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

What happens when your 0% interest period ends?

Interest-free balance transfers come with an introductory period. These are special terms where you pay 0% interest for a set amount of time.

When this 0% introductory period ends on your balance transfer credit card, the standard interest rates from your cardholder agreement apply. So if there’s any remaining balance on your credit card, your issuer will begin charging interest.

What can you do if you don't pay your balance off in time?

Making regular payments is the fastest way to clear your transfer balance, but sometimes you might have other priorities.

If your introductory period ends soon and you still have a remaining balance, here are some options to consider.

Pay off the balance

To avoid paying the post-introductory interest charges, make paying off the remaining balance your priority. Higher interest rates make your balance harder to clear, so paying off the balance in a lump sum can help save you money in the long run.

Transfer the balance again

Consider transferring your balance to another interest-free balance transfer credit card with a new promotional period. If you choose this option, remember that many balance transfer cards have transfer fees. Be sure that this option is the most cost-effective for you.

If you’re considering a new balance transfer credit card, explore our M&S Transfer Plus Offer.

If you would like to understand more about your borrowing options, visit our ways to borrow page to learn more.

Reach out to your card issuer

Contact your credit card issuer, explain your situation and see what support they may be able to provide.

If you are a M&S Credit Cardholder and have concerns about your balance transfer, visit our credit card support page.

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

If you’ve paid off your balance transfer credit card, here’s what you can do next.

Continue using the card

You can keep using the balance transfer credit card. However, new purchases will likely collect interest charges immediately, as the 0% introductory rate usually only applies to the transferred balance.

Close the account

If you don’t need the card anymore, you can close the account. Make sure that doing so won’t negatively impact your credit score.

Use the card for other balance transfers

Some balance transfer cards allow you to transfer new balances after the initial one is paid off. This option is helpful if you have other high-interest debt that could benefit from an interest-free balance transfer.

What rate will apply when your introductory period ends?

The standard interest rate from your cardholder agreement will apply following your introductory period. Your rate will depend on the specific balance transfer credit card you have and your credit score. You’ll be able to find this rate on your credit card agreement or your monthly statement.

Published August 2023