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Review: Sainsbury’s launches lowest balance transfer fee

Sainsbury’s has launched a credit card that offers 12 months interest-free on balance transfers for a 0.5% transfer fee – the lowest rate around.

Sainsbury's Bank credit cards

Sainsbury’s new Nectar credit card gives borrowers the opportunity to shift existing card debts and not pay interest for a year.

And with a low 0.5% transfer fee – the charge you pay for moving your debt from one card to another - you would only pay £5 for moving £1,000.

Who is the card for?

This card could come in handy if you’re paying interest on an existing credit card.

The 12-month 0% period means you can shift your balance and clear the debt over the course of a year while avoiding extra charges.

To fully benefit from the deal you should aim to pay off your balance within 12 months.

After this period ends the interest rate shoots up to 16.93%.

Do you need longer than 12 months to clear your debts?

If you need more time to clear your balance you could benefit from a balance transfer card with a longer 0% introductory rate.

The Barclaycard Platinum credit card, for example, now offers 32 months interest-free – the longest 0% period on the market.

The transfer fee is 2.99% - so you’d pay £29.90 for shifting £1,000 and £59.80 on £2,000.

In total nine cards now offer 30 months or more interest-free on balance transfers, so make sure to compare deals to get the best card for your own circumstances.

12 months 0% on purchases

The Sainsbury’s credit card has a 12-month interest-free deal on purchases too, meaning you can spend on the card and, again, avoid paying any interest for a year.

This might be useful if you’re planning on buying something significant such as holiday as you can pay for it upfront then spread the cost over a period of time.

How does it compare?

There are currently 36 credit cards on the market that offer 12 months interest-free on balance transfers and Sainsbury’s offers the lowest fee (0.5%) of any.

Of the cards that are potentially available to everyone, next best is Tesco which has a card with a 0.65% transfer fee, followed by a Fluid credit card which charges 0.75% for balance transfers.

Are there any drawbacks?

Sainsbury's Bank cash pointThe Sainsbury’s credit card comes with the Nectar loyalty points scheme, but this only gives any significant benefits to regular Sainsbury’s shoppers.

Customers can collect double Nectar points when shopping in Sainsbury’s on their card and two Nectar points per every £1 spent on Sainsbury's fuel.

However, you only receive one Nectar point for every £5 spent elsewhere.

So if you don’t shop in Sainsbury’s there may be better rewards cards out there for you. 

Our verdict: ‘A great all-rounder’

Nerys Lewis is head of credit cards at

She says: "This card is a great all-rounder, offering a very attractive balance transfer deal, a competitive 0% purchases period and a decent rewards scheme, which particularly benefits Sainsbury’s customers.

"However, the low balance transfer fee alone might be a strong enough incentive for many people to take out this card."

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Adam Jolley

Adam Jolley

Adam Jolley is a content producer at He joined us in May 2012 from the world of financial services PR.

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