One of the best ways to save interest on outstanding credit card balances can be to take advantage of the many balance transfer credit cards currently available.
Whilst there is almost always a transfer fee involved to be aware of when you switch cards, the money saved on cutting interest fees quickly outweighs the upfront cost.
Many balance transfer cards are now offering introductory interest-free periods of over 40 months for transferred balances, saving interest for over 3 years while you pay off the balance.
When considering transferring, you should set out your payback schedule and work out the best card for that timespan.
Choosing a balance transfer card with the longest interest-free period may not be the best option. Cards with a shorter interest-free period may also have a lower transfer fee, so if you can pay back the debt in that period that will save the most money.
Always bear in mind that after the initial interest-free period interest will be charged on any outstanding balance, so ensure that you can clear the debt within the specified time. Transferring to another interest-free card cannot always be guaranteed.
Ensure that all minimum monthly payments are always made by setting up a direct debit. If any monthly payments are missed the card supplier could cease the interest-free offer and even charge penalties.
Use an eligibility report using soft search technology to ensure that the results do not appear on your credit score. This should highlight the best cards with the longest interest-free periods you are likely to be eligible for.
Beware New Purchases
Balance transfer cards offer interest-free periods on the existing balance transferred. However, they do not normally offer interest-free terms on new purchases.
It is best to treat your new balance transfer credit card as simply a repayment vehicle for your debt, and not make new purchases with the card.