Understanding balance transfers
What is a balance transfer?
A balance transfer is where part or all of a debit balance (or debt) you owe to another lender is transferred from one credit card to another, usually to save money on interest rates.
A balance transfer credit card can be good way to slow down and take stock of your debt. By switching the debt to a credit card where you pay less interest on your borrowing, you can:
- Pay off existing debt at a lower rate of interest
- Organise your finances – if all your debt is in one place you’ll only have one monthly payment to think about
Example of a balance transfer
Most credit card issuers charge a handling fee to do a Balance Transfer. However, if there is promotional interest rate of, say, 0%, it may still save you money even with the fee.
At the end of any promotional period the interest rate will usually jump to the standard rate for Balance Transfers, so if you haven’t paid off the transferred balance in full by then you will start paying interest on the outstanding balance.
Your repayments may not go towards paying off the balances transferred if you have made other types of transactions on the account.
Existing customer? How to balance transfer
Existing credit card customers can request a balance transfer by phone or by Online Card Services using the ‘Transfer Balances’ tab.
You can also transfers balances from a number of credit or store cards up to an agreed credit limit. It’s very straightforward—we just need details of the account you are transferring the balance from.
Limits and fees for balance transfers
The amount you can transfer depends on how much of your agreed credit limit is available—this is individual to you. It is important to note that there is also a fee for balance transfers—usually around 3%. Please refer to the terms and conditions for each card. For example, if you choose to transfer £100 and the charge is 3%, you will be charged £3. This amount will appear on your statement and in Online Card Services.