Barclaycard is now offering a record 27 interest-free months to pay off your debts.
Last day for Barclaycard half price offer
Image © Barcyaycard
If you want to sign up for an ultra-cheap balance transfer, today is the last day you can apply.
Barclaycard really shook up the credit card market last month when it launched its half-price offer for 0% balance transfer cards.
The offer was great news because it made balance transfers even cheaper, and it also prompted two other credit card providers to cut their balance transfer fees.
How they work
Before we give more detail on the price cuts, let's look at how balance transfer cards work.
Let's say you have a £4,000 debt on a credit card. Because credit card interest rates are so high, you'll have to pay around £700 a year in interest on this debt.
But if you transferred your debt to a new 0% card, you wouldn't have to pay any interest for the 0% period. The only cost would be a balance transfer fee - with most cards, that fee is normally around the 3% mark.
However, Barclaycard's special offer means that you can do a balance transfer and pay a much lower fee of 1.45% or less. Let's see how the Barclaycard deals compare with the other top 0% transfer cards on the market.
|Credit card||0% period||Balance transfer fee||What it would cost to transfer £4,000||Normal interest rate Representative APR||Notes|
|Barclaycard Gold Visa||Nine months||1.25%||£50||19.9%||Special offer ends on 13 August. Fee will rise to 2.5%|
|Barclaycard 21-Month Platinum Visa||21 months||1.3%||£52||17.9%||Special offer ends on 13 August. Fee will rise to 2.6%.|
|Barclaycard 22-Month Platinum Visa||22 months||1.45%||£58||17.9%||Special offer ends on 13 August. Fee will rise to 2.9%.|
|Barclaycard 14/14 Platinum Visa||14 months||1.45%||£58||17.9%||Special offer ends 13 August. Fee will rise to 2.9%.|
|Fluid Card||15 months||1.50%||£60||15.9%|
|MBNA Platinum Credit Card||20 months||2.50%||£100||16.9%||You must apply via MBNA website|
|first direct credit card||20 months||2.90%||£116||19.9%|
|Virgin Credit Card||20 months||2.99%||£119.96||16.8%||Also get discounts on some Virgin products|
|Halifax 20 Month MasterCard||20 months||3%||£120||16.9%|
|Nationwide Visa||20 months||3.10%||£124||15.9%|
|NatWest Platinum||22 months||3.20%||£128||17.9%|
|HSBC Credit Card||23 months||3.30%||£132||17.9%||Only available to existing HSBC customers|
|Halifax MasterCard||22 months||3.50%||£140||17.9%|
You'll see from the table that the Barclaycard Gold Visa has the lowest balance transfer fee at just 1.25%. On the downside, its nine-month 0% period is relatively short, but the card should prove popular because unlike most 0% cards, it's aimed at people who don't have top-notch credit scores.
So if you've missed payments on loans or cards in the past, or you've never really borrowed, this card could be the one to go for. There are no guarantees that your application will be successful, but your chances are higher than with the other 0% cards.
If your credit score is strong, the Barclaycard 21-month Platinum Visa card is probably the best one to go for. That's because the fee is only a tiny bit higher at 1.3% and you get a much longer 0% period - 21 months. That means you'll get much more time to pay off your debt, and hopefully it will be cleared by the time the 0% period ends.
If you're tempted by any of these cards, you must make your application very soon. The deadline for applications is today - Monday, 13 August - so get cracking.
Sadly, Barclaycard's special offer is only available to new customers, but there is a decent alternative - the Fluid Card.
Fluid has decided to compete with Barclaycard and has cut the balance transfer fee on its card to 1.5% while still offering a 15-month 0% period. Even better, there is no deadline for applications.
Another plus point for the Fluid Card is its 'soft search' facility. This enables you to find out if your application is likely to be accepted before you make a formal application. This can save you time and cuts the chance of you damaging your credit rating by making a failed application.
The soft search looks at your annual salary, age, employment status and address to see if you're likely to be given the card.
Barclaycard's special offer also prompted one other provider to cut its balance transfer fee - MBNA. If you apply for the MBNA Platinum Credit Card on the MBNA website, you'll only have to pay a 2.5% fee and you could benefit from a 20-month 0% period.
So if you want to pay off your credit card debt and not pay any interest, you have plenty of choice. Just remember that if you want to go for a Barclaycard, today is the last day to apply for the special offer.
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