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Thinking of getting a new credit card? There are a few different types available in the UK right now, each designed for specific purposes. For example, some are for everyday spending or to spread the cost of large purchases, while others are for transferring balances from other credit cards to take advantage of 0% interest rates.
In this guide, we’ll be having a close look at money transfer credit cards. We’ll show you how they work and what they’re good for, along with a list of the best money transfer credit cards in the UK right now.
Need a card for travel? Check out the Wise card from the money services provider Wise. It’s the ideal alternative to a credit card, as it lets you spend and withdraw cash in 150+ countries for low fees and mid-market exchange rates.
Money transfer credit cards let you move money from your credit card to your current account. This can be helpful if you need a cash injection or need to clear debts or your overdraft.
There’s usually a fee to transfer money in this way, but the best cards offer a 0% interest period on repaying the money. You’ll usually need to make the transfer in the first 1-3 months to take advantage of the 0% interest.
Not many credit cards let you transfer cash in this way. It’s not the same as using a credit card to withdraw cash from an ATM, which usually comes with a high fee. And it isn’t the same as a balance transfer either. This is where you’re moving an outstanding balance from an existing credit card to one with a 0% interest period.
Before you get a money transfer credit card, it’s worth making sure it’s the right choice for your needs and circumstances. Here are some pros and cons to consider.
- Good for cash-only purchases (where you can’t use a credit card)
- Can help clear expensive debts, and you’ll have time to repay the card balance.
- Can be a cheaper way to borrow than personal loans.
- It will be costly if you can’t clear the card before the 0% interest period ends
- You’ll need to pay at least the monthly minimum repayment each month
- These cards are not suitable for withdrawing cash - you’ll need to ask the provider to transfer it to your current account instead
Like many credit cards, money transfer cards are best used strategically for a specific purpose. They’re good for:
- Clearing expensive debts such as payday loans, overdrafts and high-cost personal loans.
- Making purchases where cards aren’t accepted - you can think of it as a 0% interest cash loan.
Here’s an example of when a money transfer card can come in useful. Let’s say you have a payday loan debt which charges high interest. You can use a money transfer card to move money to your bank account and use it to pay off the high interest debt.
You’ll then pay 0% interest for a set period and save money by avoiding the high interest on the original debt, although remember that money transfer cards do have a one-time fee for making the transfer. But then you’ll have more time to save up to repay the balance on the credit card before the 0% interest period ends.
|📚 Read more: UK travel credit cards you can use abroad
Now, let’s dive into our list of the best money transfer credit cards available in the UK at the moment. Not many providers offer money transfers, but those listed below all do.
To help you compare and find the best credit card for your needs, we’ve included transfer fees, 0% interest periods and what each option is best for.
|0% interest period
|MBNA Limited Long 0% Money Transfer Credit Card Mastercard
|Virgin Money Balance Transfer Credit Card
|Money and balance transfers
|Virgin Money All Round Card
|Tesco Bank Low Fee Balance Transfer Card
|Virgin Atlantic Reward Credit Card
Here’s each of the best UK money transfer credit cards in a little more detail, so you can choose the right one for you.
The leading money transfer card on our list is the Limited Long 0% Money Transfer Credit Card Mastercard from MBNA, which is part of the Lloyds Banking Group.
The card offers a generous introductory 0% money transfer period of 14 months.² This is the longest of any money transfer cards currently on the market. You’ll pay a 3.49% fee to transfer money,¹ and you’ll need to do this within the first 60 days of having the card.²
Once the introductory period ends, the rate shoots up to a representative 23.9% APR (variable).¹
This card also has no annual fee, and a 0% interest period on balance transfers for 12 months.²
Like all the other credit cards we’ll look at here, this MBNA credit card is available subject to eligibility. You can check your eligibility and apply on the MBNA website.
Although it’s designed for balance transfers, this credit card from Virgin Money is also a good pick for money transfers. It offers a 0% interest period of 12 months, before the rate increases to a representative 23.9% APR (variable).³
You’ll pay a fee of 4% to transfer money. You’ll need to check with Virgin Money how long you have to make your transfer, although you can expect it to be within the usual 1-3 months.³
The card also has a 0% interest period of 12 months for balance transfers, with a 1% fee.³
|📚 Read more: Balance transfer with Barclays: rates, fees, features
Another one from Virgin Money, the All Round Card is best for everyday spending. Although it’s also a decent choice for money transfers and balance transfers.
It offers 0% interest for 12 months on money transfers, with a transfer fee of 4%. You’ll also get a 12 month 0% interest period on both balance transfers (3% transfer fee) and purchases.³
The representative APR is 29.9% (variable). This is higher than some rates on our list, making it extra important that you budget to clear the balance and cancel the card before the 0% interest period ends.³
The Tesco Bank Low Fee Balance Transfer Card is set up for balance transfers, offering 0% interest for 15 months with just a 0.99% transfer fee.⁴
But it can also be used for money transfers. You’ll get a 0% interest period of 9 months, with a 3.99% fee for making each transfer. You’ll need to make your transfers within the first 90 days of opening the account. The representative rate for the card is 24.9% APR (variable).⁴
As an added bonus, if you use this card for spending, you’ll also get Clubcard points almost every time you shop.⁴
Last but by no means least, we come to the Virgin Atlantic Reward Credit Card. Unsurprisingly, given the provider, this is a credit card designed for travel. It offers Virgin Points on everyday spending, as well as purchases made with Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays.⁵
However, it also has an interest-free period of 6 months for both money transfers and balance transfers. There’s a fee of 3% for each type of transfer. You must make your transfers within the first 60 days, otherwise an additional handling fee of 5% will apply.⁵
The representative rate for the card is 26.9% APR (variable).⁵
|📚 Read more: Best debit card to use abroad: Top 6 UK picks
And there you have it - our roundup of the best money transfer credit cards on the market right now. There aren’t many available at the moment, as not all providers offer money transfers. But those that exist are pretty decent options if you need a cash loan and a 0% interest period in which to pay it off.
If you’re looking for a card for travel, remember to check out the Wise card. It’s an international debit card which lets you spend abroad in foreign currency for low fees and mid-market exchange rates.
Sources used for this article:
- Which - Best 0% money transfer credit cards 2023
- Finder - MBNA Long 0% Money Transfer Credit Card review 2023
- USwitch - Money Transfer Credit Cards
- Tesco Bank - Low Fee Balance Transfer Card
- Virgin Money - Virgin Atlantic Reward Credit Card
Sources checked on 8-Nov-2023.
This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.
We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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