first direct Balance Transfers Credit Card review 2023
- Representative example:
- When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 24.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 24.9% APR (variable).
- 0% interest on balance transfers
- 20 months
- Account fee
- Interest-free each billing period
- Up to 56 days
This card is designed to allow current first direct account holders to easily transfer outstanding balances from cards held with other banks and enjoy an interest-free period. It is one of two credit cards offered by first direct, the other one being the first direct Gold Card, designed for spreading the cost of upcoming purchases.
The balance transfer deal is close to the longest available on the market and it’s the main advantage of this card. In exchange for the balance transfer fee (2.29%, which is pretty average compared to the rest of the market) you get plenty of time to pay off your existing debt, interest-free.
However, if during the same period of time you also need to spread the cost of a new purchase, you’re out of luck. This card doesn’t offer any 0% deal on purchases, which is less than ideal. Of course, you can still shop with the card, but you’ll need to make sure you pay the bill in full every month (billing cycle is 56-month long), or your purchases will accrue interest at the card’s standard rate (24.9%, not particularly competitive).
Good news is, while this isn’t a rewards credit card, there are some treats in it for you in the form of a scheme called Visa Offers, which is available to first direct and HSBC cardholders. If you subscribe, you can get cashback when you shop at partner retailers.
Easy to apply for if you already have a first direct current account.
Minimum limit of £500.
Cashback offers with Visa offers.
Apple Pay and Google Pay compatible.
No annual fee.
|Balance transfers||0% for 20 months reverting to 24.9%|
|Balance transfer fee||2.29%|
|Purchases interest-free period||Up to 56 days|
|Minimum credit limit||£500|
|Maximum credit limit||Subject to status|
|Additional cards available||1|
|Doing its job||★★★★★|
|Overall Finder rating||★★★★★|
|Overall customer rating||Not yet rated|
|Minimum monthly payment||3% or £5 (whichever is greater) or the total of any interest, default fees and charges plus 1% of the outstanding balance.|
|Balance transfer fee||2.29%|
|Foreign usage charge (EU)||2.99%|
|Foreign usage charge (rest of world)||2.99%|
|Cash advance fee||2.99% (min. £3)|
|Late payment fee||£12|
|Duplicate statement fee||£5|
|Exceeding limit fee||£12|
|Additional card fee||£0|
|Availability||Available to existing customers|
|Additional Criteria||Only available to those who haven't had a First Direct credit card or gold card in the last six months|
The first direct Credit Card is issued on the Visa network (used by a whopping 4.2 billion cards), so you'll be able to use it at more than 100 million merchant locations across more than 200 countries and territories.
Find out which cards you are eligible for
- Check a range of cards in minutes
- No impact on your credit score
- One fast and simple form
How does it compare?
First Direct's card
Other popular balance transfer deals
Approval for any credit card depends on your status. The representative APRs shown represent the interest rate offered to most successful applicants. Depending on your personal circumstances, the APR you're offered may be higher, or you may not be offered credit at all. Fees and rates are subject to change without notice. It's always wise to check the terms of any deal before you borrow.
You can make manual repayments through First Direct's app by logging in to your online banking or over the phone (03 456 00 24 24). 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 20 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 want to transfer balances from other accounts and save on interest with 0% for 27 months with this card, complete first direct's secure application form, which takes about 10-15 minutes. Before you apply, check that you meet the eligibility requirements and have the information and documents you'll need so that you can make this process as easy as possible.
Frequently asked questions
What credit limit will I get with the first direct Credit Card?
If First Direct is able to offer you this deal, the offer will specify a personalised credit limit based on First Direct's assessment of your situation. The minimum limit offered on this card is £500 and First Direct does not specify a maximum. Once you've had the card for a while and shown First Direct that you're reliable, you may wish to apply for a credit limit increase.
Can I withdraw cash using the first direct Credit Card?
Although it's possible, withdrawing cash from a credit card account is generally not a good idea, as "cash-like transactions" (such as withdrawing cash at an ATM, getting cashback at the till, spending at a casino or buying currency) often incur steep fees and/or higher rates of interest.
The cash advance fee on the first direct Credit Card is 2.99% (min. £3). For example, if you withdraw £50, you'll incur a fee of £3.00. Withdraw £250 and you'll incur a fee of £7.48.
The interest rate on this part of your balance will be 29.9%, which is 20% more than the standard purchase rate (chargeable from the day of the transaction – the card's usual "up to 56 days interest-free" grace period won't apply).
Can I transfer a balance from another first direct-branded card to the first direct Credit Card?
How much does it cost to use the first direct Credit Card abroad?
Non-sterling transactions are subject to a 2.99% charge (which is very standard). For example, if you spend 200 euros (£171.22), it'll cost you around £5.12 in fees.
What is the minimum payment on the first direct Credit Card?
Each month you must pay at least 3% of your balance at that point or £5.00 – whichever of the 2 figures is greater. So if you had, say, £150.00 outstanding, you'd pay £5.00, and if you had £666.67 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.