According to Moneysupermarket, a late payment could result in a damaged credit profile, a loss of all introductory card benefits and interest charges of around Â£280.
The price comparison site found that 62 per cent of cards that offer a zero per cent balance transfer introductory period will turn into a typical APR if one payment is missed.
Moneysupermarket credit card expert Rob Kenley said: “Those on a zero per cent balance transfer introductory period may not be aware of the severe penalties a single missed payment can result in.
“People also need to be aware that failing to make a repayment could also have a negative effect on their credit profile. This could make obtaining credit for everything from mobile phone contracts to mortgages much harder.”
He added that a damaged credit history could also mean future credit cards and unsecured personal loans come with a higher rate of interest.
UK payments association Apacs said that consumers are beginning to realise that balance transfer card should only be used for balance transfers and not for buying goods and services.