We think that the best way to compare balance transfer cards is by the interest saved by switching your current balance or balances minus any applicable charges or fees over the length of the 0% offer. Since fees and repayment period are taken into account, the longest 0% offers won’t necessarily result in the highest overall saving. If you can pay back faster than the longest 0% offer periods you can usually choose a card with a lower fee and save even more.
We make the following assumptions when calculating any saving:
- We calculate the saving based on your planned monthly repayments, the length of the 0% period and any transfer fees. If your planned monthly repayments mean that you will have repaid the balance before the 0% offer ends then the saving figure will be over the time it takes you to repay the balance; if you won’t have repaid before the end of the 0% offer then it’s the saving over the length of the 0% period.
- Be aware that not everyone will get the Representative APR on every card – with some cards up to 49% could pay a higher APR or receive a shorter 0% offer. Likewise you might get offered a card with a shorter 0% offer than the rate listed here by some card providers – look in card features to see whether your chosen card offers more than one 0% offer.
- We assume you’re not spending on the card. If you plan to do that, choose a 0% balance transfer and purchase card or a specialist purchase card as well.
In each case we have taken the best available data on UK spending patterns from primary sources such as the BBA, ONS, UK Cards Association and much else as well as detailed research by the TotallyMoney.com credit cards team.
- We’ve used the same common value of basket of goods and flights for each card. We just look at the value of those goods if purchased with cash – this ignores any benefit you may perceive in flying with one particular airline over another for example.
- Where you can redeem points earned against goods or services we use the best available price of items rather than the recommended price listed by the reward provider – so if they value a reward at £50 and you can buy it elsewhere for £25, we only value it at £25.
- We value airline/travel points against a basket of standard class tickets. If you would normally travel in business or first class, points can frequently buy you a greater value of ticket.
- We don’t count points you could earn without using the credit card in question by simply using an alternative loyalty card: you’d be better off registering the points on the loyalty card and paying with another reward card.
How up to date are the valuations?
We review our calculations every month, and if there are any changes to any of the leading products then we update the calculations as quickly as possible. Be aware that if you earn points, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to buy as much with them by the time you come to spend them since points scheme operators are free to change what a point buys at their discretion. Cashback represents less risk in this regard.
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