Get ready for some changes in the face of the UK credit card market this summer. Several major credit card companies have announced changes in their best deals on balance transfer credit cards or lowered their typical rate on their most popular products. But, warns the Office for Fair Trade, it's important that consumers keep their eye on the fine print. Like the old saying goes, they give with one hand and take with the other.
The Halifax One card is another of the balance transfer credit cards that's undergone some changes. The new offering is 0% interest on balance transfers AND new purchases for 9 full months, but the Halifax hasn't stopped there. They've also dropped their standard APR from 15.9% to 9.9% - one of the few single digit typical APRs in the UK. On the other hand, they've increased their balance transfer fee to an uncapped 3% - the highest fee in the market.
The changes at Virgin Money and the Halifax aren't the only ones. A number of
old standbys have raised their APRs, moving them into the higher end of credit
card deals. Those include Lloyds TSB, American Express and Nationwide building
Meanwhile, American Express has completely withdrawn its balance transfer
offers to new customers. They still offer the leading life-of-balance transfer
credit cards offer, but it's no longer available to new customers. All this
means that if you're considering doing some shuffling of credit card balances,
now is a good time to be looking at the offerings on the plate to compare
balance transfer credit cards.
Outside the major 0% balance transfer credit cards, there are as many as 40 different balance transfer credit cards on offer in the UK. The life of balance' rates are seen by many as the best options. Those cards offer APRs of 4.95% to 6% on balance transfers until the balance transfer is completely paid off. The leaders of the pack in the life of balance transfer credit cards are Intelligent Finance, at 4.95%, NatWest at 5.8% and GE Money at 5.9%.
Still, the 0% balance transfer credit cards may be your best deal for as long as they last, especially if you can pay off the entire debt during the introductory period. Virgin Money, with their twelve month offer, just may allow you to do that.
You can compare balance transfer credit cards and other deals at comparison websites, where you'll find all the best deals on offer in the UK.