Can I balance transfer to a current account?

balance transfer to current account

"I want to move my credit card balance to a current account so that I can pay back an overdraft without interest."

"Can I do that with a normal 0% balance transfer deal?"

Some balance transfer deals do allow money - or, rather, credit - to be moved directly into a current account.

In official credit card speak, the facility is called a money transfer.

We like to call it a super balance transfer.

Keep reading to find one or, if you just want to find more information, skip ahead to our step by step guide.

Which card providers offer 0% transfers to current accounts?

Here are the three currently available options:

Money Transfer to Current AccountTransfer Fee
virgin moneyVirgin Money0% for 29 months
4%
See deal
Representative Example: 18.9% p.a. variable on purchases. This is equivalent to 18.9% APR representative variable based on a credit limit of £1,200. Virgin Money plc. Registered Office: Jubilee House, Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne NE3 4PL.
mbna everydayMBNA Everyday0% for 18 months
4%
See deal
Representative Example: 14.9% p.a. variable on purchases. This is equivalent to 14.9% APR representative variable based on a credit limit of £1,200. MBNA Limited. Registered Office: Stansfield House, Chester Business Park, Chester CH4 9QQ.

Search for more 0% balance transfer to current account deals on our main comparison table here.

You can check the 'to current account' box to find these deals and sort results by factors such as the transfer fee and other offers like 0% purchases periods.

As we said, however, there aren't many of these deals around so it's worth searching a little harder than you might with other offers.

Finding deals pro tip 1:
keep your eye on these providers

Not very many companies offer money transfer services so it might be useful to keep an eye on the following specific providers when looking for deals.

MBNA credit cards have offered various money transfer deals at zero interest over the past few years even while their business was for sale.

Virgin Money credit cards have also offered these deals for a number of years, as have AA branded credit cards.

Both credit businesses are ultimately run by MBNA.

Finding deals pro tip 2:
check that small print

It's also worth noting as you search that a money transfer is rarely a key selling point for a card.

The aspect is often poorly advertised, appearing on an inside page or in the small print.

We go to considerable lengths to ensure that the information on our site is accurate but if you're in any doubt about whether a money transfer facility is available with a specific card check with the provider before signing up.

How to do a money transfer

Money transfers work in a similar way to normal balance transfers (where the balance is moved to another card, find out more here) but don't be fooled into thinking that it's exactly the same.

Here's how the process works in three steps.

1. The card application

Before making an application to a specific money transfer deal it's worth being aware of two things: the credit history required to apply and the fees that might make the offer a better or worse deal.

Application criteria: Both 0% balance transfers and money transfer credit cards are notorious for being marketed towards people with a good to excellent credit rating.

It's worth carefully checking application criteria and maybe even taking some precautionary measures, like take a look at credit reports - more information here - for insight into what lenders will see on application.

There are limited money transfer offers available for those that believe their credit history may be poor but, following a successful, attention grabbing Capital One deal, the market is opening up.

Find out more about options for those with damaged credit histories in our full guide on this subject, available here.

Transfer fees: The other thing it's well being aware of are fees which, along with the 0% period - see below, will determine whether the offer is a good deal.

Money transfers are sometimes charged a higher fee than those to other cards.

In general providers charge around an extra 1-2% on their standard fees.

There is some competition in the market at the moment for reducing fees, but this has yet to knock into money transfers, which are still typically around 3% to 4% of the amount moved.

It may not be financially worthwhile to make a transfer, taking into account the fees necessary.

Of course, that also depends on the reason behind making a transfer to a standard bank account in the first place. See this guide for the many reasons that people choose to do so as well as some possible alternatives on offer if fees are too high.

2. The money transfer application

Once a successful application is made, it's time for another application: this time for the money transfer.

It is important to ensure you 'transfer' the money under the correct deal.

Most card providers allow their customers to make the transfer using online banking and should have it specified as a separate option to normal balance transfers.

If making a money transfer using telephone banking, simply ask for something along the following lines:

If the credit card is offering a money transfer under a special offer or introductory deal, make sure to mention that as well.

What not to ask for though is a super balance transfer, that's a term only super lame consumer sites (and us) use so it might be confusing for the operator.

Note that some credit card providers specify that the amount can't be used to fund any old current account but only one that is in the same name as the credit card.

3. Paying off at 0%

Once the amount is transferred, it's essential to pay off within the 0% period.

Outside of the introductory period the amount will often be subject to a higher standard interest rate than for normal balance transfers which means that, if the amount has been moved to counteract interest on an overdraft or loan, it will almost certainly be more expensive to hold the balance on the card than it would have been to leave it.

Comments

1
14 March 2014
pip

I want to pay off my overdraft with a 0% credit card offer, which one should I look at?

2
29 June 2013
Steven

I've used the Barclaycard 0% deal twice now and if you use it right, it's cheaper than a bank loan. Go onto Barclaycard and ring the phone number on there and it takes about 10 mins to arrange.
A few things to remember.
1/make sure you clear any outstanding balance on your card before you transfer any money, as you will be paying off any interest first before you start paying your loan.
2/make sure you always pay the minimum amount, better to pay more otherwise it will drag the loan out for ages and you have about 13 months to pay it off, before you are charged interest, I always paid £100 a month on a £1000 loan.
3/you can only at the moment pay the Barclaycard loan into a current Barclays account.
4/the transfer of the loan into your bank account takes about 24 hours, the transfer fee on £1000 is £29 with 0% interest if you pay the minimum amount each month, MISS a payment and you start paying interest. It works out about £80 cheaper than taking out a bank loan for a £1000.
A great deal in the present climate, if used right.

3
7 November 2012
A Piglit

If the fee is 4%, add the fee to the sum transferred and then assume full repayment in terms of the transfer. That actually makes the cost of the "loan" the same as an APR of 3.8% which isn't exactly zero but is the cheapest consumer money anywhere.

4
9 August 2012
Chris

Hi, the deals look good above for money transfer into bank accounts. It's not clear though do you have to transfer a balance from a credit card and a money transfer into a bank account or can you just do the transfer into the bank account?

9 August 2012
Choose team

A 'money transfer' on a credit card usually means transferring an amount of available credit from the credit card straight into a designated bank account.

5
22 June 2011
Alan Boyd

I have an arrangement with my credit card provider to provide a certain monthly repayment and in return they agreed to charge zero interest. This has been in place for 3 years. However earlier in the year they transferred my account to a different credit card provider. The new provider now wants to change this arrangement and start charging interest albeit lower than their standard rate but I must keep paying the same monthly amount. My question is can I refuse this interest rate rise given the latest rules regarding rate increases from providers.
Thanks

22 June 2011
Choose team

Our article about cardholder rights on credit card interest rate increases may be useful with this.

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