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Step Four

Check the small print. Most people assume that when they do a balance transfer from one card to another their existing debt is simply moved to the new provider and the new interest rate will be charged against it. The highest profile deals are obviously the Ďzero per cent interestí offers which can last for six months, twelve months or more.

Most card providers offer zero percent deals every now and then, with Abbey, Barclaycard, GE Capital, HSBC and Virgin Money some of the biggest players in the market. Whatís changed in the past few years are the fees. You can now expect to be charged around 2 per cent of the balance you transfer as a one-off fee for the switch. The charges arenít a nice development but a single 2 per cent transfer fee is still better than paying, say, 2 per cent a month interest on an expensive card. Stuart Glendenning of Moneysupermarket reckons that if you transfer a £2,000 balance from an expensive card charging 16.9 per cent interest to a zero per cent alternative you can still save £305 in the year, even after the transfer fee has been paid.