0% deal for 18 months lures card hoppers

For rate tarts, it might sound like credit-card heaven.

Those who constantly switch their debt between 0 per cent credit cards to avoid paying interest may be interested in a new deal from Capital One, now being mailed to selected customers, offering a monster 18 months interest-free on balance transfers.

But it will be worth checking the small print on the company's Platinum Mastercard as prospective customers will qualify for the full 18-month 0 per cent offer only if they spend at least £100 on new purchases in the first three months.

Nick White from the price-comparison service uSwitch.com says that, as with most balance-transfer credit card deals, it isn't cost-effective to use the same card for new purchases because of the order of repayments.

Nearly all card providers now allocate your money to debts with the lowest level of interest first, leaving items charged at higher rates - such as new purchases and cash advances - to accrue interest.

With Capital One, the sums spent on new purchases during the three months will incur interest at 15.9 per cent for the remaining 15 months of the balance transfer.

Samantha Owens from financial analyst Moneyfacts says that while people opting for a 0 per cent transfer won't want to have to pay interest on new purchases, it may still be worth taking out the Capital One card - as long as they only spend that £100.

"This is the longest interest-free period on the market at the moment," she explains, "and you won't pay back a huge amount of interest on £100."

For those who do not want to do this, though, Ms Owens picks out credit cards from GE Money, Barclaycard, HSBC and Virgin. All these offer 12 months interest-free on balance transfers.

Moving your debts from one 0 per cent deal to another is no longer the easy ride it once was - and many in the industry think free balance transfers are becoming a "dying breed".

"Long gone are the days when rate tarts could jump from one credit card to another without incurring fees," says Michelle Slade at Moneyfacts.

Almost all providers now charge an upfront fee for their 0 per cent balance- transfer deal. And not only are those fees going up, but many are uncapped.

New findings from the price-comparison service MoneyExpert.com show that only one in eight credit cards cap their charges, typically at between £30 and £50, with the majority now imposing unlimited transfer fees - which can go as high as 3 per cent.

Arts and Entertainment
Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones
tvSeries 5, Episode 3 review
News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

    £24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

    Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Services - City, London

    £50000 - £55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Service...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is the o...

    Day In a Page

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

    How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

    Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

    Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
    Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

    Aviation history is littered with grand failures

    But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

    Fortress Europe?

    Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
    Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

    Never mind what you're wearing

    It's what you're reclining on that matters
    General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

    Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

    The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
    Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

    Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

    Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
    Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

    Marginal Streets project documents voters

    Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
    Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

    The real-life kingdom of Westeros

    Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
    How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

    How to survive a Twitter mauling

    Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
    Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

    At dawn, the young remember the young

    A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

    Follow the money as never before

    Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

    Samuel West interview

    The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
    General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

    The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence