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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
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

    Accounts Payable

    £12 - £15 per hour: Cameron Kennedy Recruitment: Excellent opportunity to join...

    Technical BA - Banking - Bristol - £400pd

    £400 per hour: Orgtel: Technical Business Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £400pd...

    Account Management Strategy Manager

    £38000 - £42000 per annum + competitive: Real Staffing: Required skills:Previo...

    Business Analyst Consultant (Financial Services)

    £60000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...

    Day In a Page

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

    In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
    Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

    A writer spends a night on the streets

    Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
    Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

    UK's railways are entering a new golden age

    New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
    Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

    Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

    Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
    Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

    Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

    This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
    Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

    Why did we stop eating whelks?

    Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
    10 best women's sunglasses

    In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

    From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
    Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

    World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

    No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
    Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

    Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

    18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

    A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

    A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

    The German people demand an end to the fighting
    New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

    New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

    For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
    Can scientists save the world's sea life from

    Can scientists save our sea life?

    By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
    Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

    Richard III review

    Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice