Our bottom line
The MBNA Long 0% Money Transfer Card could be a great choice if you are looking for a long runway for interest-free money transfers. The headline offer of 0% for 24 months (a 2.99% fee applies) is one of the most competitive on the market, though depending on personal circumstances, you could be offered a shorter interest-free period. There is the added bonus of 0% on balance transfers for 12 months, but the 4% balance transfer fee is very high.
Credit Rating Requirement: Good/Excellent
What’s great about this card
Money transfer offer – The main attraction of this card is its long interest-free period for money transfers. At 24 months, you are looking at having two years to pay off your balance before the card reverts to its standard rate. One word of warning, though: not everyone will achieve the advertised interest-free period. Depending on your personal circumstances, you may find yourself with an interest-free period of 16 months instead of 24.
Balance transfer offer – This card also offers an interest-free period on balance transfers. Although not as long as its money transfer offer, at 12 months it is still a welcome benefit to the card. Once again, though, the interest-free offer you receive on the card depends on your circumstances, so you could be looking at only three months interest-free for balance transfers instead of 12.
Fraudulent transaction cover – There are few added extras on this card, but what you do get is fraudulent transaction cover. Any transactions that are confirmed as fraudulent you will not be liable for. All that MBNA asks is that you immediately report anything unusual or if your card is missing.
Good account management – MBNA offers several ways to manage your account. You can choose to use mobile banking, internet banking, or if you wish, telephone banking. One extra account management feature which is useful is free text notifications so you can keep track of your spending.
What’s not so great
Differing interest-free periods – One downside of this card is that what you see is not necessarily what you get. The advertised interest-free periods are attractive, but not every borrower will achieve them. MBNA is clear that depending on your credit score, you may be looking at the shorter interest-free periods for money transfers and balance transfers of 16 months and three months respectively.
Transfer fees – One other big thing to note is that while you may be looking at interest-free transfers, they are definitely not fee-free. Money transfers carry a fee of 2.99% (or 3.49% for poorer credit scorers), and balance transfers have a higher-than-average fee attached to them of 4%.
Other fees – It’s not only transfer fees that this card carries. You will also be charged a 5% cash transaction fee and a 2.95% foreign transaction fee.
Transfer window – It’s not unusual for money transfer cards to have a transfer window. In the case of this card, both money transfers and balance transfers need to be made in the first 60 days in order to achieve the promotional offer.
How it compares
If you’re looking for a long 0% money transfer fee, this card stacks up quite well. The 24 months of 0% is very competitive, and though there’s a 2.99% fee, that is in line (or lower) than competitors.
The added balance transfer offer is less competitive. Though 12 months may give ample time to pay down a moderate amount of debt, the 4% fee on balance transfers is notably high. Balance transfers of this length can often be found with no fee (see our top balance transfer offers here).
Also, cardholders can benefit from a variety of ways in which to manage their account. Not only are the newer account management features available in the form of a mobile banking app and free text notifications, but there is also the more traditional option of telephone banking if you wish.
The differing interest-free transfer periods are something to note. If you are considering applying for this card in order to obtain a long interest-free offer, just have in the back of your mind that while most applicants will achieve this deal, some will be offered shorter interest-free periods, higher fees and a higher APR.
Why use a money transfer card?
A money transfer card can be one of the cheapest forms of borrowing – if used correctly. You can transfer cash to your current account from a credit card, essentially providing yourself with an interest-free loan.
If you find yourself in a situation where you need some extra money to pay off a debt such as an overdraft or a payday loan, or you want to make a large purchase that you can’t put on a credit card, a money transfer card can bridge the gap and help you avoid costly interest charges.
And that’s the key. Using a money transfer card can provide you with a loan without interest attached to it, and give you the flexibility to pay off the debt at your own pace. However, in order to feel the real benefit of a card like this, you need to make sure your balance is completely paid off before the interest-free period comes to an end. At that point, the card will revert to its standard rate and any debt you have remaining will start incurring interest charges.
A money transfer card can be there to help you reduce the cost of your borrowing or to give you a small injection of money when you need it. But it’s not right for everyone and is something that needs to be used correctly to feel the benefits. You will have fees to contend with on anything you transfer, and whatever you borrow will need to be paid back within the promotional period in order for you to avoid finding yourself with interest charges on your account.
How do you apply?
You can apply through the MBNA website. You will receive an answer within in 5 minutes of making your application.
You will need to provide personal information, including your income and employment details.
Who is this card great for?
This card is great for those who are looking for a longer money transfer period. The headline rate of two years interest-free gives a long runway to pay off any balance, and the transfer fee of 2.99% is in line with the market average.
Finally, it is best suited to those who have a ‘good/excellent’ credit score. The headline rates that make this card stand out are for those who have proved themselves in the past to be sensible borrowers. While you can apply for the card if you have a lower credit score, you may receive shorter interest-free periods and slightly higher transfer fees as a result.
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