Credit cards have long been associated with debt, providing ‘vulnerable consumers’ with a tool that can potentially fuel debt.
However, things have changed, and nowadays credit cards actually provide the means to clear your debts efficiently without adding to them through high interest rates.
Almost all credit cards come with special features these days with specific consumer groups in mind, from airmiles or cashback to offer long 0% purchases durations and indeed 0% balance transfer periods.
Your financial situation will influence the type of credit card that is most suited to you, for example, you wouldn’t go for a credit card awarding airmiles if you were looking to transfer a balance simply to clear your debts.
The good news is that the credit card market is booming with competition, so the features offered tend to get better and better.
Barclaycard Platinum – 0% for 17 Months
The new year has brought with it a new milestone in the credit card market, with one credit card provider stepping up the 0% durations offering the longest ever interest free period on balance transfers.
This is great news for anyone that currently owes money on one or more credit cards and wishes to pay them off without accruing further expense.
The Barclaycard Platinum card not only comes with a market leading 17 months at 0% on balance transfers – the longest ever interest free balance transfer duration – but also a £20 discount on the transfer fee if you apply before 31 January and transfer £3,000 or more.
Balance transfer credit cards effectively allow you to freeze interest charges that would usually apply for the duration of the 0% period. This means your payments count for more and you will no longer have to fight an uphill battle against high interest charges.
As with all balance transfer credit cards there is a small transfer fee incurred when moving a balance across (2.9% on the Barclaycard Platinum) which is added to your balance, but this is significantly lower that most standard APR’s so you will save money in the long-run.
A good tip when making use of the balance transfer feature is to dividing the total balance (not forgetting the transfer fee) by the number of interest free months. If you can afford to pay this amount every month, simply set up a standing order and clear your debt quickly and efficiently.
Something you should always remember is that you will be required to pay at least the minimum monthly balance. This will stop you from breaking any rules set by the provider while helping you to cut your balance.