Focus on: New market-leading 24-month 0% balance transfer card

Many of us will have racked up debts over Christmas, but the good news is that Barclaycard has just introduced a fantastic balance transfer card offering an introductory 0% period for two whole years.

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Barclaycard already offers a 22-month and a 21-month balance transfer card, but has now introduced the longest balance transfer deal ever, lasting for a staggering 24 months. That means anyone transferring a balance to this card doesn’t have to pay any interest at all on their debts provided they can pay them off within this time.

Dave Chan, chief executive officer at Barclaycard Consumer Europe, said: “We know that Christmas is an expensive time of year for our customers – that’s why we’re launching a product that makes it easier to pay off your Christmas spending without being charged interest for two years."

Here, we take a closer look at the card to see if it could be the right choice for you...

What’s the deal?

Barclaycard’s new card offers 0% on balance transfers for 24 months, subject to a 3.2% handling fee. It also provides three months at 0% on purchases. After the introductory period finishes, the card has a representative annual percentage rate (APR) of 17.9% (variable).

According to Barclaycard, the deal means that a customer transferring £3,000 from a credit card with an APR of 18.9% will save £935 in interest payments over the 24-month 0% introductory period.

Any catches?

If you are planning on using the card for new spending as well as balance transfers, then you will need to be certain you can pay these off within the three-month 0% introductory period, otherwise you’ll be hit with the representative APR of 17.9% (variable).

This is an extremely competitive card and so only people with good credit scores are likely to qualify. You’ll need to show a history of managing debt well, including several years of using credit cards, loans, overdrafts or a mortgage without any issues.

If you don’t think you’ll qualify for the card then don’t risk a rejected application as this can damage your credit score, making it hard for you to qualify for other deals.

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Verdict

If you have debts built up on other credit cards and are looking for a 0% balance transfer deal, then this card is difficult to beat. The only drawback is that the handling fee is on the high side at 3.2%, but this isn’t much more than the usual 2.9% or 3% that most other cards charge.

If you don’t think that you will be able to pay off what you owe within the two-year 0% period, then you may alternatively want to consider a card which offers a consistently low standard rate so that you don’t get stung when the 0% deal runs out.

One good example is the Sainsbury’s Low Rate Credit Card which has a lifetime low rate and no balance transfer fee. It has a representative APR of 6.9% variable, for both transferred balances and any additional spending, and again you will need a good credit rating to qualify. The Sainsbury’s card is the current market-leading low standard rate card.

Top tip

If you are interested in Barclaycard’s 24-month balance transfer card, then don’t hang around. The last time Barclaycard launched a 24-month offer it received tens of thousands of applications. January is the peak time of the year for balance transfers which means there are likely to be even more applications this time, so you will need to be quick if you want to take advantage of this offer.

Please note: Any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.

We’re free, independent and compare all UK credit cards, as well as offering exclusive deals you can’t get anywhere else.

Contact MoneySupermarket.com at Moneysupermarket House, St David’s Park, Ewloe, Flintshire, CH5 3UZ. © Moneysupermarket.com Ltd 2011.

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