The AA launches longest ever fee-free 0% balance transfer deal
The AA has launched the longest-ever fee-free 0% balance transfer card, a new 0% fee-free balance transfer card, meaning borrowers can avoid paying interest or fees on an existing credit card debt for a full two years.
The card previously offered a fee-free 22-month 0% interest period, but this has been extended to 24 months for new customers who transfer a balance of at least £500.
Charlotte Nelson of Moneyfacts.co.uk says: “With no balance transfer fee this is the longest fee free balance transfer fee Moneyfacts.co.uk has seen.”
“Whilst there may be longer interest-free deals on the market, this is a great choice for any borrower looking to consolidate their debt cheaply; however borrowers must ensure that the balance is paid off in full before the deal expires to ensure interest is not charged.”
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As well as the balance transfer feature, the card also offers interest free purchases for the first three months.
Interest is charged at 19.9% APR representative, which will kick in after the 0% period, or if you miss a payment or go over your credit limit.
The AA says all successful applications will get the full 24-month 0% period, though some customers will be offered a higher interest rate than the advertised APR.
Most credit card companies only offer the advertised promotional period or interest rate (APR) to 51% of people who take out the card, offering lower interest-free periods and higher interest rates to the rest.
This isn’t the longest 0% deal on the market – Sainsbury’s Bank and Virgin Money both offer 40-month 0% deals, but both charge balance transfer fees.
Shifting a £3,000 balance to Sainsbury’s Bank’s Long Balance Transfer Card costs £86.70 (2.89%), while Virgin Money charges £76.20 (2.54%).
The AA card will charge nothing to do this, though you will have less time to clear your debt.
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%.