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If you’re looking for an extra-long balance transfer period, this may be the credit card you’re looking for. This card is all about the core interest-free offerings. It has a long 0% balance transfer term of 29 months (3% balance transfer fee). This is combined with 0% on money transfers for 20 months (4% fee here) and 0% on purchases for three months. In a relatively cautious lending market, it is rare to find a card that offers an interest-free term on all three features.
Credit Rating Requirement: Good/Excellent
What I like about the Virgin Money Balance Transfer Credit Card
While the interest-free offers are the main selling point of this card, the card also includes those added extras that help sweeten the deal.
- Balance transfers – If you are looking for interest-free offers, then you can take your pick with this card. The main selling point is the 29 months 0% balance transfer offer, which places it at the top end of what is available on the market. That period gives cardholders just shy of two and a half years to pay off their debt – interest-free. However, this does come with a 3% balance transfer fee, and you must make your transfers within 60 days for the promotional rate.
- Interest-free offers – Not only can you benefit from interest-free balance transfers with this card, but you can also take advantage of 0% on purchases for three months and 0% on money transfers for 20 months. It is worth noting that like the balance transfer offer, money transfers carry a 4% fee, and also need to be done within 60 days.
- Cashback – Taking out a Virgin Money credit card means that you can take advantage of the provider’s Virgin Money Back cashback scheme. This gives you exclusive cashback offers with over 500 well-known brands such as Apple, M&S and Boots. You will need to be registered with the scheme and complete your purchase through the Virgin Money Back website in order to earn cashback.
- Discounts – As the card is part of the Virgin Money family, you can also benefit from discounts from the wider Virgin Group. These include travel offers, home and health offers, and entertainment and experience deals. With the Virgin Red app, you can also receive exclusive offers and rewards direct to your phone.
- Worth knowing – You will not be able to make balance transfers from another Virgin Money credit card. Additionally, if you miss a payment, your promotional rate will be withdrawn.
What could be improved?
The Virgin Money Balance Transfer Card has competitive interest-free periods, but at what cost?
- Fees – It is typical to have fees attached to long interest-free balance transfer and money transfer offers, but the high standard fee on this card stands out. During the promotional period you’ll pay 3% on all balances transferred (and 4% for money transfers). After the promotional period of 60 days, balance transfers and money transfers will be charged at 5%, which is notably higher than the market average.
- Transfer period – Speaking of 60 days, you have to make your balance and money transfers within the first 60 days of your account opening to take advantage of the promotional rates. After those first 60 days not only to the transfer fees go up, but those nice 0% rates go away.
- Overseas usage – You can’t have everything, and with this card what you don’t get is interest-free travel. Virgin Money charges a foreign transaction fee of 2.99% for non-sterling purchases.
- Cash advances – One thing you really don’t want to use this card for is cash advances. Like the balance transfer and money transfer fees, you are looking at being charged 5% for cash withdrawals made at home and abroad.
How does the Virgin Money Balance Transfer Credit Card offer stack up?
The interest-free offer on balance transfers is very competitive. At 29 months, it is one of the longest 0% terms on the market. That combined with the other interest-free offers does make the card stand out.
However, if you are looking for a balance transfer card but don’t need such a long interest-free period, there are other cards available that still offer a decent 0% term but charge no fee. The card’s promotional rate of 3% is in line with other offers, but the standard rate of 5% is considerably higher.
And while it is nice to see the super-long balance transfer period alongside a 0% purchases offer, the latter is more or less a token offer. If you’re looking for a card that delivers a better balance of 0% balance transfer and 0% purchases period, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
The Virgin Money Balance Transfer Credit Card credit score
To be eligible for this card, you need to have an income of at least £7,000 a year or a household income of at least £15,000 a year. Virgin Money also requires applicants to have a good credit history, be aged 18 or over and be UK residents with a UK bank or building society account.
How do you apply?
You can apply through Virgin Money’s website. You will have to complete an eligibility check first, which is a soft search that will not affect your credit rating.
In your application you will need to provide details of your bank or building society account, as well as details of any accounts you want to make transfers from.
Virgin Money states that you should receive an instant decision on your application. If Virgin Money needs further information, it will be in touch in five working days.
Is the Virgin Money 29 Month Balance Transfer Credit Card right for you?
If you are looking for a long interest-free balance transfer offer, you will be hard-pressed to find one that tops what the Virgin Money 29 Month Balance Transfer Credit Card offers. At nearly two and a half years, the balance transfer period could provide you with a long runway to pay down any debt, with the benefit of no interest charges for the term. Be aware that you will pay 3% on balances transferred, and that you must make your transfers within the first 60 days of your account opening.
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