What to do when your balance transfer deal ends

Guide Image

What to do when your balance transfer deal ends

Balance transfer credit cards typically offer a 0% interest period for anything from six to 24 months. But what should you do when the interest-free period comes to an end?

How do balance transfer cards work?

A balance transfer card lets you move existing credit card debt to a new card charging less interest – normally 0% – for a set number of months.

If you switch your debts to a card charging 0% interest, 100% of your repayments will go towards repaying your debt, not towards paying interest. This means you can pay off your debts more quickly and save money too.

Understand what you are signing up to

It’s important you understand what you are signing up to when you take out a balance transfer credit card.

Read the “credit card summary box” and look out for the following information:

  • The length of the 0% balance transfer offer

  • Whether you need to make the balance transfer within a certain time period (normally 60 or 90 days)

  • Any balance transfer fee charged

  • The go-to interest rate when the 0% balance transfer period ends

  • The purchase APR on the card

  • How much the monthly minimum repayment will be

How to use a balance transfer card

  • Transfer your debt

    When you apply for a balance transfer card, the application form will include a space to put in the details of existing credit card debts you want to transfer.

    When you get the new card, it will pay the other one off and the debt will appear on the statement of your new card.

  • Factor in the balance transfer fee

    The balance transfer fee will be added to your debt. For example, if you transfer £500 and the balance transfer fee is 4%, you’ll owe a total of £520.

  • Make a note of when the 0% period ends

    After this date you’ll be charged interest on any debt on your card. The rate can often be relatively high.

  • Don’t spend on the card

    Although, technically, you can make purchases on a 0% balance transfer card, it’s best not to do so as you’re likely to be charged interest on your spending.

  • Don’t withdraw cash from the ATM

    Cash withdrawals will usually incur interest from the moment you take the cash out, including a fee from your credit card provider. It is also possible that there could be an ATM fee too.

Making Payments:

  • Pay at least the minimum each month

    You’ll need to make at least the minimum payment each month – if you fail to do so, you could be charged a late payment fee and there is a risk the credit card company may cancel the 0% offer. The minimum payment will be on your statement and expressed as a percentage of your debt with a minimum cash value.

  • Pay more than the minimum if possible

    Just paying the minimum will mean chipping away at your debt slowly. Ideally, you should pay more each month.

  • Aim to repay your entire debt before the 0% interest period ends

    To work out how much you need to pay each month, divide your debt by the number of months you are not being charged interest.

    For example, if you owe £500 and the balance transfer card offers nine months at 0%, you’ll need to pay £55.56 a month (£500 / 9) to repay the balance within the interest-free period.

What to do at the end of the 0% interest period

If you have repaid your entire debt…

If you’ve paid off the entire balance on your card, your goal has been achieved.

Think about whether you still need a credit card. If you do, check the conditions of your credit card to see whether it still suits you. You might be better off getting a new credit card offering 0% interest on purchases or cashback on spending.

If you don’t need a credit card any longer, contact the provider to close your account. This will stop you being tempted to spend on the card, and could also improve your credit score.

If you still owe money…

If you haven’t been able to repay the full debt, look at what the interest rate will change to after the 0% period ends. In most cases the rate will be a lot higher.

If it is, you can transfer your remaining debt to a different 0% balance transfer card and continue paying off your debt at 0% interest. You’ll have to pay a balance transfer fee to move your debt again – work out whether this still makes it worthwhile.

Balance transfer tips

  • Shop around for the right balance transfer card for your situation

  • Check your eligibility before applying for a card

  • Read the credit card summary box

  • Make a note of when the 0% interest period ends

  • Factor the balance transfer fee into your calculations

  • Make the transfer within the permitted stated time from getting the card

  • Don’t use the card for purchases or ATM withdrawals

  • Aim to pay off your entire debt during the 0% interest period

  • If you’re still in debt at the end of the 0% period, consider switching to a new 0% balance transfer card

Fluid bird

See if you'll be accepted before you apply

  • Quick and easy to fill in your details.

  • Get a response in 60 seconds.

  • No impact on your credit rating.

Check Eligibility

Fluid Card

34.9% APR

Representative (variable)

Don't forget

Use your card sensibly — if you don’t make repayments on time or stay within your credit limit you will pay extra charges, forfeit the 0% offer and getting credit in the future may be harder and more expensive.

Credit is available, subject to status, only to UK residents aged 18 or over.

NewDay Ltd provides our credit here at Fluid. TM Connect Limited promotes the Fluid card exclusively with NewDay Ltd and acts solely as a credit broker. Fluid is a registered trade mark of TM Connect Limited, which is used under licence by NewDay Ltd.

NewDay Ltd and NewDay Cards Ltd are companies registered in England and Wales with registered numbers 7297722 and 4134880 respectively. They form part of the NewDay group of companies. The registered office for these companies is 7 Handyside Street, London, N1C 4DA. NewDay Ltd and NewDay Cards Ltd are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) with numbers 690292 and 682417 respectively. NewDay Ltd is also authorised by the FCA under the Payment Services Regulations 2017 (ref no: 555318) for the provision of payment services.

TM Connect Limited is registered in England and Wales (Company Registration Number 06967012) and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in respect of consumer credit related activities (FCA FRN: 511936). Trading Address and Registered Office: Chapter House, 16 Brunswick Place, London N1 6DZ. TM Connect Limited is a credit broker and not a lender.