Credit card deals for anyone looking to cut the cost of debts have been getting better for months. Now they have reached a stunning threshold, with Virgin Money’s new credit card.
It lets customers pay no interest for an incredible 40 months on balances transferred from other credit cards within 60 days of being accepted. The card has a representative rate of 18.9% APR (variable)*.
It’s not the perfect option for everybody who is looking to switch existing debts, but if you read on and think it’s right for you, move fast, as it’ll disappear on 9th September.
First things first though, what is a ‘balance transfer’? Very simply, it is where one credit card company – say Virgin - pays off some or all of a balance on a different credit card for you, so you owe Virgin the debt instead.
Many credit card companies offer to do this at 0% interest for a set period of months, meaning for that time all of your repayments go towards clearing your debt rather than paying interest, so it should disappear quicker.
Is Virgin the right card for me?
When choosing the right balance transfer card to maximise the amount you save, it’s crucial to take into account the fees balance transfer cards charge when you switch your balance to them. Generally, the longer the 0% period on offer, the bigger fee you will be charged for the privilege.
another reason to check out a wider range of cards rather than just go straight for the 40 month-er is to see which cards are likely to accept your application
So it’s always worth working out how many months you will need to repay your balance in full. If, for example, you have £2,000 outstanding, and can afford to repay £100 per month, that would be 20 months. Then pick the card that offers 20 months or more at 0%, for the lowest fee.
If you need the longest time possible to pay off debts, Virgin is the best option we’ve ever seen, though it does charge at 2.99% fee (min £3). It is four months longer than the next best – and this time last year the longest on offer was 33 months.
To help you get an idea of your best options, we have built a Balance Transfer Calculator. Simply tell it your balance and monthly repayment and it’ll show the cheapest option based on that information. It does assume you make fixed repayments, so if yours are likely to vary then the answer won’t necessarily be right.
One thing to note is that card companies often won’t let you move a balance from another of its cards. For instance you can’t move a balance from an old Virgin credit card to this new one.
Worried about getting rejected?
Fees are one thing, but another reason to check out a wider range of cards rather than just go straight for the 40 month-er is to see which cards are likely to accept your application. Before applying properly, you can use the ‘Will I get it?’ option next to any card in our calculator above – including Virgin’s 40 month deal – and we’ll tell you how likely you are to get a ‘yes’ for the card.
This is particularly useful if you have struggled to get cards before, as getting into a cycle of application and rejection can make the situation worse. If you’re a bit stuck in this situation, use our Eligibility Checker to check all the cards on the market to find those most likely to accept you.
Virgin’s new card is a showstopper in terms of the headline 0% offer, and if you have a sizeable chunk on an existing credit card or will be paying it off fairly slowly, it could save you a good amount more than the next best. Do always check if you need the full 40 months though, as things could work out cheaper all round by picking shorter 0% deal, with a lower fee.
Credit limits and interest rates will vary based on your individual circumstances.
*Representative Example: If you spend £1,200 at a purchase interest rate of 18.9% p.a. (variable) your representative rate will be 18.9% APR (variable).