Credit cards Updated:
As of today, 5 December 2012, the Barclaycard Platinum card is the longest balance transfer card in the market offering a whopping 24 months 0% interest for balance transfers.
More recently NatWest stepped up the competition for balance transfers by increasing its 0% balance transfer period to 23 months making it a hot choice, and lagging slightly behind at 22 months is the MBNA Platinum Credit Card and the Tesco Bank Clubcard Credit Card.
It charges a 2.80% balance transfer fee where as NatWest charges 3.50% and MBNA follows closely charging 2.85%. In effect Barclaycard still charges a fee of 3.20%, but as of December 12 it will offer new customers a refund on the balance transfer handling fee which effectively makes it just 2.80% (this deal is only valid for new Barclaycard customers applying online and may be withdrawn at any time, so check the terms and conditions before applying). In addition to quite a reasonable fee for transfering a balance compared to its competitors, Barclaycard is giving an additional £30 fee refund on balance transfers of £2,000 or more (terms and conditions apply).
If you have more than one card you want to transfer the balance from, then the Barclaycard 24 month balance transfer card is a good deal. You can transfer balances from up to five cards using the online process; all you will need is the card number, expiry date and how much you wish to transfer from each card. Remember that you must request a balance transfer within the first 60 days of taking out the card.
Based on transferring at least £2,000 from your card you'll be charged £64 (at 3.20%) for the initial transfer but receive a refund on your third Barclaycard statement of £8.00 which is effectively the difference between 3.20% (£64) and 2.80% (£56) plus £30 making your transfer fee just £26 in total. Be aware that you can only transfer up to 90% of the credit you are offered.
If your application is approved, you'll also be sent a free monkey Mr B toy whilst stocks last, so if you want an extra cuddly toy for Christmas, get your application in quick (terms and conditions apply).
The Barclaycard Platinum also offers 0% on purchases for 3 months from the date of opening, which isn't the greatest deal in the market if you're looking for a spending card, but if it's a balance transfer card you're after that does come in handy.
You don't have to be an existing Barclays Bank customer to apply for this card and the application process online is really quick and simple. It took me about 10 minutes to complete online, but you will need your bank details to hand - bank name, sort code and account number. Your application will be accepted or declined online immediately. Once accepted Barclays will send an agreement through the post, which you'll need to sign and return before they send you the card. The whole process from application to getting the card takes around three weeks. As soon as you get the card you can use it immediately after calling a free phone number to activate it. This is a standard security check to make sure that the right person has received the card.
You only get to choose one card colour and that's silver indicating that it is a Platinum card.
If you decide to use the card to withdraw cash from a cash point you will be charged a fee of 2.99% for the initial withdrawal and interest at 2.075% monthly (27.9% yearly) as long as the cash withdrawal amount is not paid off. Therefore, if you are taking out £100 at an ATM that's an additional charge of £2.99 plus interest. However, you do get a 25-day interest free period to pay that cash back into your account, so if you desperately need to take out cash, pay it back within the 25 days and you won't get charged the interest.
And if you are thinking of taking this card on holiday, don't. The cost of your holiday is likely to go up as it charges 2.75% on foreign purchases and cash withdrawals. There are better cards for this on the market for holidays – search Traveller Friendly Cards for the best card to take away on your holidays.
You can check all the charges using our details link from the Moneyfacts.co.uk Credit Card best buys chart.
One more thing you should be aware of before you apply for the Barclaycard Platinum is that you can't make use of the balance transfer offer on this card if you already have a Barclaycard, so don't even think about it.
Your credit rating will determine how much credit you will be allowed. It may be a good idea to check your credit rating before applying.
This card is good for those of you who want a long interest-free period to pay off existing debts, but are not going to use the card for future spending and can make payments on time. If, like me, you've got a large amount to transfer and want to work out how long it will take you to pay it off interest free, try the Moneyfacts.co.uk credit repayment calculator. Just enter the amount you want to transfer, enter 0% as the current interest rate and how much you can afford to pay each month and we'll work out the rest.
Don't spend over your set credit amount as Barclays will charge you £12.00 for the privilege and always pay off the minimum repayment on your statement or in full if you can so you don't get charged late payment fees.
If you're looking for a card with a continuously low rate of interest on spending and balance transfers, Barclays also offers the Barclaycard Platinum Simplicity Visa card. There's a 0 interest balance transfer fee, so you don't pay anything for transferring but the interest you pay on the amount transferred is charged at a very low rate of 7.9% typical APR variable (which means the rate can change so make sure you check regularly). So if you transfer £2,000 and pay the card off within 11 months at £200 a month, you will be charged an additional £59.55 in interest.
See the table below for how we have calculated this:
The other fees for late repayment and using the card abroad are the same as with the 24-month balance transfer Barclaycard, but cash withdrawals are charged at 1.233% monthly (15.8% annually).
You still need to earn at least £20K to apply for this card. This card is good for those with an average credit rating who don't want to switch from card to card every few months.
If you are happy to switch every time your 0% deal finishes on a card, then compare credit card deals here.
Manage your account over the internet with Barclaycard's online services. It's easy to set up and simple to use. You can change how much you pay each month by direct debit online, but it does take a while to go through so be careful you don't under pay.
Correct as at 5 December 2012. Please check the latest credit card rates before applying.
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
Moneyfacts.co.uk will, like most other websites, place cookies onto your computer’s
hard drive. This includes tracking cookies.