Review of the week: Barclaycard Platinum with Barclaycard Freedom

The decision by Virgin to reduce the length of the interest-free period on its credit card means the Barclaycard Platinum now tops the balance transfer best buy table.

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It offers a 15-month interest-free period on balance transfers. Customers can also take advantage of Freedom, Barclaycard’s new reward scheme. But there are a few things to watch out for, so read on to find out more…

What’s the deal?

The Barclaycard Platinum Card offers new customers a 15-month interest-free period on balance transfers. You will be charged a 2.9% fee if you transfer a debt over from another card.

There is also a three-month interest-free period on purchases.

Once the 0% offers end, you will be charged interest at the typical standard rate of 15.9%. 

Cash withdrawals attract a higher rate of interest at 27.9%, as well as a 2.5% withdrawal fee.

Barclaycard’s recently-launched reward scheme, Freedom, is available across its product range, so Platinum customers will also be able to benefit from that.

Freedom allows customers to earn reward points at over 30,000 retailers including Shell, Pizza Express and Yo! Sushi, you can then choose to redeem your points against purchases at the same retailers. You can receive up to 1% on purchases made with the card as Reward Money (for more on this watch our video ‘Spend money, make money’).

Any catches?

The Barclaycard Platinum will be most attractive to those wanting to take advantage of the long interest-free balance transfer offer, but the three-month 0% period on purchases, coupled with the Freedom reward scheme, makes it good for purchases too. However, don’t be tempted to use the card for both purposes.

The 0% periods for balance transfers and purchases do not match, meaning you could be caught out by a negative payment hierarchy, where the cheapest debt is paid off first, if you use this for both purchases and balance transfers. After the first three months, you’ll be charged interest at 15.9% on any purchases you’ve made and you won’t start paying them off until the transferred balance has been completely paid off.

Therefore, if you want to make use of the balance transfer offer, don’t start spending on it until that debt has been repaid.

Verdict

Whether you’re looking for a new credit card to spend on or transfer a balance on to, Barclaycard Platinum is a great option. You just need to ensure you only use it for a single purpose to avoid being hit by the negative payment strategy.

Top tip

Make sure that this card is adequate for your needs. If you do require a card for both purchases and balance transfers then you would be better off applying for Virgin’s new card that offers a 0% period on both for 12 months.

As is always the case with the leading credit card deals, you’ll need an excellent credit card to qualify for a Barclaycard Platinum card. Barclaycard offers a tool on its website where you type in some basic information to find out if you are likely to be accepted for the deal or not without affecting your credit score.

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.

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