates, the RBS Bank Balance Transfer Credit Card is a great choice. This card gives you an extremely low interest rate on all your purchases, along with 1% rewards on everything you buy.

PROS

  • 1% rewards on all your purchases
  • Extremely low interest rate
  • Apply online without tons of paperwork

CONS

  • Doesnโ€™t deal with the root of the problem

2. HSBC Balance review โ€“ Reputable Balance Transfer Credit Cards

If you’re looking for a high-value balance transfer credit card, HSBC may be worth a look.

The bank prides itself on being a well-established financial institution and offers great customer service to its customers.

With the HSBC Balance Transfer Card, you get a 0% APR period of 12 months with no monthly or annual fees. This means that you can take advantage of lower interest rates on balances transferred to other cards and pay them back at an affordable rate. 

However, it isn’t always easy finding the balance transfer credit card that has the best value for your money. Let’s take a closer look at what this card has to offer in order to help you make up your mind.

What is the HSBC Balance Transfer Credit Card?

The HSBC Balance Transfer Credit Card is a secured card that allows you to transfer your existing credit card debt to the card. You can then use the card to make purchases or pay off your existing balance. 

The card will charge you a 3% fee for every purchase made with it, which means you only get an extra 3% out of it. If you use it to make a balance transfer, you won’t pay any fees at all. This can be a helpful tool if you’re looking to consolidate your debt and save some money in the process. There’s also no annual fee, so you don’t have to worry about incurring any fees every year.

Note Before Applying

If you’re interested in applying for this card, you’ll need to go to the HSBC website and include your existing credit card debt, as well as your monthly income and monthly expenses during the process. You’ll also need to provide your current bank account number, and you can expect to hear back from them within 12 hours. There is no minimum amount required for applying. 

  • This card is best for transferring existing balances, not for making new purchases. You may transfer existing debt, but you can’t use it to make new purchases. 
  • The card charges a 3% fee for each purchase made with it. 
  • If you transfer a balance, you won’t pay any interest.
  • Any balance transferred within 120 days is also automatically reported to the credit bureaus.

PROS

  • If you transfer a balance, you wonโ€™t pay any interest
  • There is no minimum amount required for applying
  • Apply online

CONS

  • 3% fee for each purchase made with this card

3. Virgin Money 34 Month review โ€“ Popular Balance Transfer Credit Cards Supplier

The Virgin Money Mastercard is one of the most popular balance transfer credit cards available.

The longer you plan to keep your card, the better it supposedly becomes, according to their digital marketing messaging.

This card has a long 35-month balance transfer period which will allow you time to pay off your new balance with minimum interest charges.

What is the Virgin Money Mastercard?

The Virgin Money Mastercard is a credit card that allows you to transfer your existing high-interest balance to a new lower-interest balance. This is supposedly optimal if you have a high balance that you want to reduce and pay off over a longer period of time. 

The Virgin Money Mastercard is available to residents of the UK  and requires a minimum of around £3,500 new account balance to open. It’s important to note that you cannot transfer a balance from a credit card that has a balance transfer fee. 

The Virgin Money Mastercard is not available to everyone. It’s open to anyone who is approved for a credit card with Virgin Money and is at least 18 years of age. You can also only have one Virgin Money Mastercard account. You can close or freeze your account at any time.

How it Works

With the Virgin Money Mastercard, you can transfer your existing high-interest balance onto a new, lower-interest account. Once you’ve made this transfer, you will be under a new agreement with Virgin Money. 

You’ll be responsible for the remaining amount on the transferred balance and will have a new account number. As long as your new balance is paid off by the end of the term, you will not have to pay any interest on your new balance. This means you’ll only be charged interest on the amount that you actually owe after the transfer period ends.

The Virgin Money Mastercard is potentially handy for anyone looking to take advantage of a low APR and stretch their finances over the long term. If you want to take control of your debt and build a strong financial future, the Virgin Money Mastercard is the way to go. 

This is a relatively low-risk way to transfer your balance and pay off a certain amount. The longer you keep it, the more you’ll save. There are no fees and no interest rate. Which makes this an option for for anyone looking to pay off their debt over time.

