Our bottom line
NatWest customers interested in consolidating credit card debt and getting one and a half years of 0% interest on their balance transfer may want to check out the NatWest Balance Transfer Credit Card offer. In NatWest fashion, this is a simple, straightforward offer. The 18 months of 0% provides a good amount of time to pay down a lingering balance, while the balance transfer fee of 0.49% was removed in January 2021. Note that you must be a current NatWest current account, savings account, credit card or mortgage customer to apply.
Credit Rating Requirement: Good/Excellent
What I like
- Balance transfer period – The card offers an 18-month balance transfer period. That means that for a 18-month period, a 0% interest rate is charged on existing debt that is transferred from another credit card within three months of account opening. Depending on the interest rate currently being paid on existing credit card debt, this could reduce your interest payments over the period, and allow you to clear your balance earlier than would otherwise have been the case.
- Balance transfer fee – The NatWest Balance Transfer Credit Card has no balance transfer fee. This may make it appealing to consumers who are looking to reduce their interest payments and pay off their debt at a faster pace.
- Interest saving – For example, an individual with a £3,000 credit card balance at an interest rate of 18.9% repaying £150 per month could save £570 in interest costs by taking up the card’s balance transfer offer. If they maintain their £150 payment each month, they would be able to repay their debt four months faster than if they had not undertaken the balance transfer.
- No annual fee – The card does not charge an annual fee. This could make it appealing to a wide range of consumers, and may increase the total savings on balance transfers when compared to rival cards that charge an annual fee.
- Introductory 0% interest rate – There is an introductory 0% interest rate on purchases for the first three months after account opening. This could make the card more attractive for consumers who have a large upcoming purchase for which they wish to delay payment without incurring interest costs.
What could be improved
- Rewards – There are no rewards, such as vouchers for retailers or cashback, offered to cardholders. Although the focus of the card is on offering an appealing balance transfer offer, consumers may wish to have a second credit card for everyday spending in order to maximise the benefits they receive when using their credit card.
- Foreign transaction fee – Like many credit cards, the NatWest Balance Transfer Credit Card charges a fee when a transaction is undertaken in a foreign currency. It charges 2.75% of the total transaction, which could add up over the long term for consumers who wish to use the card while abroad.
- Existing customers – In order to apply for the card, you must have either a NatWest current account, savings account, credit card or mortgage. This limits the card’s total addressable market, and may mean it is unavailable for consumers who do not wish to have other products with the company due to superior offers being available elsewhere.
How does it stack up?
The NatWest Balance Transfer Credit Card offers a relatively long 0% interest rate period on balance transfers when compared to rival cards, but definitely not the longest.
The card’s introductory 0% interest rate period on purchases for the first three months after account opening is fairly short but helps to differentiate the card from other balance transfer credit cards.
However, the lack of rewards and its foreign exchange fees could reduce the appeal of the card when compared to some of its peers. Therefore, it may be worth considering having a second credit card in order to maximize your benefits on everyday spending, while also keeping fees to a minimum when traveling abroad.
In order to successfully apply for the card, you need to have a good credit score. Applicants should also have an annual income of at least £10,000 and be a UK resident.
As with every credit card, the advertised rates are representative rates. This means that they must only be offered by law to 51% of successful applicants. As such, you may be offered a shorter balance transfer period, or a different rate of interest, for example.
How to apply
Applications for the NatWest Balance Transfer Credit Card can be made online, with the process generally taking less than ten minutes to complete.
When applying for the card, information such as your employment situation, previous address history for the last three years and details regarding your existing products with NatWest will be required. You will also need details about any existing credit card balances that you wish to transfer to the card.
Is the NatWest Balance Transfer Credit Card right for you?
If you are looking to reduce the amount of interest you pay on existing credit card debt, the card could be appealing. Although there may be longer 0% interest rate periods on balance transfers available elsewhere, the fact that the card doesn’t impose a balance transfer fee could make it more attractive than some of its rivals.
The introductory 0% interest rate on purchases for the first three months following account opening helps to broaden its appeal. This may be useful if you have a large upcoming purchase for which you wish to delay payment without being charged interest.
Since the card is only available to existing NatWest customers, it does not offer the same accessibility as other balance transfer credit cards that are available to new customers. However, for existing NatWest customers, it offers an appealing opportunity to reduce interest payments on existing credit card debt over a relatively long time period.
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. Also, while we aim to feature some of the best products available, we do not review every product on the market. Learn more here. Any opinions or statements in this article belong to the author, and may be shared by The Motley Fool, however they were not provided or endorsed by our affiliate partners, unless expressly indicated.
The Motley Fool has recommended shares in Lloyds, Tesco and Barclays.