Virgin launches new 0% and charity credit cards
Virgin Money has launched a new credit card offering 0% on balance transfers and card purchases for 12 months.
Combined 0% credit cards tend to offer the introductory zero rate for a longer period on either balance transfers or new purchases. In contrast, the Virgin Credit Card Exclusive offers a blanket 0% period, with balance transfers subject to a 2.98% fee.
Anyone taking out this card should ensure, however, that they have cleared both balances within the 12-month period, as the typical APR after this time is 18.9%.
The card is only available over the next two weeks through price comparison website moneysupermarket.com.
The card is issued through MBNA Europe, so you cannot transfer an existing debt from other cards in the MBNA group.
Virgin Money has also launched a new cashback credit card that donates 1% of card purchases to charity.
Charity credit cards tend to be considered bad value for both consumers and the charities involved.
However, Virgin Money’s new card donates an impressive 0.8% to charity. In addition, it is the only card that allows cardholders to register for gift aid – which boosts the donation to 1%.
Cardholders will be able to nominate their chosen charity but they can change this if they wish to.
“If a customer can't decide which charity they want their cash back to go to, then our nominated charity will receive the funds,” says Scott Mowbray, spokesman for Virgin Money.
He adds: "The Virgin Money charity credit card is an easy and convenient way to support good causes and the addition of gift aid ensures charities get the maximum benefit from donations.”
Gift aid is a tax relief on donations, meaning the government treats the money as if the donor had already deducted basic-rate tax from them. The charity can then reclaim this tax to increase the value of a donation.
If you are a basic-rate taxpayer donating through gift aid then every £10 you donate will mean £12.80 for the charity. That’s an extra £28 for every £100 you donate.
And if you are a higher-rate taxpayer who uses gift aid to donate to charities then you can claim higher rate relief on these payments. All you need to do is enter the donations in the gift aid box on your self-assessment tax return or declare donations on your P810.
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.
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%.