What’s the deal?
Barclaycard’s longest ever balance transfer card is back, offering a whopping 30 months – that’s two-and-a-half years – at 0% on balance transfers. This clocks in at a month longer than its previous deal.
And, at 2.89% (refunded from an initial 3.5%), the fee on its Platinum Credit Card with Extended Balance Transfer is the lowest ever for that 0% duration.
Barclaycard has also improved the terms and fee on its 28-month Platinum Card with Balance Transfer, replacing it with a deal by the same name, but which now offers 29 months interest-free at a cost of 2.49% of the debt you are switching.
Both cards offer 0% on purchases for six months. And, after the introductory periods end, the representative annual percentage rate (APR) is 18.9% (variable).
Who’s it good for?
If you’ve built up big credit card debts in 2013, which you know you aren’t going to be able to repay any time soon, this 30-month card could be the perfect deal.
You’ll have until mid-2016 to pay off what you owe if you apply now and the balance transfer fee, at 2.89%, is still reasonable. However, you must make sure you clear your balance within the 30-month 0% period, otherwise you’ll end up having to pay the pre-mentioned steep rate of interest on whatever balance remains.
While the card also comes with 0% for six months on purchases, you should try to avoid using it for new spending, as you will have to pay interest on all purchases made once the six-month 0% purchase rate has expired – unless you clear your balance in full each month.
The 2.89% fee is the best ever for that 30-month term - but it's only a whisker lower than the 2.9% the provider charged the last time it offered 30 months' 0% on balance transfers.
If you already have a Barclaycard, you won’t be able to apply for either of these deals, because you cannot transfer debts over from an existing Barclaycard.
However, there has never been a better selection of alternative balance transfer cards available, all of which offer lengthy 0% introductory periods. These include MBNA’s Platinum Credit Card, which offers a month less at 29 months interest-free on balance transfers with the same 2.89% fee. Once the interest-free offer comes to an end, the applicable representative APR comes in at 18.9% (variable).
Tesco Bank has also recently improved its Clubcard Credit Card for Balance Transfers to offer 29 months for a 2.9% fee. You can collect Clubcard points with this card too.
There’s also Halifax’s Balance Transfer Credit Card. This offers an introductory 0% balance transfer rate for 28 months, and has a 2.45% fee (refunded from an initial 3%). After the 0% period finishes, this card comes with a representative 18.9% APR (variable).
What’s the verdict?
Barclaycard’s deal is market leading, as no other balance transfer card offers a 0% introductory period this long. The fee is also the lowest the provider has ever charged on 30 months. This makes it an excellent option for anyone looking to buy themselves maximum time to take control of their debts this New Year.
However, if you don’t need anywhere near this long to pay off what you owe, there are better alternatives.
The Fluid Low Balance Transfer Card for example, offers a 0% introductory rate on balance transfers for 12 months, with a really low 0.75% transfer fee. After the introductory period finishes, this card again has a representative APR of 18.9% (variable).
Alternatively, for those who want a credit card for both purchases and balance transfers, check out Barclaycard’s new Platinum Purchase Offer which is available exclusively through MoneySuperMarket. It offers 17 months and 14 months at 0% on balance transfers and purchases respectively and comes with a 2.19% fee (refunded from 2.9%).
If you want to avoid 0% time limits – and fees – altogether, look at cards that offer one consistently low interest rate. For example, both Sainsbury’s Nectar Low Rate Credit Card and Tesco Bank’s Clubcard Credit Card carry representative APRs of 7.8% (variable) and no balance transfer fee.
Make sure you always make repayments on time, as if you miss one, you could have to pay extra charges and the promotional rate you are on could be withdrawn. The safest way to ensure your payments are never late is to set up a direct debit or standing order for a set amount each month.
Remember too that the very best credit card deals are reserved for people with an excellent credit history, so if you have ever missed any debt repayments in the past, your application is unlikely to be accepted.
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.