Capital One pulls interest-free deal

Capital One has become the latest large credit card lender to withdraw a generous introductory offer for new borrowers. The company will no longer offer customers who transfer debts to its Platinum Mastercard 0 per cent interest. The deal had previously been on offer until 1 January 2005.

Richard Mason, director of credit cards at price comparison analyst Moneysupermarket, said the deal had been one of the most generous introductory offers still available to credit card borrowers.

"Not so happy Christmas for savvy credit card users," Mason said. "This spells a glum New Year for anyone who had been hoping to take advantage of the offer."

The withdrawal of the deal is the latest blow to borrowers who transfer debt from card to card in order to avoid paying interest charges on their debts. Other credit card providers have also pulled their best offers, or introduced transfer fees to discourage regular switchers.

However, Mason said that at least 50 0 per cent balance transfer deals were still available to borrowers prepared to pay a charge to the new card provider for switching.

Moneysupermarket currently recommends the Halifax One card, which offers 0 per cent on balance transfers for 12 months. New borrowers must pay a 2 per cent fee to take out the card, but his charge is capped at a maximum of £50. For fee-free transfers, the analyst tips a nine-month deal from HSBC.