Virgin launches new 0% and charity credit cards

4 March 2010

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

The card is issued through MBNA Europe, so you cannot transfer an existing debt from other cards in the MBNA group.

To see how the new 0% card compares, read our round-up of the best credit cards

Charitable giving

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.

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