M&S credit card gets 12-month 0% balance transfer boost
The M&S Credit Card is getting a revamp.
Now as well as 15 months interest-free on purchases you will also be able to get 12 months interest-free on balance transfers for a fee of 2.9%.
Previously the Marks & Spencer Credit Card didn't come with a balance transfer option and was solely designed for new purchases.
The change means it is now part of the 'best of both' category as well as being a highly competitive 0% purchase credit card. It also retains the ability to earn M&S reward points through spending.
But the added balance transfer offer comes at a price. The APR has shifted from 15.9% to 16.9%, meaning it will be more expensive for cardholders once the 0% period ends on each offer, should they fail to clear the balance in full each month.
That said the rate is still competitive and has just come in line with the average other providers are charging already.
Why is the change important?
A 0% purchase credit card is a great way to borrow interest-free for a while. In fact it is one of our top 13 brilliant ways to borrow.
But there's no point going for one if you have expensive debts on existing credit cards. You don't want to be saving money on borrowing, but wasting it elsewhere paying interest on debts.
With a card that offers 0% deals on purchases and balance transfers, you get the best of both worlds; you can borrow and spend cheaply but freeze debt while you do it.
There are loads of cards to choose from that offer both 0% on balance transfers and purchases. But it's important you give yourself enough time on each and get the cheapest balance transfer you can.
Best of both
Here is a table with the top cards that offer both 0% on purchases and 0% on balance transfers for at least 12 months, arranged by cheapest balance transfer.
|Credit card||Length of 0% purchases||Length of 0% balance transfers||Balance transfer fee||Cost to transfer £2,000|
|Nationwide BS Select Credit Card*||12 months||20 months||1.55%||£31.00|
|Barclaycard 14/14 Platinum Visa||14 months||14 months||2.90%||£58.00|
|Marks & Spencer Credit Card||15 months||12 months||2.90%||£58.00|
|Halifax All in One Online MasterCard||15 months||15 months||3.00%||£60.00|
|Lloyds TSB Platinum Purchase Online MasterCard||13 months||13 months||3.00%||£60.00|
|Bank of Scotland Platinum Purchase Online MasterCard||13 months||13 months||3.00%||£60.00|
*You need a FlexAccount to qualify for this card.
As you can see the Nationwide Building Society Credit Card takes the top spot. It offers the cheapest and longest balance transfer in this group. But the deal is only available to existing FlexAccount customers.
So for everyone else the Barclaycard 14/14 Platinum Visa represents the best value card followed closely by the revamped M&S Credit Card.
Barclaycard offers two months more on balance transfers but is one month short on purchases compared to M&S. You will need to decide which difference matters more.
If you need more time on balance transfers
If you are more concerned with clearing your debt than spending any more and have a lot to shift, a longer lasting balance transfer is probably more useful.
Currently the best card on the market is the Barclaycard 25-Month Platinum Visa, which gives you more than two years to clear the debt.
It comes with a transfer fee of 3.2% but for one month less you can get the Barclaycard 24-Month Platinum Visa and pay a fee of just 2.8%.
Both cards also come with six months interest-free on purchases if you do end up spending, but beware the APR is 18.9% so make sure you clear everything you spend before this kicks in.
If you don't need the balance transfer
Of course having the option of a balance transfer on your credit card is only useful if you have some existing debt to transfer.
But if you don't have any then a best of both credit card is unlikely to be that helpful to you.
In that case you might be looking for the longest lasting purchase credit card.
At the moment you can find that with the Tesco Clubcard Credit Card which comes with 16 months 0% on purchases.