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Balance transfer market heats up

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The 0% balance transfer credit card market is surging ahead, in spite of the credit crunch, with 40 cards now offering such deals.

Data from price comparison site Moneysupermarket has revealed there are now 40 credit cards offering 0% balance transfers of 12 months or longer.

Virgin, Capital One and Barclaycard have long been regarded as the fore-runners in the balance transfer market, according to Steve Willey, head of credit cards at Moneysupermarket, and they are still leading the pack, with 15 and 14 month 0% deals. However, both impose balance transfer fees of around 3%.

Willey continued: “Already, this month we have seen Capital One launch a 14 month balance transfer and purchase offer. This week sees Barclaycard launch a 17 month 1.9% balance transfer offer with a slightly lower fee of 2.5%.

“All of this is great news for consumers looking for a new credit card to transfer a balance. However, the recent tightening of lending criteria by many lenders means all but those with the most gleaming credit profiles are accepted. As a result, the battle for the ‘best’ customers means that credit card providers are having to work harder to attract and retain them.”

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