Beat the post-Christmas blues with a balance transfer card

A depressed man
Roger lamented the fact that it was another three weeks until payday
"Balance transfer cards are potentially a great way to cut long-term expense, providing you use them correctly and keep to the terms and conditions," Matt Sanders,
  • | by Kristian Dando

And so begins the traditional post-Christmas slump.

Payday seems like an age away, the decorations have either been packed into a box or are lingering around until someone else can be bothered to do it, and all that’s left of the Christmas food is that packet of dried dates. It’s always the dates.

Chances are your festive spending will have caught up with you, too.

Recent research from* found that 37% of British consumers did some or all of their festive spending with a credit card.

While just over a quarter of borrowers said that they expected to repay their Christmas debt by the end of January, 14% thought it would take them over six months, with 6% fearing that it would take them over a year. And 3% reckon that they’re still paying off last year’s Christmas.

Depending on your credit card’s APR, you may be paying more for Christmas than you strictly have to.

Balance transfer credit cards with low or 0% terms are potentially a great way of alleviating your post-Christmas financial bloating.

They allow you to enjoy long, interest-free terms, which can seriously reduce what you may pay in interest.

But there are caveats to take into account.

You'll usually have to pay a fee – usually a small percentage of the balance you’re looking to transfer. Make sure you’ve done your sums beforehand and have checked that your transfer fee isn’t greater than what you would have paid in interest.

Also bear in mind that the 0% terms aren’t infinite, even if some of them are very long indeed. After the 0% terms conclude you’ll start paying interest on the balance, so make sure that it’s paid off in full before that time.

Matt Sanders, credit card expert at, said: “Used sensibly, credit cards can be an effective way to manage your money and spread the cost of Christmas. But, with the pressure to deliver the perfect Christmas, it can be all too easy to lose track of your spending and for things to get out of control. Balance transfer cards are potentially a great way to cut long-term expense, providing you use them correctly and keep to the terms and conditions."

*On 25th November 2013, Vision Critical conducted an online survey among 2,007 randomly selected British adults who are Springboard UK panellists.  The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.