Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Watch out: zeros approaching

Suddenly a formation of zero per cent credit card deals is swooping over us.

0% means no interest on a debt transferred from another card. It's a perk to encourage you to apply.

The latest is breaking the distance record for these zero deals. Barclaycard is offering an interest free period of 20 months for balance transfers, the longest ever seen.

Close behind are MBNA and Virgin Money, who have just upped their offer to 18 months.

Some people should duck and let these zeros go by. Others should watch out for the small print...

*There are fees on the balance you transfer. In Barclays case it's a record 3.2% of the amount.

*There's still interest on new debt you run up: 17.5% from Barclays. There are low interest cards charging 11% or less which might be more suitable.

*Maximum balance you can transfer is 90% of your credit limit, which is likely to be around £3,000.

If you are keen, don't assume that you will be accepted as a customer, because all of these card providers are looking for the the most lucrative customers - in other words, rock-solid credits who use the card a lot and are willing to run up a bit of expensive debt.

So they will check your financial record, your job, the electoral roll, anything on your ability to handle credit.

Barclaycard is likely to reject half of the applications it receives. Only those with an income of over £20,000 need think of applying.


  1. Are any offering lifetime balance deals? been a while since I was bombarded with them.

  2. Not that I know of! 20 months is your lot. Some people's credit card debts might take a lifetime to pay off, though...