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Barclaycard launches 31-month 0% card

close up of a credit card chipBarclaycard remains at the top of the 0% balance-transfer credit card table as it launches a deal that gives borrowers 31 months interest-free - the longest 0% period ever.

Barclaycard has launched a new 31-month interest-free balance-transfer credit card, adding to its previous market-leading 30-month offer.

The move comes only a day after Halifax launched a new credit card offering 30 months interest-free on balance transfers for a 3% fee.

This temporarily pushed Halifax up to the second spot on the balance transfer credit cards best-buy tables on Thursday, behind Barclaycard’s 30-month offer.

But Barclaycard has hit back with the launch of a new 31-month 0% card, with a balance transfer fee - the cost of moving your existing credit card debt to this deal – of 2.99%.

'Credit card price wars benefit consumers'

Since the start of the year several big credit-card lenders, such as MBNA, Santander and Tesco, have battled for new customers by launching new long-term 0% balance-transfer credit cards deals.

This price war is good news for consumers, according to Confused.com’s head of credit cards Nerys Lewis.

"People looking for an interest-free deal won’t be short of options," she says.

"This time last year the card with the longest 0% period – still a Barclaycard – only offered 25 months interest-free.

Credit card deals for new customers

"But now, there are 25 cards with balance transfer periods over this."

However, current Barclaycard holders will not be able to take advantage of the firm’s new offer.

This is because Barclaycard, like many lenders, do not allow balance transfers from existing customers.

However, with 25 balance transfer cards offering more than 25 months interest-free, there are plenty of deals to choose from.

Find the most cost-effective card

If you’re paying interest on your current credit card balance, switching to an interest-free deal can be an economical way to clear your debt.

But before you do, you should make sure you’re getting the most cost-effective card for you.

This could mean looking beyond the top Barclaycard and comparing a range of balance transfer deals.

For example, in December we reported on why consumers shouldn’t always be tempted by the longest 0% credit card deal.

Could you benefit from a lower transfer fee?

Many of the credit cards offering upwards of 28 months at 0% have transfer fees in the region of 2.5 to 3 per cent.

However, if you could clear your debt in around 12 to 15 months you might want to consider switching to a credit card with a shorter interest-free period as many have a lower handling fee.

For example, the Fluid Low Fee BT card offers borrowers 12 months interest-free on balance transfers for a 0.75% charge.

If you were transferring £1,500, for example, you would only pay a fee of £11.25 with Fluid instead of £44.85 with the 31-month Barclaycard.

Check your likelihood of acceptance

Before you apply, remember to use Confused.com's free Card Matcher tool which lets you check your likelihood of acceptance for any of the types of cards on our website.

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Adam Jolley

Adam Jolley

Adam Jolley is a writer at Confused.com, focusing on credit cards and other financial products. Wannabe mountaineer Adam joined us from the world of financial services PR.

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