Spotlight: Abbey Zero Card

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The Independent Online

Abbey's new Zero credit card is one of the few cards not to charge overseas and cash withdrawal fees. It also offers a three-month interest-free period on purchases and a 12-month interest-free period on balance transfers (although you will be charged a 3 per cent transfer fee if you use the card for this purpose).

So is the offer any good? Most credit card providers charge an overseas loading fee of between 2.5 per cent and 3 per cent. Abbey and the Post Office are the only providers not to levy a loading fee (although Saga's and Nationwide's credit cards are free in the euro zone).

You won't be charged a cash withdrawal fee with the Zero but you will be charged a higher rate of interest than the standard rate for purchases – 27.9 per cent compared with 18.9 per cent.

Also, if you plan to use the Zero card when you're on holiday this summer, don't transfer a balance on to it as well – any purchases you make will attract interest at 18.9 per cent after the first three months and you will not start to repay those until the transferred balance has been cleared.

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