Barclaycard has increased its top interest-free balance transfer credit card from 31 to 32 months – the longest ever 0% deal available in the UK.
The credit card price war shows no sign of cooling off as Barclaycard launched a 32-month 0% deal – the longest ever interest-free credit card currently available.
This means that credit card holders can shift existing balances from other cards to Barclaycard’s Platinum credit card and have 32 months in which to pay off their debt interest-free.
The transfer fee – the cost of moving your balance from one credit card to another – is 2.99%.
Barclaycard has kept its 31-month balance transfer card but reduced the fee to 2.89%.
Credit card price war
The move came on the same day Halifax increased the interest-free period on its balance transfer credit card from 30 to 31 months, with a transfer fee of 3%.
This brought Halifax almost in line with Barclaycard’s existing 31-month 0% deal at the top of the balance transfer credit card best-buy table.
But Barclaycard hit back to go clear of the competition by introducing its new 32-month deal.
This is the latest move in a series of new and improved balance transfer credit card deals to be introduced since the start of the year from major providers such as Tesco, MBNA and Nationwide.
Save £1,038 in interest charges
Balance transfer cards can be useful to people with existing credit card debt to clear.
The 0% interest periods mean cardholders can shift a balance from one card to another and, if they were paying interest on their old card, clear their debt while avoiding extra charges.
For example, if you have a balance of £3,000 accumulating interest at the average rate of 17.9% APR and move your balance to the current market-leading deal (Barclaycard’s 0% 32-month deal), you could save £1,038.87 in interest charges over 32 months.
That’s after paying the balance transfer fee of 2.99% and assuming you pay off 1% of your balance plus any charges or fees, on time each month.
Good time to get a deal
Nerys Lewis, head of credit cards at Confused.com, says there has never been a better time to grab a good deal.
"Nine cards now offer 30 months or more interest-free on balance transfers," she says.
"And 32-months is pretty incredible when you consider the longest interest-free deal was just 26 months this time last year."
Barclaycard only accepts new applicants, so if you are already a Barclaycard customer you’ll have to look elsewhere.
"However," says Lewis, "with MBNA, Tesco and Halifax also offering more than 30-months interest-free, whichever card you’re looking to shift a balance from you should find a good deal."
The right credit card for you
The best credit card deals are generally reserved for people with the best credit history.
Lewis says: "As interest-free periods on balance transfer credit cards have increased, credit card companies have become increasingly strict about who they lend to."
In other words, if your credit rating is anything less than top notch you’re unlikely to get the very best offers.
But there are several simple steps you can take to improve your credit record.
These include making sure you’re registered on the electoral roll, paying all your bills on time and making more than the minimum payments on existing credit cards.
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