Sainsbury’s Balance Transfer Credit Card review 2020

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Take advantage of an interest-free period with Sainsbury's Bank's longest balance transfer deal.

Sainsbury’s customers can earn extra Nectar points as they shop, while managing their existing debts with this versatile card.

You say: ★★★★★We say: ★★★★★

Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).

27 months

0% interest on balance transfers

21.9%

Representative APR

£0

Account fee

Up to 7,500 points

Intro bonus

Details

IssuerSainsbury's Bank
NetworkMastercard
Annual/monthly fees£0
Balance transfers0% for 27 months reverting to 21.95%
Balance transfer fee3% (min. £3)
Purchases0% for 3 months reverting to 21.95%
Purchases interest-free periodUp to 56 days
Money transfers25.95%
Cash advances25.95%
Min credit limit£0
Max credit limitNot specified
Additional cards available1
IncentiveEarn 750 bonus Nectar points each time £35 or more spent on Sainsbury's shopping, up to ten times in your first 2 months, up to a total of 7,500 points, offer available for new customers. Earn 3 Nectar points per £1 spent in Sainsbury's and Argos. Earn 1 Nectar point for every £5 spent elsewhere.

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 headline-grabbing deal offers Sainsbury’s fans an opportunity to get their finances on track with a long break from interest on balances transferred to the card.

Provided you can get approved, it is a very respectable balance transfer deal – just watch out for that percentage-based balance transfer fee of 3% (min. £3) (you could be better-served by a no-fee deal).

What’s more, as well as earning you Nectar points every time you use it, you’ll also earn bonus Nectar points on large Sainsbury’s shops for a limited period, on top of the standard Nectar rewards with every Sainsbury’s shop or fuel. Crucially, the points you can earn using a Sainsbury’s Bank credit card are in addition to the points you earn when you hand over or swipe your regular old Nectar card.

The card even boasts a short interest-free period on purchases… so what’s not to like? Well, it’s probably fair to say that Sainsbury’s bank is using some of the oldest tricks in the book to persuade cardholders to spend more on the card. And who can blame them? It’s how the Bank makes money after all. But all those incentives mean that you’ll have to exercise some self-control if you opt for this card and your primary focus is clearing existing debt. If you haven’t cleared that debt when the 27 months is up, the card’s infinitely-less-competitive standard rate kicks in. Ouch.

Played correctly, however, this card can see you come out on top – and now you know how to make that happen.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Earn Nectar points on all your spending, and earn points at an enhanced rate when you use your card at Sainsbury's.
  • Approved applicants will enjoy the full 27-month 0% period (other cards may be offered to some applicants with a shorter 0% period than advertised).
  • Spread the cost of upcoming purchases with 0% interest for 3 months.

Cons

  • To transfer a balance there's a fee of 3% (min. £3).
  • Try not to rack up additional debt through chasing points – it's rarely worth it.

How does it compare?

Sainsbury's Bank's card

Data indicated here is updated daily
Name Product Balance transfers Balance transfer fee Purchases Annual/monthly fees Rep. APR Incentive Link
Sainsbury's Bank Balance Transfer Credit Card Mastercard
0% for 27 months reverting to 21.95%
3% (min. £3)
0% for 3 months reverting to 21.95%
£0
21.9% (variable)
Earn 750 bonus Nectar points each time £35 or more spent on Sainsbury's shopping, up to ten times in your first 2 months, up to a total of 7,500 points, offer available for new customers. Earn 3 Nectar points per £1 spent in Sainsbury's and Argos. Earn 1 Nectar point for every £5 spent elsewhere.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% 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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Compare up to 4 providers

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 through Sainsbury's Bank's app, by logging in to your online banking or over the phone (08085 40 50 60). 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 27 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 for this Sainsbury’s Bank deal

If you’ve compared cards and want to apply, completing the secure online application form takes about 15 minutes. Before you apply, check that you meet the eligibility requirements and have the information and documents you’ll need to make the process as straightforward as possible.

Frequently asked questions

Can I withdraw cash using the Sainsbury's Bank 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 Sainsbury's Bank 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 25.95%, which is 18% 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).

What should I do with my old credit card after transferring the balance to the Sainsbury's Bank 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 Sainsbury's Bank 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.

What is the minimum payment on the Sainsbury's Bank Balance Transfer Credit Card?

Each month you must pay at least 2.25% of your balance at that point or £5.00 – whichever of the two figures is greater. So if you had, say, £200.00 outstanding, you'd pay £5.00, and if you had £888.89 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 transfer money from the Sainsbury's Bank 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 Sainsbury's Bank's app. This part of your card balance will incur interest of 25.95%. The fee for a money transfer is 4% (min. £4).

Can I request an additional Sainsbury's Bank Balance Transfer Credit Card?

Yes, you can request one more. There's no fee for additional cards. Plus, with additional cards, you could earn Nectar 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.

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