Can I balance transfer to a current account?

julia kukiewicz
By Julia Kukiewicz

woman wallet©iStock.com/flyfloor

"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, to find more information skip ahead to our step by step guide.

Which card providers offer 0% transfers to current accounts?

Here are three of the options available at the moment:

Money Transfer to Current AccountTransfer Fee
virgin money 41 month balance transferVirgin Money 41 Month Balance Transfer0% for 41 months
3.79%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 20.9% p.a. (variable), your representative APR will be 20.9% APR (variable).
mbna platinum 43 month balance transferMBNA Platinum 43 Month Balance Transfer0% for 20 months
4%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% p.a. (variable), your representative APR will be 18.9% APR (variable).
nuba transfernuba transfer0% for 20 months
5%
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% p.a. (variable), your representative APR will be 18.9% APR (variable).

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

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 an eye on these providers

Not many credit card companies offer money transfer services, but there are a few that almost always have at least one money transfer card available, so it can be useful to keep an eye out for them when looking for and comparing deals.

MBNA credit cards have offered various money transfer deals at zero interest in 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, whileTesco Bank are a relative newcomer to the business.

Finding deals pro tip 2:
check that small print

It's worth noting that a money transfer is rarely a key selling point for a card. The providers we've listed above are doubly unusual because not only do they routinely offer money transfer cards, but they make it plain that they do in their product lists and menus.

With most card issuers, money transfers are poorly advertised, tucked away 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 it's not entirely clear that 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 as this guide explains in more detail. But that doesn't mean they're exactly the same.

Here's how the process works, in three steps.

1. The card application

Before making an application for a specific money transfer deal it's worth being aware of two things: the kind of credit history required to apply and the fees involved, both of which could make a particular card 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 even taking some precautionary measures, like checking our credit reports - more information here - for insight into what lenders will see on application.

There are limited money transfer offers available for those who believe their credit history to be poor but following a successful, attention grabbing Capital One deal, the market started to open up.

Applicants who don't have a perfect credit history may find they're accepted for a deal but with a shorter interest free period, for example.

Find out more about balance transfer options for those with damaged credit histories in our full guide to the subject.

Transfer fees: The other thing we really need to be aware of are the fees which, along with the 0% period - see below - will determine whether the offer is a good deal.

Money transfers often come with higher fees than those charged on other cards.

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

Competition for standard balance transfer custom has seen fees drop considerably, with some 0% interest transfers now charging fees of less than 2% - and even 0%.

But there's not as much competition in the money transfer market, so while one or two may charge 2% it's more common to see fees of around 3% to 4% of the amount moved.

Bearing that in mind, it may not be financially worth it to make a transfer.

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.

We can't stress this enough: It is vital to make sure we "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 from a normal balance transfer.

If that's not possible, call up to request the transfer instead. Under absolutely no circumstances should anyone looking to fund their current account with one of these (or any other) credit cards withdraw the money as cash.

This is a cash advance rather than a transfer, and most credit cards charge high rates of interest on such transactions. There's more on the dangers of using credit cards for cash in this guide.

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

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

Don't ask for a super balance transfer. That's a term only super lame consumer sites (like us) use so it might be confusing for the operator.

Note that some credit card providers specify that the transfer can't be made to any old current account, insisting that it can only be made to one in the same name as the credit card.

3. Paying off at 0%

Outside of the introductory period the balance on the card will be subject to the standard interest rate.

Sometimes this can be higher than the interest rates charged on a provider's other balance transfer cards - but even when it's not, it'll still be considerably higher than the 0% we've been paying previously.

So if we carried out the money transfer to counteract interest on an overdraft or loan but only paid back the minimum required each month, it will rapidly become more expensive to keep the outstanding balance on the card than it would have been to leave it.

Comments

1
12 September 2016
Lee Armstrong

How long to transfer money from my MBNA card to my Barclays Bank account

2
2 June 2016
carol

I have been offered a 0% balance transfer deal to transfer from my current credit card provider. I have a £1600 bill that I need to pay to Spain. My current card provider is offering me a 'money transfer' deal at 2.4% to transfer money to my current account. Can I use the money transfer deal so I can pay my bill to Spain through my current account - which would be cheaper - then swap credit card provider so I transfer to a 0% for 21 month provider? Is there any legal reason or requirements to stay with my current credit card provider once I have used the money transfer deal? Confused & trying to do the right thing!

3
14 March 2014
pip

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

4
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.

5
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.

6
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.

7
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 <a href="http://disq.us/url?url=%2Fmoney%2Fguide%2Ffaqs%2Fright-reject-credit-card-interest-rate.html%3At5oM9nfY4jTzs9-zIcImC43Dktk&amp;cuid=2412393" rel="nofollow noopener">cardholder rights on credit card interest rate increases</a> may be useful with this.