Barclaycard launches historically long 34-month 0% balance transfer card
Barclaycard have launched their latest zero interest balance transfer product, offering consumers the chance to consolidate their debt for a staggeringly long period of 34 months.
The battle in the balance transfer industry has been heating up recently with the countryís leading providerís all clamouring to ascend to supremacy in both the longevity and transfer fees of their products.
However, Barclayís new offer has now stretched beyond Sainsburyís and Tesco Bankís latest deals, which offered consumers the chance to avoid paying interest on their debt for 33 months, with the 2.99% transfer fee rate on the latest offering comparing well to the 3.0% and 2.9% rate attached to their direct rivals deals.
Balance transfer cards have garnered widespread popularity in the past few years, and essentially enable those in debt to improve their financial situation without the strain of interest on their income, by allowing them to pay a small percentage of their debt in order to transfer it into an account which charges no interest.
The card holders are then expected to make at least the minimum repayments on their transferred balances each month, though these will not include any interest and mean that they can focus on improving their finances and getting into a stronger position to clear their debt, without having to worry about interest sending its total value out of control.
They are often used by those who have liabilities and loans which have a high interest rate, as the user can save hundreds of pounds by transferring their balance to the 0% card and avoid paying large sums on interest each month. However, card users are advised to calculate whether this interest saving over the entire period is over the cost of the transfer fee before finalising their acquisition of a 0% card.
Their capacity to provide those in debt with a positive option, and their somewhat chequered allure of allowing those financially struggling to sweep their problems under the cover has meant that demand has risen heavily in the last few years, with credit card providerís repeatedly releasing new improved offerings to try and attain a majority stranglehold in the consumer market.
This has been reflected in recent official statistics which compellingly illustrated that 42% of all borrowing done from credit cards in the UK was done so on a 0% basis, representing a 34% rise from 2012.
Barclayís latest deal comes with 6 months of 0% purchases as well, and the 2.99% is applicable as a refund from its initial rate of 3.5%, providing the user transfers their balance within 6 months of opening their account. The rate means than transferring a balance of £5,000 would cost a user just £135, to enjoy a 34 month 0% period.
As well as Tesco and Sainsburyís offerings, Halifax have also released an attractive new offering which offers users a 20 month 0% deal, whilst Sainsburyís have sought to blend competitive 0% purchase and balance transfer periods with their 18 month, 0% transfer card.
However, longer transfer periods are often not the best option for people who are simply undergoing what they believe to be short-term financial difficulty.
If you are someone who falls into this category, then seeking a shorter term balance transfer card, with a lower transfer fee will most likely be more beneficial for your situation.
Cardís such as Tescoís Bank Clubcard, which provides 10 months of 0% interest and no transfer fee at all could be worth considering, with the allure of nectar points and other added bonuses further heightening the attractiveness of this offering.