M&S Bank Transfer Plus Mastercard review 2020
Pay off your credit card debt while collecting M&S points on your day-to-day spending.
This card offers the longest 0% on balance transfers period of all M&S Bank’s credit cards, and also offers 0% interest on purchases for an introductory period. There’s no annual fee to worry about, so provided you clear your existing balance before the 0% period expires, this could be an almost catch-free option.
You say: ★★★★★We say: ★★★★★
Doing its job: 4.5/5
In a nutshell:
0% interest on balance transfers
Up to 500 points
|Balance transfers||0% for 25 months reverting to 19.9%|
|Balance transfer fee||2.85% (min. £5)|
|Purchases||0% for 3 months reverting to 19.9%|
|Purchases interest-free period||Up to 55 days|
|Min credit limit||£500|
|Max credit limit||Not specified|
|Additional cards available||1|
|Incentive||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.|
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.
Unless you’re highly organised and have cracking self-discipline, the safest way to get free of card debt is to avoid additional spending on your new balance transfer card. But if further spending is unavoidable, this competitive M&S deal has you covered – with 3 months 0% interest on purchases and the opportunity to earn loyalty points translating into vouchers to spend in-store or online. To look at it another way, the card incentivises further spending.
You’ll be able to earn points pretty much whenever you use the card, and you’ll earn points at a better rate per £1 when you spend with M&S. If you’re looking for rewards you can redeem elsewhere, you might prefer to check out a more versatile rewards programme or even a cashback credit card.
Don’t forget, it’s free to add an additional cardholder, and doing so could help earn loyalty points faster. You’ll be solely responsible for all spending on the account, regardless of which card was used, since credit cards cannot be held jointly.
If you’re a Marks & Sparks regular looking to clear card debt, this card offers a competitive solution (albeit at the expense of a balance transfer fee), just remember that getting debt-free before the 25 months is up should be your priority.
The M&S Bank Transfer Plus Mastercard is issued on the Mastercard network so it's accepted at nearly 53 million merchants across more than 210 countries and territories.
Pros and cons
- Over two years of 0% interest to focus on reducing existing card debt
- Three months to spread the cost of purchases
- Earn points on day-to-day spending
- Up to 500 points introductory bonus
- No annual fee
- Applicants with low credit scores are unlikely to be eligible
- Don't forget that balance transfer fee! If cutting the interest on existing card debt is your main reason for considering this card, check out no-fee deals first
You can make manual repayments through M&S Bank's app, by logging in to your online banking or over the phone (0800 997996). 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 25 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
First, you can use Finder's eligibility checker to find out if you'd be likely to get approved for the M&S Bank Transfer Plus Mastercard. This won't impact your credit score. If it's good news, you can then proceed to M&S Bank's online application, which takes 10-15 minutes to complete. You can request a balance transfer as part of your application.
Frequently asked questions
What credit limit will I get with the M&S Bank Transfer Plus Mastercard?
If M&S Bank is able to offer you this deal, the offer will specify a personalised credit limit based on M&S Bank's assessment of your situation. The minimum limit offered on this card is £500 and M&S Bank does not specify a maximum. Once you've had the card for a while and shown M&S Bank that you're reliable, you may wish to apply for a credit limit increase.
Can I withdraw cash using the M&S Bank Transfer Plus 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 M&S Bank Transfer Plus Mastercard 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 23.9%, which is 20% more than the standard purchases rate (chargeable from the day of the transaction – the card's usual "up to 55 days interest-free" grace period won't apply).
Can I transfer a balance from another M&S Bank-branded card to the M&S Bank Transfer Plus Mastercard?
What should I do with my old credit card after transferring the balance to the M&S Bank Transfer Plus 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 M&S Bank Transfer Plus Mastercard abroad?
Non-sterling transactions are subject to a 2.99% charge. For example, if you spend 200 euros (£177.37), it'll cost you around £5.30.
What is the minimum payment on the M&S Bank Transfer Plus 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.
Can I request an additional M&S Bank Transfer Plus Mastercard?
Yes, you can request one more. There's no fee for additional cards. Plus, with additional cards, you could earn points at a faster rate. Bear in mind that card debt accrued by additional cardholders is the sole responsibility of the account holder – not the additional cardholder.