Money Insider: Zero isn't always a hero when it comes to credit cards

 

Obsession with long-term 0 per cent balance transfer deals means excellent all-round credit cards get overlooked.

The balance transfer sector of the credit card market continues to enjoy high-profile coverage and dominates the best buys.

Unfortunately this often means that more suitable, good value long-term alternative credit cards 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 utmost 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 not in the market for a zero 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 obsessive focus on the zero per cent balance transfer sector.

You can easily get 30-month 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 is the "go to" rates when the introductory deal finishes. In some cases these are approaching 20 per cent APR . If you're the sort of person that 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're looking for a card to remain in your wallet for the longer term, there are options with more benefits and a lower interest rate.

The cards from Halifax Clarity at 12.9 per cent APR, MBNA Everyday 13.9 per cent and Nationwide BS Select 15.9 per cent won't appear at the top of the best buys, but when you weigh up the sum of the component parts, these cards offer a range of benefits and excellent long-term value.

They have a long-term interest rate at well below the market average of 18 per cent APR as well as features you won't find on specialist 0 per cent cards, but if you relied on the information in many of the best buy tables you wouldn't even realise they existed.

How TSB is truly doing something different

The UK banking sector faces a long struggle to shake off its tarnished reputation, with the PPI mis-selling scandal, rate-rigging, six-figure bonuses or branches being closed. New banks have accepted something has to change, and this week TSB launched its Truth and Banking campaign, with a short animation to tell customers how the bank makes its money and how it is used.

It's refreshing to see openness in this sector, so let's hope these words are matched by actions in the months ahead – it could be a blueprint for success.

Andrew Hagger is an independent personal finance analyst from www.moneycomms.co.uk

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

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

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Recruitment Genius: Mortgage Advisor - OTE £95,000

    £40000 - £95000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    competitive: SThree: Are you passionate about sales?Do you have a keen interes...

    Recruitment Genius: Loan Adviser - OTE £30,000

    £17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

    £15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

    Day In a Page

    Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

    Tribal gathering

    Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

    A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
    10 best trays

    Get carried away with 10 best trays

    Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
    Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

    EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

    An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

    The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
    How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

    Heavy weather

    What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
    World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

    World Bodypainting Festival 2015

    Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
    alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

    Don't call us nerds

    Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
    How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

    How to find gold

    Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
    Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

    Not born in the USA

    Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
    10 best balsamic vinegars

    10 best balsamic vinegars

    Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
    Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

    Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

    Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
    Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

    Greece referendum

    Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
    Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

    7/7 bombings anniversary

    Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

    Versace haute couture review

    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created