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Bank of Scotland Platinum Low Fee 0% Balance Transfer Mastercard review 2020
Save on interest and clear existing card debt faster with Bank of Scotland's longest balance transfer deal.
Finder rating: ★★★★★
Doing its job: 4.5/5
In a nutshell:
0% interest on balance transfers
0% interest on purchases
|Issuer||Bank of Scotland|
|Balance transfers||0% for 22 months reverting to 19.95%|
|Balance transfer fee||1.99% for 3 months reverting to 5%|
|Purchases||0% for 9 months reverting to 19.95%|
|Purchases interest-free period||Up to 56 days|
|Min credit limit||£0|
|Max credit limit||Not specified|
|Additional cards available||1|
Chris Lilly is a publisher at finder.com. He's a specialist in credit-based products including business and personal loans, mortgages and credit cards, and is passionate about helping UK consumers make informed decisions about their borrowing. In his spare time Chris likes forcing his kids to exercise more.
If you have an outstanding card balance that’s costing you an arm and a leg in interest, then provided the debt is not already held with Bank of Scotland, transferring to this card could buy you a 22-month break from interest.
You’ll still be required to make a minimum monthly payment on the balance, but if you’re not putting additional spending on the card, then every penny you pay will go towards clearing the debt.
Don’t forget that the fee to transfer a balance is 1.99% for 3 months reverting to 5%, and also that if you haven’t cleared the debt by the end of the 22 months, any outstanding balance will start to accrue interest at the card’s standard rate.
Pros and cons
- Almost two years of 0% interest to focus on reducing existing card debt
- No annual fee
- Applicants with low credit scores are unlikely to be eligible
How does it compare?
Bank of Scotland's card
Other popular balance transfer deals
You can make manual repayments through Bank of Scotland's app, by logging in to your online banking or over the phone (0345 964 5645). Alternatively you may wish to set up a direct debit.
A direct debit protects you from forgetting to make a repayment and losing your promotional interest rate as a result (as well as damaging your credit score and incurring the late payment fee of £12). You could use a fixed-amount direct debit to ensure you've cleared your debt before the 0% period expires – simply divide your outstanding balance by 22 to see what you'll need to pay each month (this assumes you don't use the card for additional spending).
You can arrange a direct debit for repayments when you apply for the credit card. The table below shows the options available.
Choose from the following direct debit options for your monthly repayments:
|Minimum amount||Fixed amount||Fixed percentage||Full amount|
How to apply
If you have compared cards and want to apply, completing the secure online application form takes about 15 minutes. Before you apply, use the eligibility checker tool on the Bank of Scotland site to check that you have a decent likelihood of getting approved, without affecting your credit score. You will need to provide your address details for the last three years. In most cases you will get an instant response.
Frequently asked questions
Can I withdraw cash using the Bank of Scotland Platinum Low Fee 0% Balance Transfer Mastercard?
Although it's possible, withdrawing cash from a credit card account is generally not a good idea, as "cash-like transactions" (withdrawing cash at an ATM, getting cashback at the till, spending at a casino, buying currency, etc.) often incur steep fees and/or higher rates of interest.
The cash advance fee on the Bank of Scotland Platinum Low Fee 0% Balance Transfer Mastercard is 5%.
The interest rate on this part of your balance will be 19.95%, which is the same as the standard purchases rate (chargeable from the day of the transaction – the card's usual "up to 56 days interest-free" grace period won't apply).
What should I do with my old credit card after transferring the balance to the Bank of Scotland Platinum Low Fee 0% Balance Transfer Mastercard?
Transferring a balance doesn't automatically close your old account. In most cases, you'll want to close the old account(s) straightaway, especially if they have an annual/monthly fee or if you might be tempted to use them in the future. There is an argument that you should keep the old account open to help your credit score. That's because doing so keeps your "credit utilisation ratio" lower (that's a measure of how much credit you're using compared to what's available to you), and helps the average age of your credit accounts. However, unless you're just about to apply for a new mortgage, it's probably fair to say that most people would prefer to have no more bank accounts open than was truly necessary.
How much does it cost to use the Bank of Scotland Platinum Low Fee 0% Balance Transfer Mastercard abroad?
Non-sterling transactions are subject to a 2.95% charge. For example, if you spend 200 euros (£176.54), it'll cost you around £5.21.
What is the minimum payment on the Bank of Scotland Platinum Low Fee 0% Balance Transfer Mastercard?
Each month you must pay at least 2.5% of your balance at that point or £5.00 – whichever of the two figures is greater. So if you had, say, £180.00 outstanding, you'd pay £5.00, and if you had £800.00 outstanding, you'd pay £20.00.
Paying only the minimum required amount each month is generally not advisable as it makes it much harder to get debt-free before that introductory 0% period expires.