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Less-than-perfect credit? The 0% credit card for you

A silver credit cardThe best credit card deals are usually reserved for those with perfect credit history. But could Halifax be about to change all that?

A war has been raging in the credit card market for some time now.

As lenders fight for new custom, they have been offering longer 0 per cent deals on balance transfers in a bid to entice people to switch.

These 0 per cent deals are usually reserved for those with the best credit score but the Halifax All in One credit card is a little different.

It offers 0 per cent interest on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months.

However, if your credit score isn’t quite up to scratch, you may be offered a 0 per cent introductory offer of 13 or 11 months instead.

Trick or treat

So is this a treat for consumers as it offers those with good, if not perfect, credit an opportunity to bag a 0 per cent interest deal?

Or is it a trick as prospective customers won’t know what deal they will get until they apply?

Nerys Lewis, head of money at Confused.com, says people need to weigh up whether this is the right card for them before applying.

“People do like to know what they’re getting when they apply for a credit card.

“So if you’re applying for a 15 month 0 per cent deal, it’s because that’s what you want.

“But with this card you don’t know what deal you’ll get until you’ve been accepted.

Fight credit rejection

“If you apply for this card in the hope of a 15 month deal, and get offered a shorter length instead, you may well want to go and apply for another, more suitable card.

“But of course, every application leaves a mark on your credit file, and applying for too much credit in a short amount of time can have a negative effect.

“However, if you apply for this card and you don’t get offered 15 months, but 13 or 11 months, you may well feel that’s better than being rejected altogether.”

Find the right deal for you

These 0 per cent balance transfer deals are good as they can help you pay off your debt faster.

But, as Lewis says, it’s important to apply for the right card, as when you apply, lenders will look at your credit report, as provided by one of the UK's three credit reference agencies.

If lenders see you have made several applications it can increase your chances of being rejected as it may appear you are building up too much debt.

If you are looking for a credit card and aren’t sure whether you’ll be accepted, Confused.com offers a Card Matcher service that can help you to judge whether your application for a card will be successful before you apply.

Best for purchases

The Nationwide Select credit card offers a market-leading deal of 0 per cent interest for 18 months on purchases.

The card also offers 0 per cent interest on balance transfers for 17 months and 0.5 per cent cashback.

This offer is open to new and existing Flex Account holders – Nationwide’s current account - and you can apply for a current account as part of the credit card application process.

Best for balance transfers

HSBC is offering a 23-month 0 per cent balance transfer deal for existing customers, while the Barclaycard Platinum card is interest free for 22 months on balance transfers.

Best for cashback

Earn 5 per cent cashback, up to £100, on all spending on the Capital One World MasterCard for the first three months, and up to 1.25 per cent after.

Best for credit-building

The Barclaycard Initial credit card is suited to those who have no credit history and are looking for their first credit card. It has an annual interest rate of 29.9 per cent.




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Naphtalia Loderick

Naphtalia Loderick

Naphtalia Loderick reports on all things personal finance at Confused.com. She started out on a weekly newspaper, via a national news agency and a stint in the fun but ‘not as glamorous as it appears on screen’ world of TV at the BBC researching consumer films for The One Show.

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