By: Harvey Jones | Updated: 21st November, 2018.
Post Office Platinum Card
Good for: Long 0% interest on purchases and travel
Our Bottom Line
There’s a lot to like with the Post Office Platinum Card. The 28 months of 0% APR that you get on purchases is a nice, long duration. Plus you get the option of 0% for 18 months on balance transfers (though you will have to cough up a 2.89% fee for that). This is also a great card for travelers, since you don’t pay fees on purchases made overseas and can buy Post Office Travel Money with no fee.
Representative APR (variable):
0% Purchase length:
I’m a big fan of 0% introductory-rate credit cards. I’m an even bigger fan of credit cards with no overseas charges. So you can imagine what I think of a card that gives you both.
Credit Rating Requirement: Good/Excellent
What I like about Post Office Platinum Card
Post Office Platinum Card makes a splash with one of the lengthiest interest-free periods on new purchases around, but it also throws in a halfway decent balance transfer rate, and foreign travel benefits too.
- 0% intro new purchases offer – There’s no interest to pay on your purchases for a whacking 28 months, that’s almost two-and-a-half years. This is right up there with the very best 0% new purchases deals… but there’s more.
- 0% intro balance transfer offer – Some interest-free purchases cards only offer a token 0% rate on balance transfers, but this one stretches to a respectable 18 months. Yes, there are much longer deals available, but this isn’t meant to be a main attraction.
- No fees overseas – Most 0% purchases still hit you with fees for overseas use, even during the intro period. Post Office Platinum has no foreign usage charges, in Europe or worldwide. This also applies to online purchases in a foreign currency (although not cash withdrawals).
- Travel money benefits – If you use your Platinum card to buy foreign currency from Post Office Travel Money, it will not charge you a cash fee for it. You can order and buy in any of its 11,500 branches, although its best rates are available online.
- Other benefits – There is no annual fee and you also get the standard 56 days interest-free credit on new purchases once the 28-month introductory period is over, provided you pay your balance in full and on time each month. After the intro rate ends the representative APR is pretty standard for the market. You can manage your account through a secure mobile app or online servicing.
- Worth knowing – As with most 0% intro rate cards, you must make all your minimum monthly payments on time, and never exceed your credit limit. One slip-up and the Post Office is likely to withdraw the 0% deal altogether and charge the card’s standard APR instead. Also, there is no 0% introductory rate on cash advances. Instead, you pay a 2.5% fee with a minimum £3 charge (waived for foreign currency). The Post Office is a broker, not a lender, so the card is actually provided by Bank of Ireland UK, and so you can’t transfer a balance from any Bank of Ireland card.
Why you can trust me
I’ve been a personal financial journalist for 30 years, writing for national newspapers, magazines and websites. I reported on the technology boom in the 1990s, and the subsequent bust. I covered the financial crisis, and the tentative recovery. Decades of writing about the big banks has taught me to be skeptical, to examine every pledge and promise, and look closely at the small print of their product offerings. I’m on the side of the consumer, alert to rip-offs while also keen to highlight top deals. There are plenty out there, if you know where to look.
What could be improved
Post Office Platinum Card shines but could do with being buffed up in one or two places.
- Balance transfer fee – You have to pay a one-off fee when you transfer your balance, and it’s at the higher end of the scale at 2.89%. So if you shift over £1,500, you will have to fork out £43.35. Some cards have a smaller fee or none at all, although with fewer benefits. Always check the competition before you apply.
- You have to act fast – To take advantage of the 0% balance-transfer offer you have to act sharp and switch your existing balance within three months.
- There are no rewards – I’m not sure if this is a valid complaint, given that it does not advertise itself as a rewards card. You can’t have everything, but you can always ask… can’t you?
How does this Post Office offer stack up?
The offer is only a whisker behind the very best 0% new-purchases, introductory-rate offers, although you can find longer balance transfers than 18 months, if that’s what you want. Otherwise, this is a good all-round card with a twist of combining interest-free introductory rates with no overseas charges.
The Post Office Platinum Card credit score
You need a nice clean credit score to get the most out of this card. Applicants with lesser credit will be given a slightly inferior APR, while others may be rejected altogether. As ever, a blemish-free credit history helps. You need to be at least 18 years old and be either employed, retired or a “homemaker” with an annual income of more than £8,000, excluding benefits. You must not have any outstanding County Court Judgments against your name.
How to apply
Like a growing number of credit card issuers, the Post Office has a fast credit checker, so you can check your eligibility without affecting your credit score.
You can apply online, which should take just a few minutes with an instant decision. You will need your income and employment details, the sort code and account number of your bank or building society account, and your previous address (if you’ve lived at your current address for less than three years).
If your application is successful you can expect to receive your card within seven working days.
Is the Post Office Platinum Card right for you?
The headline offer of 0% interest on new purchases for 28 months is one of the best on the market. If you need to make a big purchase, or a series of purchases over the next few months, this could be a great way of funding the lot without racking up interest charges. Just be sure you can clear it all before the post-offer APR kicks in. One or two other cards offer similar deals, but thanks to the balance-transfer offer, this one will also help you consolidate any existing credit card debt you already have on a 0% rate. If you regularly travel overseas, the fee-free foreign purchases seal the deal.