Here’s how to stop paying credit card interest for up to 29 months

Financially free and calm woman sitting in kitchen

Do you pay credit card interest? Did you know that there’s a straightforward way to stop paying it? Here’s everything you need to know to get your balance down to zero.


How can I stop paying credit card interest?

If you currently pay credit card interest, you can cut the amount you owe by signing up for a new 0% balance transfer credit card. That’s because when you sign up for a balance transfer card, it immediately pays off the debt on your old card for you, and you owe your new card instead of the old one.

All leading balance transfer credit cards come with a 0% deal, meaning you won’t have to pay any interest on your debt for a defined period. In other words, if you shift your debt to a balance transfer card, you’ll be given a respite from having to pay credit card interest. 

Do you have a large amount of credit card debt? If so, you can use a balance transfer card to spread the cost over a lengthy 0% period. This will allow you to cut down what you owe without having to make a big lump sum payment.

What’s more, as you won’t be paying credit card interest, all of your repayments will go towards hacking away at your balance. This means that you can become debt-free sooner.

What are the best balance transfer deals?

Right now, the longest 0% balance transfer deals offer a whopping 29-month interest-free period. So if you’re accepted for one of these market-leading cards, you can spread the cost of your debt over two years, giving you a break from paying credit card interest. Let’s explore the two 29-month 0% options.

Sainsbury’s Bank – up to 29 months 0%

The Sainsbury’s Bank balance transfer card offers up to 29 interest-free months. However, it’s an ‘up to’ card, so you may be offered just 21 months at 0%, or a higher 3% interest rate depending on your credit score. To get the deal, you must transfer your credit card debt at the same time you apply.

Ensure you clear the card within the 29-month period. Otherwise, you’ll pay 21.9% representative APR interest.

Virgin Money – 29 months 0%

Similar to the Sainsbury’s card above, the Virgin Money balance transfer card also offers 29 months at 0%. However, this card isn’t an ‘up to’, so you’ll either get the full 0% period, or you won’t be accepted.

There’s a 2.7% transfer fee and representative APR interest is 21.9% after the 0% period.


What other cards allow me to stop paying credit card interest?

If you don’t need 29 months to clear your debt, then you might be able to find a card with a lower fee. One card even allows you to shift your debt for free.

Sainsbury’s Bank offers a card with a 0% period of up to 27 months for a 1% fee. However, poorer credit scores could be offered just 19 interest-free months. After the 19-month period, the representative APR is 21.9%.

Meanwhile, Virgin Money offers a card with a 27-month 0% period. You’ll either be given the full 27 months, or you won’t be accepted. A 1.2% fee applies to any debt you transfer, while the representative APR is 21.9%. 

Can you pay off your debt within 18 months? If so, Santander offers a balance transfer fee with no fee to transfer your debt. So if you clear your balance within the 18-month period, you won’t have to pay any credit card interest or any fees. The representative APR on this card is 20.9%.

For more options, see the list of our top-rated balance transfer cards.

What else do I need to know to stop paying credit card interest?

While a balance transfer card can be your saviour from having to pay credit card interest, there are rules to follow when using these cards. 

First of all, while these cards can offer lengthy 0% periods, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay anything. To keep the 0% deal, you have to make at least the minimum monthly payment. The easiest way to do this is by setting up a monthly direct debit.

Secondly, don’t use a balance transfer card to make a new purchase. If you do, it usually won’t be at a 0% rate. Get yourself a 0% purchase card instead.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that every credit card application will go on your credit record. You can protect your credit score by using a credit card eligibility checker to see your chances of acceptance before you apply.

There are other rules to follow too, such as clearing your full balance before the end of the 0% period and ensuring you don’t shift debt from cards within the same banking group. For the full list of rules, see our guide outlining the 10 dos and don’ts of a 0% balance transfer card.

Ready to stop paying credit card interest? See a list of our top-rated 0% balance transfer credit cards.

The post Here’s how to stop paying credit card interest for up to 29 months appeared first on The Motley Fool UK.

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