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Credit card market hots up in the run up to Christmas

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22/10/2012
Natwest and RBS have launched a new balance transfer card that offers consumers 23 months interest-free, which is set to rival the table-topping deal from Barclaycard.

The card will charge 3.5% fee after the 23 month, 0% balance transfers period, however does not beat Barclaycard’s offer of 2.8% after the initial 23 months. HSBC also offer a similar deal at 3.3% fee after the initial 0% on transfers for23 months.

Michael Ossei, personal finance expert at uSwitch.com, said: “These 0% balance transfer cards can save borrowers hundreds of pounds in interest, but consumers must be aware of the fees.

“The NatWest and RBS card carries a 3.5% fee, compared to Barclaycard’s 2.8% – this means transferring a typical £5,000 balance to the NatWest and RBS card will cost £175, as opposed to £140 with Barclaycard.

“Today’s launch also suggests that a revival of competitive balance transfer deals could be on the cards. Six years ago the longest 0% balance transfer offer lasted 12 months. Today, this has almost doubled.

“But while it is likely that other providers will fight back with offers of their own, it is questionable as to whether they will be able to break the Barclaycard stranglehold.

However not all cards are available to everyone. Some cards will require a good credit rating upon application.

This also comes at the same time as American Express becomes the latest provider to ‘up the ante’ in the cashback credit card war with the launch of its new card – the American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday card.

The move comes just weeks after Sainsbury’s and Barclaycard unveiled market-leading cashback cards to tempt borrowers and shoppers alike.

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