The degree of competition in the balance transfer card sector intensified yesterday as three of Britainís banking behemoths all enhanced their best 0% balance transfer credit card deals.
Offering borrowers lengthier 0% promotional periods on their balance transfer credit cards, Tesco, Sainsburys and Barclaycardís adjustments on Monday suggest further fuel has been poured onto the fiery battle being contested by the countryís leading banks in recent times, and consumers in need of an early pay day are set to be the prime beneficiaries.
Tesco’s Clubcard Credit Card
Tesco have retained their previous balance transfer fee of 2.9%; that is to say, the fee a cardholder would pay to Tesco, calculated as a percentage of the debt transferred. Additionally, the card offers 0% on any purchases made with card in the first 3 months of the term, and in compliance with Balance Transfer standards, 0% interest rates kick in from the time a card is procured.
Alongside the augmented promotional period and reasonable balance transfer fee, borrowers are also afforded the perk of collecting clubcard points on their purchases with their balance transfer card. Cardholders will collect 5 clubcard points per £4 spent [via the 33 month 0% balance transfer card] at any Tesco branch, and 1 clubcard point for every £4 spent in any other establishment.
Customers can bask in the multi-layered protection provided by Tesco, as it offers a range of checks to ensure your cash flow is not abused in the event of mishap. It provides an internet guarantee, which provides legal cover on any fraudulent spending committed with your balance transfer card. Moreover, they offer a swift card replacement service for any borrower who has misplaced their one, and will not hesitate to get in touch with you if they sense any dubious activity being conducted with your card.
Sainsburys Nectar Balance Transfer Credit Card
Sainsburys increased the length of the 0% period on its Nectar Balance Transfer Credit Card to 33 months from its previous best deal of 31 months. This card offers 0% on purchases made within the first 6 months of the term, as such outdoing Tesco in this department; however, with a balance transfer fee of 3%, Sainsburys could represent a slightly costlier option than Barclaycard depending on your scope of debt.
Sainsburys have also tied their loyalty system to their balance transfer cards, offering double nectar points for any cardholder on their shopping in any Sainsburys branch, and 1 point per £5 disbursed elsewhere.
Barclaycard Platinum Balance Transfer Credit Card
Barclaycard have outstripped both the above deals with the release of their new market leading 34 month 0% Platinum Balance Transfer Credit Card. Although accompanied by a seemingly hefty balance transfer fee of 3.5%, this is then reduced to 2.99% via a refund. This refund can be expected within two days of the initial acquirement of the balance transfer credit card. The Platinum 34 month Card also offers 0% interest on purchases for the first 6 months of a policy.
In all of the aforementioned cases, eligibility is dependent on a borrower having a clean credit history and not being an existing customer of the bank in question. If you are already a customer at one of the above banks, you ought to contact them and discuss your course of action.
Borrowers Be Wary
Borrowers are advised to use their balance transfer card purposefully to combat their debt, rather than flippantly spending on frivolous pursuits – despite the incentive of clubcard points – which would most likely serve to deepen the destitution faced by struggling individuals.
It is imperative minimum repayments are made on time, and in their full amount, as the 0% promotional period can be revoked in instances of borrowersí defaulting. In such cases, the annual percentage rate of charge will increase to a minimum of 18.9%, which could prove crippling for the majority of borrowers.
The lengther promotional period is targeted at debtors tackling substantial arrears, and this cluster of borrowers ought to devise a plan focussed on the eradication of their existing debt. Sound financial advice, and strong family support, ought to be sought in lieu of this and temptation to spend haphazardly must not be yielded too ñ the bigger picture – one of financial security and alleviated anxiety ñ must be kept firmly in mind.
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