Review of the week: Tesco Clubcard Credit Card

Long interest-free deals on credit cards are back with a vengeance with Tesco re-launching its Clubcard Credit Card.

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This time last year the average 0% period for purchases was 10.4 months, however, over the last year this has been getting longer.

Tesco now has the market-leading purchase card after upping the length of its 0% period to 13 months. Let’s take a further look into this deal….

What’s the deal?

The new Tesco Clubcard Credit card now offers 13 months interest-free on purchases and nine months free on balance transfers.

If you transfer a balance onto the card you’ll be charged a 2.9% balance transfer fee.

Once the 0% periods end, you will pay the standard rates of interest. This is 16.9% for purchases and 18.3% for balance transfers.

The annual percentage rate (APR) on cash withdrawals is higher still at 24.9% and there is no interest-free period if you use your card for this purpose.

As the name suggests, this offering also doubles up as a Clubcard, which will reward you with points every time you spend on the card. For every £1 spent in a Tesco store you will receive two Clubcard points and one point for every £4 spent elsewhere.

Any catches?

While this may look a good option for balance transfers as well as purchases because of the 0% periods, don’t be tempted to use this card to transfer a balance on to if you’ll spend on it as well.

After the first nine months, you’ll be charged interest on your balance transfers and because of the way your monthly repayment will be allocated, it will go towards paying off any purchases you’ve made, even though they’re interest-free for an additional four months.

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Certainly avoid using the card for making cash withdrawals – not only is the rate of interest higher, you’ll also be charged a withdrawal fee and under the order of payments system Tesco uses, you don’t start paying off cash withdrawals until you’ve paid off what you owe on any balance transfers or purchases.

The APRs that are advertised are typical rates. This means that they only have to be given to 66% of those accepted for a card and that you could find you’re charged a higher rate. For example, the typical rate for purchases is 16.9%, but you could pay as much as 21.9%

Verdict

This is the best credit card on the market if you are looking for a card to spend on and can’t afford to clear your balance in full each month. Not having to pay interest on purchases for 13 months is a great plus – and even if you can afford to pay your bill in full, why bother? Instead you could keep the money in a savings account and earn an extra year’s interest on it.

However, as is always the key with interest-free credit cards, you should aim to pay off the balance by the time the 0% offer ends as the interest rate will leap up at that point.

Don’t use this card for balance transfers though. If you are looking for a new credit card because you want to reduce the cost of an existing card debt, then the NatWest Platinum card is a better option as it offers a 16 month interest-free period on balance transfers.

If on the other had you want a card for dual purposes – spending on and transferring a balance onto – the Barclaycard Platinum Purchase is the market-leader with 0% for 12 months on balance transfers and purchases.

Click here if you’d like to apply for the new Tesco Clubcard Credit Card.

Top Tip

Pay your credit card by monthly direct debit. If you are late making a payment you will forfeit the right to any introductory 0% offers. So rather than risk that happening the simplest thing to do is set up a direct debit so that you guarantee your credit card will be paid on time, every month.

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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