Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis, 46, revealed his top tips on shifting debt to balance transfers and money transfer cards during the Martin Lewis
Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis, 46, revealed his top tips on shifting debt to balance transfers and money transfer cards during the Martin Lewis Money Show this evening. The ITV star advised using an eligibility check to find the best deal for your personal needs, advising First Direct currently has the best offer for debt transfers. He told viewers: “First Direct currently pays you £100 to join it, and then gives most people a 0 per cent overdraft up to £250. So say if you have a £350 overdraft at the moment, pay £100 off and the rest is interest free – that’s unbeatable.
“If you’re on a bigger overdraft, you could shift to Nationwide’s flex direct bank account, it’s credit score dependent but some might get a grand at 0 per cent and that’s for a year.
“But for bigger overdrafts, I’d go for a money transfer card.”
However, if you can’t get cheaper debt, Martin advised viewers whose banks are putting their overdraft up to tell their provider they simply can’t afford it.
He added: “If you can’t afford it, speak to them and say, ‘I don’t think this is fair’ and if they reject you take them to the Financial Ombudsman services.”
Martin later explained the best offers on balance transfer cards and money transfers:
HSBC – 32 months at 0 per cent, with a one-off 1.4 per cent fee, plus £25 cashback
Martin explained: “The maths works out if you’re shifting less than £1,700 you’re actually going to be up because the cash back is bigger than the fee.”
Santander – 27 months no fee
“For bigger transfers, this one will win,” the Money Saving Expert recommended.
Tesco Bank – 6.05 per cent for life, no fee
“If you’re not sure how long it will take you to repay, for safety you could go for Tesco’s 6.05 per cent for the life of balance. But you’ve got to shift your debt onto that within 30 days.”
Barclaycard – 18 months 0 per cent, 2.99 per cent fee
Martin advised Barclaycard’s deal is the best option for those with poor credit.
Money Transfers (where it pays the cash into your bank account)
MBNA – up to 28 months 0 per cent, 2.99 per cent fee
The financial expert said: “MBNA is the clear winner because it’s the longest 0 per cent and the lowest fee compared to the other two cards.”
Tesco Bank – up to 28 months 0 per cent, 3.54 per cent fee
“But both MBNA and Tesco are ‘up to’ meaning some accepted applications will get a shorter 0 per cent period.”
Virgin Money – 26 months 0 per cent, 4 per cent fee.
Martin recommended: “If you’ve got a decent chance of getting Virgin Money, you may want to go for it because if you get it you know exactly what deal you will get.”
However, Martin also warned the importance controlling your spending while using balance transfer and money transfer cards.
The Money Show host added: “With cards: never miss minimum repayments.
“And always clear them before 0 per cent ends or APR will jump to 20 per cent.”
He continued: “And don’t spend on them and don’t withdraw cash on them.”