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M&S Bank’s new 25 month balance transfer card: how does it stack up?

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Written by: Paloma Kubiak
09/08/2016
M&S Bank has launched its longest ever 0% interest on all purchases and balance transfers for 25 months. But how does it compare to existing market offerings?

The finance arm of the high street stalwart has today launched a credit card offering 0% on balance transfers and shopping for 25 months.

This product allows you to shift existing debt as well as make purchases at 0% for just over two years.

It’s available to new M&S credit card customers only, and as you’d expect, it comes with a balance transfer fee, which is 2.9% (minimum £5).

Once you’ve qualified, you’ll receive a 500 points M&S voucher which is worth £5 to spend on M&S food, clothing or home when you first use the card.

If you use the card in-store or online at M&S, you’ll earn one point for every £1 spent and one point for every £5 spent elsewhere.

The new credit card comes with a representative rate of 18.9% APR (variable).

Paul Stokes, head of products, M&S Bank, said: “It’s often quite difficult for customers to find a competitive offer on both balance transfers and purchases on the same card, which is what we’ve addressed with our latest offer. In addition, customers will also enjoy earning loyalty points every time they shop using their M&S Credit Card.”

Our verdict

This dual balance transfer and purchase credit card is good for customers who have existing debt but plan to make a big purchase as you can buy now and pay later – try to clear this amount within the promotional period otherwise you’ll be hit with the 18.9% APR variable charges.

Taking the balance transfer element of the card only, there are much longer 0% interest balance transfer cards, including the Lloyds Platinum credit card (rep 18.9% APR variable) offering 0% interest over a 40 month period with a slightly higher fee of 3%, though it falls to 2.85% if you make a balance transfer within 90 days of opening the account. So this may be better suited for you if you need longer to clear the debt. However, the card also offers 40 months 0% interest on purchases made during the first six months.

If you have larger debt so the fee impacts you more, the MBNA (rep 18.9% APR variable) 40 month 0% interest on balance transfers with a 2.79% fee (if made within 60 days) or the Halifax (rep 18.9% APR variable) 40 month 0% interest on balance transfers comes in cheaper with an effective balance transfer rate of 2.46% (initial 3% fee, but 0.54% refunded if transfer made within 90 days) if you have a minimum £100 balance transfer.

For those who can clear their debt faster and have a large purchase to make, the Halifax 24 month 0% interest on balance transfers and 0% interest on purchases made in the first six months may also be worth your consideration (rep 18.9% APR variable).

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