OUR BOTTOM LINE
If you are looking for a credit card that offers a wide range of features, the Nationwide Select Credit Card is likely to be appealing. It has a 12-month introductory 0% interest rate on purchases and balance transfers, as well as no balance transfer fee. Although there are longer 0% interest rate periods available elsewhere, the card’s lack of foreign exchange fees could help it stand out from its rivals. Note though that it is only available to existing customers of Nationwide who have their main current account with the provider.
Credit Rating Requirement: Good/Excellent
What I like
- 0% APR offer – The card offers a 12-month introductory 0% interest rate period on purchases. This could help to reduce interest payments, especially for consumers who have a large upcoming purchase. For example, a £1,200 balance held on the card throughout the 12-month period could lead to an interest saving of £227 compared to having the same balance on a credit card with an 18.9% APR. As with all 0% APR credit cards, it is worth paying off any balances before the end of the introductory period, since the interest rate can increase to a relatively high level thereafter.
- Balance transfer offer – The card has a 12-month 0% interest rate on balance transfers. This could make it appealing to the large minority of UK credit card holders who do not pay off their balance in full each month. For example, transferring a £2,000 balance at an APR of 18.9% with monthly repayments of £200 to the card could save you £177 in interest payments. It would also allow you to repay the debt one month earlier. Since there is no fee applied to balance transfers conducted in the first three months following account opening, the card could compare favourably to rivals that also have balance transfer offers.
- No foreign transaction charges – The Nationwide Select Credit Card does not charge a foreign transaction fee when used to purchase goods or services abroad or in a currency other than sterling. Cardholders receive the official Visa exchange rate, which could make using the card a better value option than obtaining foreign currency prior to travelling abroad.
- No annual fee – There is no annual fee for using the card, which makes it accessible to a wider range of consumers, from those who wish to use it frequently to occasional users.
What could be improved
- Length of 0% APR offer – While the card’s introductory 0% interest rate on purchases could produce interest savings for consumers, the 12-month period is relatively short compared to those of other cards that are available. Therefore, it may be possible for consumers who are seeking to limit their interest payments on future purchases to obtain a longer 0% APR period elsewhere.
- Length of balance transfer period – Although the balance transfer offer is appealing, due in part to it having no associated fees in the first three months of account opening, it is relatively short in length (12 months). Other credit cards may offer longer 0% interest rate periods on balance transfers, while also charging no fee. Consumers may therefore be able to reduce their interest payments on existing debt for a longer period by having a different credit card.
- Availability – The card is only available to existing customers who have their main current account with Nationwide. This limits its accessibility, since consumers may not wish to have their main current account with Nationwide, due to there being better opportunities elsewhere.
- Rewards – The Nationwide Select Credit Card does not offer any rewards on spending. Consumers may be able to maximise their benefits on everyday spending by having a second credit card that offers vouchers or cashback when used with a variety of retailers.
How does it stack up?
If you’re looking for a long balance transfer or 0% purchase period, this may not be the ideal card for you. It is possible to find much longer introductory 0% period for both balance transfers and purchases.
But not everyone needs the longest 0% periods possible. In fact, the longest 0% periods can have sneaky costs associated with them, since you often have to pay a balance transfer fee with the longest 0% balance transfer periods, and you may have to forgo other benefits when chasing the longest interest free periods.
With that in mind, the Nationwide Select card does a nice job in providing an all-round package. You get a full 12 months of 0% interest on both balance transfers and purchases. There’s no fee on balance transfers. There’s even no foreign transaction fee, which means this could be a viable travel card.
On top of it all, the representative APR on the card (for those who qualify for that rate) is lower than most competitive cards. To be sure, the interest rate is still high in absolute terms. But if you end up in a position where you have to pay interest, having a lower rate is a good thing.
Although there is no annual fee, the card is only available to existing customers who have their main current account with Nationwide. This could reduce the card’s appeal among consumers who do not wish to switch their current account to Nationwide. A lack of rewards such as cashback or vouchers that can be used at specific retailers may mean that other cards better enable consumers to maximise the benefits of everyday spending.
Applicants for the card should have a good credit rating. Nationwide provides an Acceptance Indicator tool that offers guidance on the likelihood that you will be accepted for the card, without affecting your credit rating.
Since the advertised interest rate and the lengths of the 0% interest rate periods are representative, they must only be offered by law to 51% or more of successful applicants. This means that you may receive less favourable terms that make the card less appealing when compared to other credit cards.
How to apply
Applications for the card can be undertaken online, by phone and in-branch. Applicants for the card must have their main current account with Nationwide.
Information such as your bank details, existing credit card details, address history and employment details will be required during the application process. Therefore, it is a good idea to get this information organised before starting the application.
Is the Nationwide Select Credit Card right for you?
As an all-round type credit card, the Nationwide Select could be a great option. The card offers 12 months of 0% interest on both purchases and balance transfers, and no balance transfer fee, which should be very helpful for many people looking to avoid hefty interest payments.
Add to that no foreign transaction fees, no annual fee, and a comparatively low APR, and you end up with a pretty nice package.
However, if your focus is finding the longest 0% period on either purchases or balance transfers, then it may be worth searching further. It’s possible to find 0% periods much longer than 12 months.
The card is also only available to Nationwide current account customers. That makes it a particularly great choice for Nationwide customers. That hurts the appeal for those that don’t already bank with Nationwide, but could be reason to consider a Nationwide current account.
The Motley Fool receives compensation from some advertisers who provide products and services that may be covered by our editorial team. It’s one way we make money. But know that our editorial integrity and transparency matters most and our ratings aren’t influenced by compensation. The statements above are The Motley Fool’s alone and have not been provided or endorsed by bank advertisers. The Motley Fool has recommended shares in Lloyds, Tesco and Barclays.