first direct Balance Transfers Credit Card review November 2019

Transfer your existing card balances to first direct and benefit from 27 months of 0% interest.

Finder rating: ★★★★★

Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 18.9% APR (variable).

27 months

0% interest on balance transfers

18.9%

Representative APR

£0

Account fee

Details

Issuerfirst direct
NetworkVisa
Annual/monthly fees£0
Balance transfers0% for 27 months reverting to 18.9%
Balance transfer fee2.29% (min. £5) for 3 months reverting to 2.9% (min. £5)
Purchases18.9%
Purchases interest-free periodUp to 56 days
Cash advances24.7%
Min. credit limit£500
Max credit limitNot specified
Additional cards available1
IncentiveEarn cashback with selected retailers via Visa Offers, customers can register up to five separate first direct Visa cards.

Expert review

Chris Lilly

Review by


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.

Expert review

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?

Table: sorted by representative APR, promoted deals first
Updated November 15th, 2019
Name Product Balance transfers Balance transfer fee Purchases Rep. APR Incentive Representative example
0% for 12 months reverting to 19.9%
3% (min. £3)
19.9%
19.9% p.a. (variable)
Earn Asda vouchers every time you shop - 1% cashback on all Asda spend, 0.2% on all other transactions and 10% on selected insurance products. Once £2.5 is earnt a voucher can be downloaded to spend in Asda stores.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
0% for 23 months reverting to 19.9%
0% for transfers in first 3 months
0% for 3 months reverting to 19.9% p.a. (variable)
19.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
0% for 23 months reverting to 19.9%
0% for transfers in first 3 months
0% for 3 months reverting to 19.9% p.a. (variable)
19.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
0% for 20 months reverting to 19.9%
2.9% (min. £5)
0% for 20 months reverting to 19.9%
19.9% p.a. (variable)
Earn 1 point for every £1 spent at Marks and Spencer's and 1 point for every £5 spent elsewhere. 100 points = £1 reward voucher. Points will be converted into reward vouchers 4 times a year.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
0% for 12 months reverting to 15.9%
0% for 3 months reverting to 2.4% (min. £5)
0% for 12 months reverting to 15.9%
15.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 15.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 15.9% APR (variable).
0% for 12 months reverting to 17.9%
0% for 3 months reverting to 2.4% (min. £5)
0% for 12 months reverting to 17.9%
17.9% p.a. (variable)
Customers will be able to earn commission-free purchases abroad by using their Credit Card each time they make a purchase in Sterling. The calculation will be based on a 5:1 ratio - for example, £5 spent in Sterling will earn an allowance of £1 commission free-purchases abroad. Purchases abroad beyond the earned amount will be charged 2% commission.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 17.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 17.9% APR (variable).
0% for 18 months reverting to 18.9%
0% for 18 months reverting to 3% (min. £5)
0% for 3 months reverting to 18.9%
18.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 18.9% APR (variable).
0% for 18 months reverting to 18.9%
2.9% (min. £5)
0% for 9 months reverting to 18.9%
18.9% p.a. (variable)
Earn 1 point for every £1 spent in store or online at John Lewis, Waitrose and John Lewis Insurance. Earn 1 Point for every £2 spent elsewhere. Earn double points on selected insurances taken out through John Lewis Financial Services. Vouchers issued once customer reaches 500 points in Feb, Jun or Oct when vouchers are automatically issued to customers. Every 500 points is worth £5. Earn double points at John Lewis and Waitrose for first 90 days if card applied for by 29.2.20.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 18.9% APR (variable).
0% for 27 months reverting to 18.9%
2.29% (min. £5) for 3 months reverting to 2.9% (min. £5)
18.9%
18.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 18.9% APR (variable).
0% for 18 months reverting to 18.9%
1.4% (min. £5)
0% for 9 months reverting to 18.9%
18.9% p.a. (variable)
A selection of rewards from a range of partners. Earn 1 point for every £1 spent within the UK and earn 2 points for every £1 spent outside the UK. Points can be redeemed for shopping vouchers and frequent flyer miles.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 18.9% APR (variable).

Compare up to 4 providers

Repayment options

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.

The NatWest Balance Transfer Credit Card (existing customers)
The NatWest Balance Transfer Credit Card (existing customers)

Balance transfers:

0% for 23 months reverting to 19.9%

Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).

M&S Bank Shopping Plus Mastercard
M&S Bank Shopping Plus Mastercard

Balance transfers:

0% for 20 months reverting to 19.9%

Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).

ASDA Money Cashback Credit Card Mastercard
ASDA Money Cashback Credit Card

Balance transfers:

0% for 12 months reverting to 19.9%

Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).

The Royal Bank Balance Transfer Credit Card (existing customers)
The Royal Bank Balance Transfer Credit Card (existing customers)

Balance transfers:

0% for 23 months reverting to 19.9%

Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.

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4 Comments

  1. Default Gravatar
    tom
    March 27, 2019

    I don’t understand the Balance transfer fee information:
    2.29% (min. £5) for 3 months reverting to 2.9% (min. £5)

    Does this mean a one off fee of 2.29% on the amount transferred, or does this apply a fee of 2.29% over 3 consecutive months??

    Or does it mean a one off fee of 2.29% applies until ?end of May, then after this it reverts to a one off fee of 2.9%?

    Thanks

    • AvatarStaff
      nikkiangco
      March 29, 2019

      Hi Tom,

      Thanks for getting in touch! A 2.29% fee is applied to your monthly balance payment due for the first 3 months of your account after which reverts to 2.9% every month until your balance transfer period is over. Hope this helps!

      Best,
      Nikki

  2. Default Gravatar
    Paula
    October 26, 2018

    Is there a fee if you pay back the amount before the 0% ends?

    • AvatarStaff
      Jhez
      October 30, 2018

      Hello Paula,

      Thank you for your comment.

      According to First Direct, there’s no fee for paying the balance in full before the due date and no interest will be incurred.

      Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chat box on the lower right corner of our page.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

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