Lloyds launches 21-month balance transfer credit card
Lloyds TSB has launched a new balance transfer credit card which offers borrowers 21 months of 0% interest on any debt they transfer.
The card is ideal for those paying high interest rates on credit card debt but it has a 3% fee which needs to be taken into account.
In a heavily competitive credit card market, how does the Lloyds card compare?
The Platinum Credit Card from Lloyds offers 0% interest for 21 months when balances are transferred within the first 90 days of opening the card.
As it's got a 3% fee you'll pay 3% of any amount being transferred over. For example, with £2,000 you'll have to pay a £60 fee for the transfer.
The card also offers three months 0% interest on new purchases, giving you a short period where you won't have to pay interest on anything you buy.
How does it compare?
When looking at other balance transfer cards this one isn't market leading. There are several other cards which offer a longer 0% period on the transfer.
Top of the table is Barclaycard's balance transfer card which has a 24-month period, followed by four cards from NatWest, RBS, Capital One, and Barclaycard which all offer 23 months.
After these there are still five more offering a higher rate of 22-months at 0% interest. However, the Lloyds card could still be beneficial if you've either already got debt on a card from one of those providers behind the market-leading cards.
When looking at the fee there are also cheaper cards to choose from, but most of these also have a much shorter balance transfer window. For example, the Barclaycard Platinum Low Balance Transfer Fee card has a very low fee of 0.90%. This means you would pay just £18 on a transfer of £2,000 but it's only 0% for 12 months so you've got a lot less time to clear the debt.
Balance transfer cards
The principle behind balance transfer cards is shifting debt from an expensive credit card to one where you'll pay no interest – for a set time period.
As the 0% period is for a limited time, the aim should be clearing the debt before this ends. Otherwise you'll then have to start paying once the interest kicks in. If at this point you've still got money on the card you could switch to another 0% card – however, there's no guarantee you'll be accepted.
You can review the whole of the credit card market in our comparison tables but here are the top balance transfer cards to choose from.