Martin Lewis urges credit card holders to 'shift' their debt now

Martin Lewis says a credit card option could save you thousands of pounds. A 0% balance transfer could be used to pay off the debts on an old credit card with no interest for a period of time, saving you thousands of pounds, the BBC Sounds star says.

Mr Lewis previously praised 0% balance transfers to help pay off card debts. He said: "In practice, it [the 0 per cent APR card] then pays off the debts on the other cards for you. So those debts are gone, those cards are now empty."

The Money Saving Expert founder went on and said: "Alternatively, you now have the same level of debt on the other card, but are now paying 0 per cent interest on it." He added: "And the practical point on that is simple.

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"Now all of your repayments towards the card are clearing what you actually owe rather than just servicing the interest and going towards the profit of the credit card company." Janine Randolph, head of data management at UK Finance, said that customers were shopping around looking for the best offers.

She said: "This shows us that consumers are taking advantage of lenders' competitive balance transfer offers and paying down their outstanding balances." She added it did indicate that it did seem to indicate that customers were able to maintain their payments.

She added: "As such, we haven't seen signs of a fall in consumers' ability to make their credit card repayments." According to UK Finance, there's been a significant 9.4% increase in outstanding balances on credit card accounts over the year leading up to January.

Just over half of these outstanding balances (50.5%) were accruing interest, a slight decrease from 51.3% in January 2023, as noted by the finance and banking industry body. A balance transfer is when you move your existing credit card balance to a new card with a 0% period - so you stop paying interest on the debt for a set period. If you are not paying the interest on the debt, you'll clear your credit card debt more quickly as you are only paying back what you owe.