Our bottom line
The M&S Transfer Plus Credit Card offers a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for 29 months. This could help consumers with existing debt to reduce their interest payments and improve their cash flow. The card offers a range of rewards, including M&S points on every £1 spent, preferential rates on foreign exchange and bonus M&S points for successful applicants. It also has no annual fee and offers 0% interest on purchases made within the first three months of account opening.
While there is a 2.75% balance transfer fee and balance transfers must be made within 90 days of account opening, the card is appealing when compared with its rivals. Although it is always a good idea to shop around to find the best card for your financial circumstances, the card has a broader appeal than many of its balance transfer peers.
Credit Rating Requirement: Good/Excellent
What I like about the M&S Transfer Plus Credit Card
- Balance transfer offer – The card allows new customers to transfer existing balances held on other credit cards within the first 90 days of account opening. An interest rate of 0% for the first 29 months is charged on balances that are transferred to the card. This could save individuals a significant sum in interest payments, depending on the current rate of interest they are paying on existing debt. A shorter repayment period and improved cash flow could be the result.
- Reduced interest – Assuming an individual has a £3,000 balance on an existing card at an interest rate of 18.9% and pays £150 per month, they would repay the debt within two years. In doing so, they would pay £570 in interest charges. Transferring the £3,000 balance to the M&S Transfer Plus Credit Card could allow them to pay it off four months earlier. Doing so would save them £540 in interest costs, with a balance transfer fee of just over £82 (2.75%) being payable.
- 0% on purchases for three months – The card charges 0% on purchases for the first three months following account opening. Although adding to existing debt may not be a sound move, the 0% interest rate nevertheless provides an individual with added financial flexibility should they need to make purchases in the short run.
- Rewards – While the main focus of the card is the transfer of existing balances, it also offers a rewards scheme. Customers can earn one M&S point for every £1 they spend in M&S, as well as one point for every £5 spent elsewhere. In order to collect a £1 voucher for M&S, 100 points must be earned. Vouchers are sent to customers every three months. The card also offers preferential rates on foreign exchange transactions at M&S.
- No annual fee – The card does not charge an annual fee. Not only does this help to keep costs down for consumers, it also makes it easier to compare the card with its rivals.
What could be improved
- Balance transfer fee – While no interest is charged for a 29-month period on balance transfers, a 2.75% fee is payable. In the earlier example, this reduces the amount saved in interest costs from transferring a £3,000 debt by around £82. It is possible to obtain credit cards that do not charge a balance transfer fee and that still offer a long period of 0% interest on existing debt.
- Balance transfer period – Although no interest is charged on balances transferred from other cards for a 29-month period, individuals have just 90 days from account opening to successfully complete such transfers. Any balance transfers made after the first 90 days are charged interest.
- International usage – As with many balance transfer cards, international usage can be costly. A non-sterling transaction fee of 2.99% is payable on international transactions. This could mean that having a second credit card for international use is worthwhile – especially for consumers who travel internationally on a frequent basis.
How does the M&S Transfer Plus Credit Card’s offer stack up?
For consumers who are seeking a longer period of 0% interest on balance transfers, the M&S Transfer Plus Credit Card offers one of the longest 0% interest free periods currently available. Similarly, some credit cards do not charge a balance transfer fee. However, the M&S Transfer Plus Credit Card has a competitive period of 0% interest on balance transfers, and it’s often difficult to get quite that long of a 0% interest balance transfer period without paying a balance transfer fee. Therefore, its overall appeal from a balance transfer perspective is high.
Furthermore, the card offers a range of rewards which are not always present on balance transfer cards. The 0% offer on new purchases for the first three months, as well as the lack of an annual fee, help the card to compete effectively against its rivals.
The M&S Transfer Plus Credit Card credit score
Since the 29-month 0% balance transfer period is representative, it may not be offered to all applicants. It may, therefore, be a sound move to use the online eligibility checker on the M&S website (which does not affect your credit score) in order to obtain a personalized offer. This may help consumers to more easily compare the balance transfer offers available to them.
The card is available to all UK residents over the age of 18. It takes around seven minutes when applying online to find out whether your application has been successful.
How to apply
Applying for the M&S Transfer Plus Credit Card can be done online. A variety of information is required. This includes residential address details, previous address details, income figures, employment information and personal details such as your email address and date of birth. Successful applications can take under ten minutes. Individuals who have held an M&S credit card within the last year are unable to apply for the card.
Is the M&S Transfer Plus Credit Card right for you?
In a competitive balance transfer segment, the M&S Transfer Plus Credit Card has appeal. Its 29-month 0% interest period on balance transfers is competitive, even after taking the balance transfer fee into account.
While it is possible to obtain a longer 0% balance transfer period or avoid a balance transfer fee with other cards, the M&S Transfer Plus Credit Card’s offer of rewards helps to differentiate it from rivals. It also offers preferential rates on foreign exchange, 0% interest on purchases for three months and bonus M&S points for successful applicants. Alongside there is no annual fee, this could make the card attractive to a variety of consumers.
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