first direct Balance Transfers Credit Card review January 2020
Transfer your existing card balances to first direct and benefit from 27 months of 0% interest.
Finder rating: ★★★★★
Doing its job: 4.5/5
In a nutshell:
0% interest on balance transfers
|Balance transfers||0% for 27 months reverting to 18.9%|
|Balance transfer fee||2.29% (min. £5) for 3 months reverting to 2.9% (min. £5)|
|Purchases interest-free period||Up to 56 days|
|Min. credit limit||£500|
|Max credit limit||Not specified|
|Additional cards available||1|
|Incentive||Earn cashback with selected retailers via Visa Offers, customers can register up to five separate first direct Visa cards.|
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.
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% (min. £5) for 3 months reverting to 2.9% (min. £5), 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 (18.9%, 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.
Pros and cons
- Easy to apply for if you already have a first direct current account.
- Minimum limit of £500.
- Cashback offers with Visa offers.
- You cannot transfer balances from any members operated by the HSBC group to this credit card. That includes Marks and Spencer and John Lewis Financial Services Limited.
- The standard interest rate applies to purchases.
How does this card compare with other similar cards on the market?
When it comes to repayments, you can make manual repayments online or over the phone (03 456 00 24 24), or alternatively set up a direct debit. A direct debit is a great idea because it protects you from forgetting to make a repayment and either damaging your credit score, getting hit with a penalty fee or losing any promotional rates as a result. 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 for the first direct Credit Card Visa
If you want to transfer balances from other accounts and save on interest with 0% for 27 months with this card, just click on the “Go to Site” button and you’ll be taken to a secure application form. This takes about 15 minutes to complete. 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.