RBS Longer Balance Transfer Credit Card review 2020

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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: ★★★★★

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).

23 months

0% interest on balance transfers

19.9%

Representative APR

£0

Account fee

3 months

0% interest on purchases

Details

IssuerRoyal Bank of Scotland
NetworkMastercard
Annual/monthly fees£0
Balance transfers0% for 23 months reverting to 19.9%
Balance transfer fee1.99%
Purchases0% for 3 months reverting to 19.9%
Purchases interest-free periodUp to 56 days
Money transfers26.9%
Cash advances26.9%
Min credit limit£300
Max credit limitNot specified
Additional cards available1

Expert review

Tom Stelzer

Review by


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.

Expert review

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 3 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 19.9%, 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

Pros

  • Almost two years of 0% interest to focus on reducing existing card debt
  • Three months to spread the cost of purchases
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • Minimum annual income requirement of £10,000
  • Only available to existing customers

How does it compare?

Royal Bank of Scotland's card

Data indicated here is updated daily
Name Product Balance transfers Balance transfer fee Purchases Annual/monthly fees Rep. APR Incentive Link
Royal Bank of Scotland Longer Balance Transfer Credit Card Mastercard
0% for 23 months reverting to 19.9%
1.99%
0% for 3 months reverting to 19.9%
£0
19.9% (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).
More Info
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Other popular balance transfer deals

Table: sorted by length of 0% balance transfer offer, promoted deals first
Data indicated here is updated daily
Name Product Balance transfers Balance transfer fee Purchases Annual/monthly fees Rep. APR Incentive Link
M&S Bank Transfer Plus Mastercard
0% for 25 months reverting to 19.9%
2.85% (min. £5)
0% for 3 months reverting to 19.9%
£0
19.9% (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).
Check eligibility
More Info
HSBC Balance Transfer Credit Card
0% for 25 months reverting to 21.9%
1.5% (min. £5)
0% for 3 months reverting to 21.9%
£0
21.9% (variable)
Discounts and exclusive offers for dining experiences, leisure activities and shopping available through HSBC Home and Away.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
More Info
The Royal Bank Balance Transfer Credit Card (eligibility criteria apply)
0% for 18 months reverting to 19.9%
0.49%
Transfers must be made within 3 months of account opening
0% for 3 months reverting to 19.9% p.a. (variable)
£0
19.9% (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable), your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
Go to site
More Info
The NatWest Balance Transfer Credit Card (eligibility criteria apply)
0% for 18 months reverting to 19.9%
0.49%
Transfers must be made within 3 months of account opening
0% for 3 months reverting to 19.9% p.a. (variable)
£0
19.9% (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable), your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
Go to site
More Info
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Approval for any credit card will depend on your status. The APR shown represents 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.

Repayment options

You can make manual repayments online or over the phone (0345 724 2424), or alternatively set up a direct debit. A direct debit 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 also use a fixed direct debit to ensure you’ve cleared your debt before the 0% period expires. 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

Provided you already have a current account, savings account, credit card or mortgage with RBS, you can start by going to the bank’s site and using its “Credit card eligibility checker”. This runs a “soft” credit search to give you a clear idea as to whether or not you’d be approved for the deal (without hurting your credit score). If it’s good news, you can proceed to the full application, which takes 5-10 minutes to complete.

Frequently asked questions

What credit limit will I get with the RBS Longer 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 £300 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 Longer 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" (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 RBS Longer 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 35% more than the standard purchases 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 Longer 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 Longer 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 Longer Balance Transfer Credit Card abroad?

Non-sterling transactions are subject to a 2.75% charge. For example, if you spend 200 euros (£177.37), it'll cost you around £4.88.

Can I transfer money from the RBS Longer 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%.

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