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What to do at the end of a balance transfer promotion period

If you're coming to the end of your 0% balance transfer period, you may be wondering what to do next.

Here, we look at what happens when your introductory period ends and things to consider to help you understand your options.

What happens when your introductory period ends?

Balance transfer credit cards typically come with an interest-free period. Once the promotional period ends, the interest rate will usually revert to the purchase interest rate.

You’re likely to be charged more interest on any existing debt, or future purchases. 

Explore: How balance transfer credit cards work

What are your options if you don’t pay your balance off in time?

Most people who apply for a 0% balance transfer credit card do so to avoid paying interest on their debt. 

If you're coming to the end of your 0% balance transfer period and you haven't cleared your debt, here are a few things to consider.

How much will you need to pay in interest or fees?

Once the 0% or reduced-interest period is over, consider the:

  • Interest rate you’ll be charged on the balance
  • Interest rate you’ll be charged on any future purchases
  • Annual fee or any other fees

Our credit card repayment calculator can help you work out how long it could take you to repay your balance and how much interest you’d pay.

Based on the above and how you plan to use the balance transfer card – is it still offering you a good deal? If not, shop around to see if there’s another type of card that could suit you.

You may benefit from a credit card with:

Could you transfer your balance to another credit card?

If you still have a substantial amount of debt left on the card, you may be more interested in another balance transfer. 

Two things to think about:

  1. Does it offer an interest-free or reduced-interest period? If so, how long does that period last?
  2. Is there a balance transfer fee? If so, do the benefits of the card make it worth paying the fee?

It’s important to consider this option carefully. While it’s great to reduce the amount of interest you pay, you don’t want to just keep transferring the debt from one card to another.

You may be faced with the same situation once more and should take steps to clear the remaining debt before the introductory period ends. Applying for too many balance transfer credit cards can also negatively impact your credit score

Explore: How to use a balance transfer credit card

Do you have any other debts to pay?

If you have debts in various places, including credit cards and loans – a debt consolidation loan could be an option. 

It merges your debts together, potentially saving you money and making it easier to manage with a single monthly repayment.

Explore: What is debt consolidation?

Need more help?

If you need a bit of help getting your finances back on track, we have trained specialists who can help.

What are your options after you’ve paid off your balance?

If you’ve managed to pay off the entire balance – good work, you’ve achieved your goal.

Do you still need a credit card?

If so, review the terms of your balance transfer credit card. You may find another type of credit card is more suitable. 

If you no longer need a balance transfer credit card, you could close the card to reduce any temptation to spend. Just try to avoid closing lots of credit cards in a short space of time, as this can affect your credit score

Can you afford to build your savings?

If you’ve cleared your debt, consider using the money you’ve set aside in your budget for credit card repayments to build your savings.

For example, if you’re used to putting £200 aside each month to repay your credit card – you could move it into a savings account instead. This way, you’d save £2,400 in 12 months, plus any other interest the savings account may accrue.

Explore: How to save money