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Sainsbury’s Bank 26 Month Balance Transfer Credit Card review 2021
Like its rivals Barclaycard and Virgin Money, Sainsbury's Bank now offers a spread of balance transfer deals in the hope that one of them will be just right for you.
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In a nutshell:
0% interest on balance transfers
0% interest on purchases
|Balance transfers||0% for 26 months reverting to 21.95%|
|Balance transfer fee||2% (min. £3) for 3 months reverting to 3% (min. £3)|
|Purchases||0% for 3 months reverting to 21.95%|
|Purchases interest-free period||Up to 56 days|
|Min credit limit||£0|
|Max credit limit||Not specified|
|Additional cards available||1|
|Incentive||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.|
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.
Slotting into the middle of Sainsbury’s Bank’s range of balance transfer deals, this card offers a 26-month window in which you won’t pay interest on your transferred balance in return for a reduced balance transfer fee (which is a percentage of the balance you wish to transfer).
Naturally, when seeking to clear existing card debt, you should look for no-transfer-fee deals first. The trouble is that these tend to not have the longest 0% interest periods. If you really need as long as possible at 0%, then a transfer fee might be worth swallowing.
Sainsbury’s Bank specifies that some applicants may be offered a shorter 0% period, depending on individual circumstances (typically if you have a limited or less-than-perfect credit history).
Like all Sainsbury’s cards, this offer comes with the opportunity to earn Nectar points. Transferred balances won’t earn Nectar points though, only additional spending will. So if your main objective is clearing your card debt, try not to be tempted into using your card to make purchases, just to collect a few points. Once the 26 months are up, any outstanding balance will start to accrue interest at the card’s standard rate of 21.9% (that’s a variable rate, so it may well have moved by that point).
The Sainsbury's Bank 26 Month Balance Transfer Credit Card 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
- No annual fee
- Minimum annual income requirement of £10,000
- Relatively high money transfer fee
How does it compare?
Sainsbury's Bank's card
Other popular balance transfer deals
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 26 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 Sainsbury's Bank 26 Month Balance Transfer Credit Card, 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. You can request a balance transfer as part of your application.
Frequently asked questions
Can I withdraw cash using the Sainsbury's Bank 26 Month 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 26 Month 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 26 Month 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 26 Month Balance Transfer Credit Card abroad?
Non-sterling transactions are subject to a 2.75% charge. For example, if you spend 200 euros (£172.18), it'll cost you around £4.73.
What is the minimum payment on the Sainsbury's Bank 26 Month 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 26 Month 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 26 Month Balance Transfer Credit Card?
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.