PROS

  • Take advantage of a low APR
  • Transfer your existing high-interest balance onto a new, lower-interest account

CONS

  • Need around ยฃ3,500 as an account balance

4. MBNA Long 0% review โ€“ Leading Balance Transfer Credit Cards Option

The MBNA Long 0% Balance Transfer credit card is a new type of card that transfers a balance from another credit card to your new card.

So, if you have a credit card with a high interest rate and really want to transfer that balance, this card could be for you.

But, if you just don’t have the money to transfer, this card may not be right for you. Let’s check out more details of what this card is all about. The MBNA Long 0% Balance Transfer Credit Card lets you transfer a balance from another credit card to your new card. 

Before Applying

However, there are a few important things to know before you apply. This card has a low initial credit limit, a high transfer fee, and a long 0% period. Let’s start with the low initial credit limit. This card has a low initial credit limit of a bit over £1,000. In order to get this low initial credit limit, you must meet certain conditions. 

These conditions are listed on the card application and are required to be met in order to get this low initial credit limit. If you don’t meet these conditions, the card issuer will give you a higher credit limit. 

You must have at least one other credit account open however, and a combined monthly income of around £3,500 or more - as well as a good payment history with at least one other credit account and a credit score of 600+.

Benefits & Features

โ˜‘๏ธ Low Initial Credit Limit of Just Over a Grand - This is a lower initial credit limit than most credit cards allow. This card gives you a lower limit because you must meet certain conditions in order to get this low initial credit limit. 

โ˜‘๏ธ No Annual Fee - This card has no annual fee. This means there is no fee every year you use this card. This makes it a better choice than cards that charge an annual fee. 

โ˜‘๏ธ 0% Interest on Purchases and Balance Transfers - If you make at least one payment on time every month, then you won’t be charged interest if you use this card to make purchases. And, you can transfer a balance from another card to this card and get 0% interest for up to 12 months. 

โ˜‘๏ธ No Penalty If You Pay Late - This card has no penalty if you pay your bill on time. This means you won’t have any late fees on this card. This is another great benefit of using this card.

PROS

  • No annual fee
  • You reportedly wonโ€™t be charged interest if you use this card to make purchases

CONS

  • No Balances above around ยฃ7,500 can be transferred

Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards ๐Ÿ’ณ โ€“ Buying Guide

Read on to find out more about how balance transfer cards work, how they compare with other types of credit card and whether they’re right for you.


What is a Balance Transfer Credit Card?

When you use a balance transfer credit card, you essentially transfer a portion of your current outstanding balance to the new card. 

You will then use this card for a period of time, ideally around 18 months, and then transfer the remaining balance to a new card. This allows you to build a credit history without having to take on any new debt. 

While this may sound like a good idea, there are plenty of risks associated with balance transfer credit cards. If you don’t know what you’re getting into, you could end up in a bad situation with your credit score and high credit-card debt.

The best way to avoid this is to save instead. But you can also understand what a balance transfer credit card is and what it isn’t. If you’re looking for a balance transfer credit card, you’ve got a few options whether you’re an individual or struggling post-COVID business.


CASE STUDY: How to Make the Most of a Balance Transfer Card

Beth is a single mother of two children who lives in a small town in Michigan. She recently received her first credit card and decided to apply for a balance transfer with the hope of getting a 0% APR offer on her existing credit card. 

Because Beth didn’t have much available credit, she was able to get approved for an appropriate balance transfer with just £500 of available credit. 

Her monthly payment was £200 for the first 12 months, which was more than she could afford at that time, but she was able to make payments on time every month and didn’t miss any payments during that period. 

Unfortunately, her new card did not come with an introductory period or any other benefits other than the 0% APR for 12 months, so Beth had to start paying interest on her new debt immediately after signing up for the account. 

This meant that Beth would have been paying interest on both debts every month—a total of £1,000 per month! Even though it wasn’t as much as what she would be paying if she kept both debts separate, this still would have been a significant amount of money for Beth to be paying on two debts.

