Making a giant killing on the cards

Despite epic giant killing in the FA Cup over the weekend, the Premiership’s top clubs are still on course in the Champions League.

Manchester United and Chelsea might be down and out in the FA Cup but they march on in Europe.

Victory is not necessarily on the cards in Moscow at the Champions League Final but clubs are marching on relentlessly in the credit card market. With all Premiership clubs, not to mention those in The Championship plus Leagues One and Two plus some in the SPL, now offering credit card options, die-hard fans might like to consider signing up for the ultimate supporter’s accessory.

MoneyExpert.com gives a run-down on what the football supporters credit cards have to offer.

Tight at the top

Unlike in the Premiership things aren’t exactly competitive in the credit card league as far as football clubs are concerned. All the cards are provided by MBNA and consequently the rates are standard.

Whether you sign up for Manchester United’s or Watford’s credit card you’ll get the same package: an APR of 15.9%, 0% on balance transfers for 12 months (with a 3% transfer fee), and 0% on new purchases for three months.

You could do worse, but none of the above is spectacular. In terms of balance transfers the 12 months interest free is good but easily beaten by the likes of the Virgin Credit Card offering 15 months and Barclaycard Platinum offering 14 months. In the case of the latter you also get a better APR of 14.9%.

If it’s new purchases you’re after the clubs’ cards have some way to go to beat the 12 months interest free offered by Halifax One Online Special.

Every little helps

Having said all that the cards are by no means a complete flop and they obviously have other benefits that traditional providers don’t offer. Every time you use the card a percentage of what you spent is donated back to your club. It may not be a huge amount but is well invested into such areas as the club’s youth programme.

You also have the opportunity to earn rewards points – one point for every £1 spent. The rewards on offer are rather more original than air miles. Arsenal’s card for example gives you the chance to visit the training ground and have lunch with an Arsenal ‘legend’.

No club-tie

It’s not only the clubs offering football related credit cards either. England has a Football Credit Card that has similar benefits to those offered by the clubs, with money being re-invested in football at all levels. Again the APR is 15.9% with a 12 months interest free balance transfer offer.

If you’re a serious fan who regularly purchases a season ticket then the Barclaycard Football Card could be a good option. It offers a decent rate of 14.9% APR and won’t charge any interest on the purchase of a season ticket provided it’s worth more than £250.

Worth a shot?

As with most financial products these credit cards are only really worth it if you’re going to make the most of, and enjoy, the benefits they offer. Unless you’re a serious fan the chance to earn enough points to watch Portsmouth train won’t be that enticing.

The rates and 0% deals, whilst pretty good, are certainly not strong enough to top the best buy tables, so unless you hold the future of your club close to your heart you may do better to look elsewhere.

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