Spotlight: Virgin credit card

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If you are looking to spread the cost of your Christmas splurge and want to take advantage of a 0 per cent balance-transfer credit card, the Virgin card could be the answer.

It's not a new deal and has topped the balance-transfer Best Buy tables for some time with its 16-month interest-free offer. You will be charged a 2.98 per cent handling fee which will be added to your balance. You should try to clear your debt within the interest-free period as the rate jumps up when it ends to a typical standard rate of 16.6 per cent.

The key thing with this card is not to use it for spending. There is an interest-free period on purchases but it only lasts for three months, after which time you'll start paying interest at 16.6 per cent. From then on, your monthly payments will go towards paying off the balance transfer and you won't start paying down the purchases until that debt is cleared.

You'll only qualify for this card if you have an excellent credit rating.

Clare Francis is editor of

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