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The best all-round 0% balance transfer and purchase credit cards

The best all-round 0% balance transfer and purchase credit cards

All-round credit cards aren't just convenient: they're now almost as good as specialised balance transfer and purchase cards. Here are some of the best.

lovemoney staff

Banking and Borrowing

lovemoney staff
Updated on 23 November 2022

An all-round credit card is a handy tool that comes with a 0% offer on both balance transfers and new purchases.

Previously, these dual cards were seen as a poor 'jack of all trades' option that didn't do either particularly well.

But as interest-free terms on specialised balance transfer cards and purchase cards have fallen over the last few years (although these have improved), all-round cards now provide interest-free periods that are sometimes just as long.

These cards also have another advantage: you only have to undergo one credit check rather than two.

Speaking of credit checks, make sure you use an eligibility checker before applying for any credit card as this gives you a decent idea of how likely you are to be accepted without leaving a mark on your credit report.

We're working with Compare the Market*, which allows you to do just that. Click here to find out more or jump straight in and discover which credit cards you're likely to qualify for.

A word of warning

It's easy to see why someone would want a card that offers greater flexibility, but if you do find yourself having sizeable existing debt and upcoming purchases you can't cover at the same time, it's vital you use these cards to buy you time to get yourself back on the path to financial health.

They obviously won't solve debt by themselves: you need a plan.

Read our guide to getting out of debt for practical tips and also this piece on where to find free debt support for further help.

The best all-round credit cards

We've ranked these cards firstly by the 0% period (for the combined term for balance transfers and purchases) and then by the fee.

The APR shouldn't matter as much because you should really aim to clear your debt before the interest-free period ends or alternatively shift it to another 0% card.

Credit card

0% period on balance transfers and purchases

Balance transfer fee

APR

NatWest/RBS Purchase and Balance Transfer Card (only existing customers can apply)*

24 months

2.90%

22.9%

Barclaycard Platinum Purchase and Balance Transfer Card**

Up to 25 months for purchases, up to 22 months for balance transfers

2.90%

22.9%

M&S Shopping Plus Card*

21 months for purchases, 18 months for balance transfers

2.99% (min £5)

23.9%

*0% on all balance transfers made within the first three months of account opening.

**0% on all balance transfers made within the first two months of account opening.

NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) both offer 24 months interest-free for purchases and balance transfers (a 2.90% fee applies for balance transfers), but you have to be an existing customer to apply and earn at least £10,000 a year.

You can get a slightly longer interest-free period for purchases with the Barclaycard Platinum Purchase and Balance Transfer Card, but you'll get a shorter interest-free period for balance transfers and a 2.90% fee applies.

Comapre credit cards (Image: CTM)

Not for everyone

You may still be better off going for a specialised 0% credit card depending on your individual needs.

Some balance transfer cards are notably cheaper if you have large existing debts, while some purchase cards may have more generous offers on new spending.

Still not found the right card for you? View our complete guide to credit cards to see all your options.

*loveMONEY has teamed up with Compare the Market to provide credit card price comparison services. Compare the Market Limited acts as a credit broker, not a lender. To apply you must be a UK resident and aged 18 or over. Credit is subject to status and eligibility.

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