Money Insider: Seek out heroes not zeros for a better credit card deal
Friday 11 October 2013
Obsession with long-term, 0 per cent balance-transfer deals means that many decent, all-round credit cards get overlooked.
The balance-transfer segment of the credit-card market continues to get the most high-profile coverage and dominates the best buys.
Unfortunately, this often means that more suitable, good-value, long-term alternatives are being overlooked by consumers.
If you're looking for a new credit card, all the adverts and price-comparison best buys will do their best to point you towards the longest 0 per cent deals on the market.
This behaviour appears to be driven more by lucrative commercial arrangements on offer from the card providers. There seems to be little appetite from money websites to promote a wider range of card products suitable for those who are not in the market for a 0 per cent deal.
While interest-free plastic can save you a small fortune in interest costs if used wisely, there are also some very solid all -round credit cards on the market that rarely get a mention due to the blinkered and obsessive focus on the 0 per cent balance-transfer sector.
You can easily get 27 to 28 months plus terms on free credit on balance transfers, but the longer the deal the higher the balance transfer fee – now hitting 3.5 per cent in some cases. Another issue often overlooked in the rush to sign up for an interest-free deal is the "go to" rates when the introductory deal finishes. In some cases these are approaching 20 per cent APR, far higher than some of the "all-rounder'" cards mentioned below.
If you're the sort of person who takes advantage of the 0 per cent period and then moves on to another card and repeats the process then that makes financial sense, but if you want a card for the longer term there are some alternative options with a wider range of attributes and benefits and a much-lower interest rate.
The cards from Halifax Clarity (12.9 per cent APR), MBNA Everyday (13.9 per cent APR) and Nationwide BS Select (15.9 per cent APR) won't appear at the top of the best buys, but when you weigh up the sum of the component parts, these offer a range of different attributes and excellent value.
Their long-term interest rates are well below the market average of 18 per cent APR and also have additional benefits you won't find on a specialist 0 per cent card, but if you were to rely on the information in many of the best-buy tables, you wouldn't even realise these value-added cards existed.
Peer-to-peer returns speak for themselves
Data released this week by peer-to-peer (P2P) finance website RateSetter.com highlights the gulf in value between "lending" and "saving" over the three years since the company launched.
The figures, compiled to mark its anniversary, show that someone lending £10,000 via the RateSetter Monthly Access would have earned 72 per cent more in interest (£440) than someone saving via NS&I One Year Bonds over the same period.
Rhydian Lewis, RateSetter founder and chief executive said: "The last three years have seen a quiet revolution in the world of personal finance, driven by an understanding that traditional savings products are no longer competitive".
It seems that lending has become the new saving, with increasing numbers of consumers signing up to P2P in search of better returns.
Leading P2P providers RateSetter and Zopa are continuing to win new business not simply due to their competitive rates but also by managing the entire process in a safe and transparent manner.
Simon Read: Frozen in time - the expat British pensioners who deserve a better deal
Donald MacInnes: My wasted hours in the retail deserts of Dixons-Carphone
Bargain Hunter: From The Outsider to 1984, catch a cut-price classic, read it in the rye
Money Insider: Smart alternatives to the pensioner bond
Bank-beating exchange rates on your international payments
- 1 Paris attacks: Do not call Charlie Hebdo killers 'terrorists', BBC says
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 3 UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
- 4 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 5 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
iJobs Money & Business
£30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...
£25 - 28k + Bonus: Guru Careers: An In-house / Internal Recruiter is needed to...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...
Day In a Page
Hibernate during winter and make your living during the summer at this busy guesthouse with panoramic sea views, in the village of Lynton
A four-bedroom penthouse next to the Tate with direct views of St Paul's from two floors of luxurious living space
A four-bedroom detached home surrounded by spacious gardens and woodland, close to New Pudsey
An 18th-century, three-bedroom home near Langstone Harbour built from ships beams with vaulted ceilings and wood burning stoves
A five-bedroom semi-detached home with a mix of period and modern features in a popular and convenient location
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
A three-bedroom villa with self-contained flat, minutes from Lake Windermere
A deceptively spacious, beautifully presented Georgian home with 3000sq ft of living space and five reception rooms
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village