Approval for any credit card will depend 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.
RBS Purchase & Balance Transfer Credit Card review 2023
To be able to enjoy this impressive 0% deal, you'll need to be an existing RBS customer. The card debt you want to bring across? That'll need to be from a different bank.
Finder rating: ★★★★★
Doing its job: 4/5
In a nutshell:
- Offers a market-leading 0% transfer period
- You’ll need to pay a balance transfer fee
0% interest on balance transfers
0% interest on purchases
|Issuer||Royal Bank of Scotland|
|Balance transfers||0% for 23 months reverting to 23.9%|
|Balance transfer fee||2.9%|
|Purchases||0% for 23 months reverting to 23.9%|
|Purchases interest-free period||Up to 56 days|
|Minimum credit limit||£250|
|Maximum credit limit||Subject to status|
|Additional cards available||3|
Tom Stelzer is a writer for Finder specialising in personal finance, including loans and credit, as well as small business and business loans. He has previously worked as a freelance writer covering entertainment, culture and football for publications like FourFourTwo and Man of Many. He has a Master of Media Arts and Production and Bachelor of Communications in Journalism from the University of Technology Sydney.
The RBS Longer Balance Transfer credit card certainly lives up to its name – offering an extended 23-month 0% period on balance transfers, as well as an introductory 23 months 0% on purchases.
However, you’ll need to pay a balance transfer fee, which may negate the benefit of the longer 0% transfer period for those looking to transfer an especially large balance.
You’ll also need to transfer the balance within the first 3 months to get the 0% offer, and will only be able to transfer up to 95% of your available credit limit (with a minimum transfer of £100).
There’s no annual fee and the representative APR is a healthy 23.9%, which makes it a relatively competitive card even without the longer balance transfer period.
Overall, the RBS Longer Balance Transfer credit card is an option for anyone looking to transfer a balance and wanting as much time as possible to do so. For those looking to transfer a smaller balance, the regular RBS Balance Transfer card may be a better bet, as it charges a smaller fee when you transfer a balance across.
Pros and cons
- Almost 2 years of 0% interest to focus on reducing existing card debt
- Almost two years to spread the cost of purchases
- No annual fee
- Minimum annual income requirement of £10,000
- 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 Royal Bank of Scotland's app by logging in to your online banking or over the phone (0345 724 2424). 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 23 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've compared cards and settled on the RBS Purchase & Balance Transfer Credit Card, you can head over to Royal Bank of Scotland's secure online application to apply. Don't forget, you'll need to be over 18 and a UK resident to apply, with an income of at least 10000. You can request a balance transfer as part of your application.
Frequently asked questions
What credit limit will I get with the RBS Purchase & Balance Transfer Credit Card?
If Royal Bank of Scotland is able to offer you this deal, the offer will specify a personalised credit limit based on Royal Bank of Scotland's assessment of your situation. The minimum limit offered on this card is £250 and Royal Bank of Scotland does not specify a maximum. Once you've had the card for a while and shown Royal Bank of Scotland that you're reliable, you may wish to apply for a credit limit increase.
Can I withdraw cash using the RBS Purchase & Balance Transfer 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 RBS Purchase & Balance Transfer Credit Card is 3% (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 £7.50.
The interest rate on this part of your balance will be 26.9%, which is 13% 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 RBS-branded card to the RBS Purchase & Balance Transfer Credit Card?
No. RBS doesn't accept balance transfers from credit cards issued through the NatWest group, which (as well as NatWest) includes Ulster Bank, RBS and Coutts.
What should I do with my old credit card after transferring the balance to the RBS Purchase & Balance Transfer Credit Card?
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 RBS Purchase & Balance Transfer Credit Card abroad?
Non-sterling transactions are subject to a 2.75% charge. For example, if you spend 200 euros (£175.81), it'll cost you around £4.83 in fees.
Can I transfer money from the RBS Purchase & Balance Transfer Credit Card to a bank account?
Yes. That's what's known as a "money transfer" (rather than a "balance transfer") in credit card jargon. You can arrange this from your online banking or using RBS's app. This part of your card balance will incur interest of 26.9%. The fee for a money transfer is 3%.
Finder credit card ratings
Our experts score balance transfer cards to determine their value against similar products on the market. We look at a number of important factors, like the length of the balance transfer offer, the balance transfer fee, any restrictions to making a transfer, plus the potential costs involved with running the card both in the short and longer term.
You can read more about our scoring criteria on our credit card methodology page.