Credit cardsIf you're trying to manage a bit of old debt, but still need to spend, then a credit card that offers the best deal on both balance transfers and purchases is a handy tool to have in your wallet.

The new Lloyds TSB Credit Card MasterCard fits into this category nicely as it offers a generous 13 months interest free on both balance transfers and purchases.


Why bother?

A balance transfer credit card is a great tool that can freeze debt in order to help you pay it off without worrying about interest stacking up.

And there are some great deals around right now from Barclaycard, NatWest and RBS, with 0% balance transfers that last as long as 23 months. That's nearly two years! Yet these credit cards are a bit lacking when it comes to introductory offers on new purchases with just three or six months on offer.

If you need to do a bit more spending - especially with the festive season approaching - there is no point doing it on a balance transfer card with little to no introductory offer on purchases.

If you can sacrifice a few months on balance transfers, you would be better off getting a card that covers both bases, to help you cope with your finances seamlessly.

Here's a round-up of some great cards that offer over six months on both balance transfers and purchases.

Good all-rounders

Credit card

0% period on balance transfer

0% period on purchases

APR

Balance transfer fee

Nationwide BS Select Credit Card*

20 months

12 months

12.9%

3.1%

Halifax All in One MasterCard

15 months

15 months

17.9%

3%

Barclaycard 14/14 Platinum Visa

14 months

14 months

18.9%

2.9%

NatWest /RBS YourPoints World MasterCard

13 months

13 months

17.9%

2.9%

Bank of Scotland Credit Card MasterCard

13 months

13 months

17.9%

3%

Lloyds TSB Credit Card MasterCard

13 months

13 months

17.9%

3%

Tesco Bank Clubcard Credit Card for Purchase MasterCard

9 months

16 months

16.9%

2.9%

MBNA Everyday Credit Card Visa

17 months

7 months

11.9%

2%

AA Members Rewards Visa

12 months

10 months

16.9%

3%

Saga Over 50's Platinum Visa**

9 months

9 months

11.9%

3%

*Must be a FlexAccount holder
**Only available to the over 50s

The latest offering from Lloyds is certainly a good all-rounder, but doesn't have much to make it stand out from the crowd. The card covers both bases, but the balance transfer fee isn't great at 3%. A £2,000 debt will cost you £60 to transfer at this rate.

While 13 months is generous there are better deals available.

Aim higher

The best by a long way is the Nationwide Building Society Select Credit Card which has 20 months interest free on balance transfers as well as 12 months interest free on new purchases. That's at least a year to sort out your finances and even longer to clear your balance transfer.

However, the balance transfer fee is less desirable at 3.1% - making it the most expensive in this category. But you get the added bonus of a low 12.9% APR which is a bit of a cushion if you take longer than expected to pay off the balance you transfer or any new purchases made. That said the APR you receive might change from the advertised rate depending on your credit profile.

Sadly, this card isn't available to everyone - you will need to be an existing customer with a FlexAccount in order to get one. But the Halifax All in One MasterCard and Barclaycard 14/14 Platinum Visa credit cards are available to those that miss out and both offer over a year interest free on both balance transfers and new purchases.



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