Choose the 'Mr 0 per cents' of credit cards

You could never accuse the credit card industry of resting on its laurels. Ahead of our anticipated summer spending sprees, providers are furiously jockeying for position.

You could never accuse the credit card industry of resting on its laurels. Ahead of our anticipated summer spending sprees, providers are furiously jockeying for position.

At Barclaycard, final details are being thrashed out for its revamp after a year of embarrassments including the forced withdrawal of a misleading "0 per cent forever" advertising offer. The new card set for launch next month will offer 0 per cent on both balance transfers and new purchases for 12 months - longer than any rival - but the annual percentage rate (APR) to which users are automatically switched at the offer's close has yet to be finalised. It is expected to "be a little bit lower" than the current 14.9 per cent, a spokesman says.

Abbey tossed its third credit card into the ring last week, a 10.9 per cent, "flat rate" card without introductory offers, while Tesco tweaked its plastic by extending the introductory 0 per cent period to 5 March.

Apart from offers such as these, credit cards have all sorts of bells and whistles to tempt us, including discounts on car insurance, cashback, points redeemable for air miles and extended warranties on goods.

These extras are attractive if you clear your debt each month, but for the millions who struggle to pay back what they owe, your choice of card should focus on introductory offers and low APRs.

With so many different 0 per cent deals on the market, there is really no excuse for having any debt on a card charging a high rate of interest for the privilege of a place in your wallet.

If you don't clear your balance every month, switch immediately to a 0 per cent deal that won't charge you any interest on balance transfers or new purchases.

Tesco and the Halifax's One Visa both offer 0 per cent for nine months, while Mint, the Royal Bank of Scotland-backed card, gives you eight months interest free before reverting to its standard APR.

Don't forget that the interest-free part of the card is only temporary. If you reach the end of this period and still have outstanding debt, simply shift the balance to a new card offering 0 per cent.

And if you're not happy to keep chopping and changing credit cards, choose one with a low APR.

If you have a healthy credit record, Capital One's Mastercard charges an APR of 5.9.

Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Recruitment Genius: Content Writer - Global Financial Services

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...

    Recruitment Genius: Field Sales Consultant - Financial Services - OTE £65,000

    £15000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Loan Underwriter

    £18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Day In a Page

    A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

    Britain's Atlantis

    Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
    The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

    The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

    David Starkey's assessment
    Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

    'An enormous privilege and adventure'

    Oliver Sacks writing about his life
    'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

    'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

    The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
    Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

    Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

    Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
    Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

    Orthorexia nervosa

    How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
    Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

    Lady Chatterley’s Lover

    Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
    Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

    Set a pest to catch a pest

    Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
    Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

    The dark side of Mexico

    A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
    Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

    Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

    Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
    A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

    A nap a day could save your life

    A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
    If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

    If men are so obsessed by sex...

    ...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

    Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
    The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

    Rolling in the deep

    The bathing machine is back but with a difference
    Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

    Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

    Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935