Post Office Platinum Card

By: Harvey Jones | Updated: 8th March, 2019.

Great for: 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers, plus travel benefits
4.5 stars question mark

Thanks to recent changes to the 0% term lenghts, the Post Office Platinum isn't quite as good of an offer as it once was. Still, 8 months on both purchases and balance transfers (fee applies) is nothing to sneeze at. Better still, 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.

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CREDIT RATING req:

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

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 0% interest on purchases made over the first 8 months
  • 0% interest on balance transfers for the first 8 months (but a 2.89% fee applies)
  • No fee travel money from the Post Office

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Assumed credit limit £1,200
Representative APR (variable) 18.9%
Purchase rate p.a. (variable) 18.9%
Annual fee £0

what we like

  • 0% interest on purchases made over the first 8 months
  • 0% interest on balance transfers for the first 8 months (but a 2.89% fee applies)
  • No fee travel money from the Post Office
  • ANNUAL FEE:

    £0
  • REPRESENTATIVE APR:

    18.9%
  • INTRO OFFER:

    0% on purchases for 8 months
    0% on balance transfers for 8 months

KEY SCORES:

  • 3/5 Perks
  • 5/5Fees
  • 5/5APR

Our bottom line

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.

It might seem an odd combination. A matching eight-month 0% intro rate on new purchases and balance transfers. So who thought of throwing in fee-free overseas purchases overseas on top? I don’t know, but I admire their originality. A very special delivery from the Post Office.

Credit Rating Requirement: Good/Excellent

What I like about Post Office Platinum Card

This card used to have a 0% intro period comparable to the top cards in the category. That’s no longer the case, as eight months doesn’t quite stack up. However, with eight months of 0% interest on both purchases and balance transfers, plus traveller benefits and a low representative APR, this is still very much a card worth considering.

  • 0% intro new purchases offer – There’s no interest to pay on your purchases for a the first eight months. As noted, that’s not as long as the competition, but it still gives you breathing room on big purchases.
  • 0% intro balance transfer offer – Some interest-free purchases cards only offer a token 0% rate on balance transfers, but this one provides eight months — matching the purchases offer. 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 eight-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 on the lower end of comparable cards (but you’re still better off avoiding paying that rate). 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 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 sceptical, 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.

  • 0% intro offer length – As noted, the eight-month 0% period on the headline purchases offer isn’t particularly competitive. For those that don’t need an ultra-lengthy period of 0% interest, that’s not a problem, but if you’re looking for a year-plus, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
  • 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. Plus, with a relatively short 0% balance-transfer period, paying a balance-transfer fee is less attractive. 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?

If you’re looking for the longest 0% purchase offers on the market, this card doesn’t rank well. Eight months is nothing to sneeze at, but some competition is still offering more than two years of 0% goodness. However, if you don’t need more than eight months to clear your purchase balance, then this is definitely a card worth considering, especially if you travel, as you won’t find those travel benefits on most of the cards from the competition.

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 eight months is good, but not great. If you need to make a big purchase, or a series of purchases over the next few months, and you plan to clear that balance in eight months or less, then this could be a great way of funding the lot without racking up interest charges. Again, just be sure you can clear it all before the post-offer APR kicks in. The fee on the balance-transfer offer makes the eight months of 0% interest there a bit less attractive, but depending on your circumstances, that could be a good way to consolidate your debt. The real cherry on the top of this offer though comes if you regularly travel overseas, as the fee-free foreign purchases seal the deal.

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