Deal of the week
M&S Money has launched a 0% credit card offering for new customers, which benefits from 0% interest on all purchases for 10 months and on balance transfers for six months.
The deal then reverts to a typical APR of 15.9%. A balance transfer fee of 2% applies, and cash withdrawals attract an APR of 23.95%. The card also rewards shoppers with M&S points, plus 55 days interest free when buying M&S Travel Money with the card.
Brendan Cook, chief executive of M&S Money, says: "While a number of other providers have recently been raising their interest rates and shortening their 0% offers, we're delighted to be bucking this trend - at a time when consumers will appreciate this the most.
“This new card means that M&S is now one of the few providers in the market to be offering excellent 0% deals on both purchases and balance transfers.”
How does it compare?
|Credit card||Purchases||Balance transfers||Typical APR||Cash APR||Other?|
|M&S Money||0% 10 months||0% 10 months
|Halifax All in
|0% 10 months||0% 10 months
|0% 01/11/09||0% 01/11/09
|16.9%||25.9%||Free ID services|
|Lloyds TSB Advance||0% six months||4.9% 12 months
|0% three months||0% 15 months
|0% 12 months||12.9%
|Egg Visa Credit||0% 01/01/09||0% 01/01/10
|16.9%||24.9%||Cash back rewards|
|Source: Moneywise Compare & Buy and Moneyfacts 02/10/08|
Used by the holder to buy goods and services, credit cards also have a monthly or annual spending limit, which may be raised or lowered depending on the creditworthiness of the cardholder. But unlike charge cards, borrowers aren’t forced to pay the balance off in full every month and, as long as they make a stated minimum payment, can carry a balance from one month to the next, generating compound interest. As the issuing company is effectively giving you a short-term loan, most credit cards have variable and relatively high interest rates. Allowing the interest to compound for too long may result in dire financial straits.
Moving money from one account to another, whether switching bank accounts or more likely transferring the outstanding balance on your credit card to another card that charges a lower – or 0% – rate of interest. Some card providers may charge a transfer fee that can be a percentage of the balance transferred.
This is used to compare interest rates for borrowing. It is the total (or “gross”) interest you’ll pay over the life of a loan, including charges and fees. For credit cards where interest is charged at more frequent intervals, the APR includes a “compounding” effect (paying interest on interest). So for a credit card charging 2% interest a month (equating to 24% a year), the APR would actually be 26.82%.