Bank of Scotland 0% Purchase and Balance Transfer Credit Card

By: Peter Stephens | Updated: 23rd July, 2019.

Great for: Long 0% purchases and balance transfers
3 stars question mark

The Bank of Scotland 0% Purchase and Balance Transfer Credit Card offers a 20-month introductory 0% interest rate on new purchases, as well as a 20-month 0% interest balance transfer offer. While other credit cards may offer longer 0% interest periods on either purchases or balance transfers, the card’s combined offer in both of these areas makes it relatively appealing.

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CREDIT RATING req:

  • Poor/No credit
  • Fair/Average
  • Good/Excellent

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 0% interest on purchases for 20 months
  • 0% interest for 20 months on balance transfers made in the first 90 days (3% fee applies)
  • No annual fee

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Representative rate 19.9% APR (variable)
Purchase rate 19.95% p.a. (variable)
Based on borrowing £1,200

what we like

  • 0% interest on purchases for 20 months
  • 0% interest for 20 months on balance transfers made in the first 90 days (3% fee applies)
  • No annual fee
  • ANNUAL FEE:

    £0
  • REPRESENTATIVE APR:

    19.9%
  • INTRO OFFER:

    0% interest for 20 months on purchases
    0% interest on balances transferred in the first 90 days

KEY SCORES:

  • 2/5 Perks
  • 3/5Fees
  • 3/5APR

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 0% interest on purchases for 20 months
  • 0% interest for 20 months on balance transfers made in the first 90 days (3% fee applies)
  • No annual fee

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Representative rate 19.9% APR (variable)
Purchase rate 19.95% p.a. (variable)
Based on borrowing £1,200

OUR BOTTOM LINE

The Bank of Scotland 0% Purchase and Balance Transfer Credit Card offers a 20-month introductory 0% interest rate on new purchases, as well as a 20-month 0% interest balance transfer offer. While other credit cards may offer longer 0% interest periods on either purchases or balance transfers, the card’s combined offer in both of these areas makes it relatively appealing.

Credit Rating Requirement: Good/Excellent

What I like

  • Introductory 0% interest rate on purchases – For the first 20 months following account opening, the card offers an introductory 0% interest rate on purchases. During the interest-free period, paying no interest on purchases could lead to significant savings for consumers who would otherwise pay interest when using their existing credit card. For example, a consumer who carries a balance of £1,000 on their card during the 20-month period would save £315 in interest payments if they used the Bank of Scotland 0% Purchase and Balance Transfer Credit Card instead of a credit card with an APR of 18.9%.
  • Balance transfer offer – Alongside the introductory 0% interest rate on purchases, the card also has a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 20 months following account opening. This could make it highly appealing for consumers who have an existing credit card debt elsewhere and who are looking to reduce the amount of interest they pay. For a consumer who has a £3,000 credit card balance at an APR of 18.9% with repayments of £200 per month, an interest saving of £318 could be made by utilising the balance transfer offer. This includes a 3% balance transfer fee. The £3,000 balance would be paid off three months earlier than it otherwise would have been.
  • No annual fee – The card’s lack of an annual fee may make it accessible to a wide range of consumers. For example, it may be of interest to those who are seeking to take advantage of the balance transfer offer, but who will seldom use the card for everyday purchases.

Why trust me

I have been writing for The Motley Fool since 2013, and have experienced the booms and busts of the UK economy for a number of decades both as an investor and a consumer. I have held various senior management positions during my career, while also setting up my own manufacturing company in 1996. It was subsequently sold in 2007. I have a keen interest in consumer finance, as well as in the stock market.

What could be improved

  • Rewards – The card does not offer any of the rewards that some of its rivals do. This reduces its appeal as an everyday credit card, since it does not provide consumers with the opportunity to maximise the rewards they receive on their spending. As such, it may be worthwhile having a second credit card for everyday use in order to obtain vouchers for frequently visited stores or cashback.
  • Foreign usage – As with many credit cards, the Bank of Scotland 0% Purchase and Balance Transfer Credit Card charges a fee when used to purchase goods or services in a currency other than sterling. Since this amounts to 2.95% of each non-sterling transaction, it may be worth having another credit card for use when abroad.
  • Bonus – With the 0% APR and balance transfer credit card segments being highly competitive, some credit card issuers offer sign-up bonuses in order to sweeten the deal for new customers. The Bank of Scotland 0% Purchase and Balance Transfer Credit Card, however, does not offer any such rewards for new customers. This means that there is very little to set it apart from other cards on the market.

How does it stack up?

The name of this card emphasises both the 0% interest rate on purchases and balance transfers, but it may be more appropriate to categorise it as a 0% purchases card with a nice balance transfer option. In the world of balance transfers, 20 months with a 3% fee is not particularly competitive. On the other hand, 20 months of 0% purchases with the option of also doing a balance transfer is more attractive.

Some credit cards offer longer introductory 0% interest rate periods on purchases than the Bank of Scotland 0% Purchase and Balance Transfer Credit Card does. Likewise, it is possible to obtain a longer 0% interest rate on balance transfers than the 20-month period offered by the card, while some credit cards charge a lower balance transfer fee.

Therefore, for consumers who wish to maximise their interest savings on either purchases or balance transfers, there may be better options available elsewhere. Similarly, other 0% APR credit cards may also have rewards that help to maximise the benefits of spending.

However, for consumers who are seeking to obtain a generous 0% interest rate period on both purchases and balance transfers, the Bank of Scotland 0% Purchase and Balance Transfer Credit Card could be highly appealing. Its combined offer could help it to stand out from its peers that are focused on reducing interest payments on either purchases or balance transfers.

Credit score

Applicants for the card should have a good credit rating. An online eligibility tool provides guidance on the likelihood of your application being accepted without impacting negatively on your credit score.

As with every credit card, the advertised interest rate and length of the introductory 0% interest rate period on purchases are representative. They must be offered to at least 51% of successful applicants, with the remainder potentially being offered less favourable terms than those advertised.

How to apply

Applications for the card can be made on the Bank of Scotland website, with the process taking a matter of minutes. Information such as your employment situation, address history, financial situation and details of any existing credit card balances will be required during the application process. It is therefore a good idea to have those details to hand before starting your application.

In order to successfully apply for the card, you must be a UK resident who is free from county court judgements and not currently bankrupt. You must also have a regular income.

Is the Bank of Scotland 0% Purchase and Balance Transfer Credit Card right for you?

If you are looking to obtain a generous introductory 0% interest rate period on purchases as well as a lengthy 0% balance transfer period, the card could be highly appealing.

In either of these areas, it is possible to obtain greater savings on interest payments elsewhere through having a credit card with longer interest-free periods. However, the card’s appeal is in offering competitive terms in both areas, which could help to differentiate it versus its peers.

As an everyday credit card, it may lack appeal in terms of rewards, while its foreign transaction fees could add up over the long run. However, for consumers looking to cut their interest payments on existing balances and benefit from a long introductory 0% interest rate on purchases, the card is highly attractive.

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