Review of the week: Virgin Credit Card

With the festive period almost at an end, this is the time where many of us start to count the cost of our Christmas spending.

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One option to consider if you have some Christmas debt is a 0% balance transfer card as this gives you some breathing space to pay down your debt gradually without incurring interest.

This week we are looking at the Virgin Credit Card.

What’s the deal?

The Virgin Credit Card is not a new deal. In fact it has been top of the balance transfer card best buy tables for some time. 

At 16 months, it offers the longest 0% period on balance transfers and this may go some way to ease the pain of a debt hangover. Once the interest-free period ends, you’ll be charged the typical standard annual percentage rate, which is 16.6%.  

You will also benefit from a 0% purchase period of three months, however, it is not advisable to spend on this card if the reason you have taken it out is to transfer a balance, as we will explain below.

Any catches?

For any balances transferred to the card, you will be charged a fee of 2.98% meaning if you have a debt outstanding of £2,500, you will be adding an extra £74.50 to your debt for the privilege of transferring your balance. This is quite standard, though, as all 0% balance transfer offers include a handling fee, usually between 2.5% and 3.0%.

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There is a 0% offer on this card for purchases as well which lasts for three months. However, think carefully before spending on the card if you have transferred a balance over as once the 0% period on purchases has ended any monthly repayments made to the card will go towards paying off your cheapest debt first, in this instance the balance transfer amount. This is often referred to as a negative payment hierarchy.   

Also, this card is only available to those with excellent credit histories.

Verdict

This is the best deal on the market at the moment for balance transfers: 16 months is a generous amount of time to be able to chip away at your debt interest free. 

Don’t spend on the card as well, though, because you’ll probably be caught out by the negative payment hierarchy trap. If you do want a credit card for spending, consider taking out a separate card for purchases. Alternatively, if you only want a single card, go for one that has an equal 0% offer on both balance transfers and purchases. The Sainsbury’s Credit Card for example, has a 10-month interest free period for both.  

Click here if you’d like to apply for a Virgin Credit Card.

Top Tip

As with all market-leading deals you will need an impeccable credit score to qualify for this offer so if you know you have a less than perfect credit history then this may not be the card for you.

Also, work out how much you need to pay off each month to clear your balance within the 16-month interest-free period, because you will start accruing interest once that ends.

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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