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Price war is great news if you have credit card debt

Price war is great news if you have credit card debt

Barclaycard has increased its longest 0% balance transfer period on a credit card to a record-breaking 31 months.

The change almost immediately follows Halifax’s launch of a 30-month card and means Barclaycard now tops the 0% balance transfer card best buy table – at least for length of interest-free period.

It has also increased the length of interest-free period on its 29-month card to 30 months.

If you have credit card debt you want to pay off and a good credit rating then this price war is great news.



New Barclaycards

The Platinum 31-Month card has a balance transfer fee of 2.99%, although borrowers will initially be charged 3.5% and then paid the difference via a refund.

The card also offers six months interest-free on purchases. The representative APR (the annual combination of interest and charges) if you don’t repay your balance transfer and/or purchases within the interest-free period is 18.9%.

The Platinum 30-Month card has a slightly lower balance transfer fee of 2.89%, which is lower than the Halifax 30-Month's 3%. It also has a 0% period on purchases of six months. Its representative APR is 18.9% too.

Similar to the 31-Month card, the balance transfer fee is initially 3.5% and then reduced to 2.89% via a refund.

[Compare 0% balance transfer credit cards]



Best buy tables

Here’s how the best buy table for 0% cards with the longest interest-free periods now look.

Credit card

0% period on balance transfers

Balance transfer fee

Cost of transferring £2,000 balance

Representative APR

Barclaycard 31-Month Platinum Visa

31 months

2.99%

£59.80

18.9%

Barclaycard 30-Month Platinum Visa

30 months

2.89%

£57.80

18.9%

Halifax 30-Month Balance Transfer MasterCard

30 months

3%

£60

18.9%

MBNA 29-Month Platinum Visa

29 months

2.89%

£57.80

18.9%

Tesco Clubcard Credit Card for Balance Transfers

29 months

2.9%

£58

18.9%

Santander 29-Month Balance Transfers

29 months

3%

£60

18.9%

However, if you want to pay less for your balance transfer, and you're confident you can pay off your debt in less time, there are a host of cheaper cards available.

Credit card

0% period on balance transfers

Balance transfer fee

Cost of transferring £2,000 balance

Representative APR

Fluid Low Fee Visa

12 months

0.75%

£15

18.9%

Barclaycard 12-Month Platinum Low Fee Visa

12 months

0.79%

£15.80

18.9%

Halifax All in One MasterCard

15 months

0.8%

£16

17.9%

Lloyds Platinum MasterCard

15 months

0.8%

£16

17.9%

TSB Platinum MasterCard

15 months

0.8%

£16

17.9%

Santander Credit Card with Low Transfer Fee

17 months

0.9%

£18

18.9%

Lloyds Platinum 24-Month MasterCard

24 months

1.5%

£30

17.9%

Bank of Scotland Platinum 24-Month MasterCard

24 months

1.5%

£30

17.9%

TSB Platinum 24-Month Balance Transfer Card

24 months

1.5%

£30

17.9%



Things to remember

These cards are only available to people with good credit ratings. Even if your rating is pretty good, you may find you’re offered a shorter 0% period than the one advertised. You don’t have to take this, but be aware that if you apply for lots of cards your applications will be recorded on your credit rating and could prevent you from being accepted for any card.

If you want to improve your credit rating, follow the tips in How to repair your credit rating.

Ideally, you should pick a card that will give you sufficient time to pay off your debts in full and not need another balance transfer. There’s no point saving a bit of money on the fee now, only to end up having to pay interest once your 0% period runs out.

You should ensure you make at least the minimum payment each month, otherwise your 0% offer will almost certainly be withdrawn.

[Compare 0% balance transfer credit cards]