Fortunately, Beth was able to refinance her existing credit card with a much lower interest rate and a longer introductory period. She was able to get a new 0% APR offer of 12 months and also got the balance transfer fee waived as well.

After making only one payment on her new credit card and paying off her old debt, Beth had saved £3,000 in interest payments! If she had kept both balances separate, she would have paid an additional £2,000 in interest payments on that debt alone over the same period of time - giving her extra money to even start a small business with.

So she really did get a substantial amount of value out of this one simple action!


Staying Out of Trouble ๐Ÿ๏ธ

Once again, using debt to get out of debt is like using darkness as a torch - you’re still in the same state of mind and attitude as when you initially got into debt. What’s needed is the opposite approach.

To illustrate this, let’s paraphrase some of the money advice by Dave Ramsey, from his book “The Ultimate Smart Money Guide” by Dave Ramsey (Random House). We’ve taken the creative liberty of writing Dave’s below advice in first tense, as if he’s directly giving it in this blog post:

I recently received this question from a reader: “I have just started my first job out in the real world after college and am working hard on my career. I have been very careful about how I spend my money since I started working full-time. I do not want to go into debt for things such as cell phones or computers. My question is: How can I stay out of trouble?” 

This is something that we see frequently with young people who are just starting out in life and earning money for the first time. 

They are getting their first job and are excited about earning more money than they ever thought possible—but they also want to save money and not spend it on things they cannot afford. 

The problem is that most of the things that people want to buy—cell phones, computers, cars, and other big-ticket items—are very expensive. And even if you do not want to buy these things now, you may find yourself tempted by them down the road. 

If you can’t afford to buy something now, you might find yourself having to pay more later—and it could be a lot more than you can afford!

The first thing I would suggest is that before buying anything big with your money, ask yourself some questions:

  • Can I afford this? Many times people think they can save up for a particular item and then go out and buy it without having any idea of how much they will actually have in their savings account at the time they go to purchase the item. 

They may be able to save up for something like a car or a house in six months’ time but not something like a cell phone or computer for two years or three years! If you are going to wait two or three years before buying something expensive like this, then consider delaying buying it until your salary grows just a little bit more each month so that your income increases faster than the cost of these items. 

Or maybe wait another year when your salary increases again. You don’t need to wait until you are making £50,000 a year before you start saving for an expensive item; start saving now.

  • Can I afford to pay off this later? Many people think they will be able to pay off a particular item, like a car loan or a mortgage, in a certain amount of time. But it is important to consider the cost of interest in addition to the principal, and how much you really need that item. 

For example, if you are paying £500 per month on a car loan and you are only making £20,000 per year, then that £500 payment is costing you £7,000 every year! If your car’s value increases by £3,000 over the next three years (not an unrealistic estimate), then your monthly payment on that car will increase from £500 to about £1,300 per month! 

That is an increase of almost 60 percent! So if you have been paying for your car for the past six years at a rate of about £10 per month (which is what I was paying for my own vehicle), then waiting three more years before buying it would actually cost you an additional £6,400 more than if you had bought it when you started making less money. 

So if the extra cost of buying this item as opposed to waiting another year made up only one-third of what your monthly payments would be after three more years anyway—and don’t forget that interest rates in some cases can be as high as 10 percent—then consider waiting longer before buying something expensive like this because it may save you thousands of dollars over the next three years.

If you are just starting out in life and don’t have a lot of extra money to invest, then waiting a year or two is probably not that big of a deal. But if you have been saving for years and are really close to being financially prepared to buy something expensive, then consider waiting longer before making that purchase.

Buy the book here.


FAQs

What are the Pros of Balance Transfer Credit Cards?

  • Allows you to build up your credit history without incurring any new debt
  • Helps improve your credit score
  • Helps remove old debt from your report
  • Allows you to pay off existing debt faster than if you were paying it off on your own
  • Can help reduce interest rates on an existing balance by transferring it over to another card 

What are the Cons?

  • Not good for people who carry large balances
  • Over time, can increase interest rates on existing balances by increasing the amount owed
  • May cause damage to your credit score if used improperly
  • Can increase chances of defaulting on loans and having other problems with creditors in the future