Ulster Bank Purchase & Balance Transfer Credit Card review 2023
- Representative example:
- When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 24.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 24.9% APR (variable).
- 0% interest on balance transfers
- 21 months
- Balance transfer fee
- 0% interest on purchases
- 21 months
If you're in the market for a balance transfer credit card and after the longest possible 0% transfer period, it's hard to look past this Ulster Bank card.
With a best-in-class 21-month 0% balance transfer period, and 0% on purchases in the first 21 months, it's a worthwhile card for anyone looking to transfer a balance and wanting as much time as possible to do so.
However, you'll need to transfer your balance in the first 3 months to benefit from the 0% offer, and will only be able to transfer up to 95% of your total credit limit.
You'll also be charged a balance transfer fee, which may you'll need to keep in mind when comparing other balance transfer cards. You also won't be able to transfer a balance from another NatWest or RBS card.
While the balance transfer period is the main attraction, the card also offers a competitive 24.9% representative APR, and no annual fee.
Ultimately, if you're after the longest 0% balance transfer period you can find, the Ulster Bank Longer Balance Transfer card is as good as it gets. But for those looking to move a large balance, or who think they can pay off their balance in less than 21 months, it may be worth looking for a card that charges no transfer fees instead.
|Balance transfers||0% for 17 months reverting to 24.9%|
|Balance transfer fee||0%|
|Purchases||0% for 17 months reverting to 24.9%|
|Purchases interest-free period||Up to 56 days|
|Minimum credit limit||£350|
|Maximum credit limit||Subject to status|
|Additional cards available||3|
|Doing its job||★★★★★|
|Overall Finder rating||★★★★★|
|Minimum monthly payment||1% or £5 (whichever is greater) or the total of any interest, default fees and charges, 1/12th of annual fee plus 1% of the outstanding balance or double the amount of that month's interest and any default charges, plus any instalment plan fee(s), plus £1.|
|Balance transfer fee||0%|
|Money transfer fee||3%|
|Foreign usage charge (EU)||2.75%|
|Foreign usage charge (rest of world)||2.75%|
|Cash advance fee||3% (min. £3)|
|Late payment fee||Max £12 Waived until end of 2023|
|Duplicate statement fee||£0|
|Additional card fee||£0|
|Availability||Available to new customers|
The Ulster Bank Purchase & Balance Transfer Credit Card is issued on the Mastercard network so it's accepted at more than 50 million merchant locations across more than 210 countries and territories.
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How does it compare?
Ulster Bank's card
Other popular balance transfer deals
Approval for any credit card depends 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.
You can make manual repayments through Ulster Bank's app by logging in to your online banking or over the phone (0800 046 6486). 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 Max £12 Waived until end of 2023). 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 21 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
Provided you already have a current account, savings account, credit card or mortgage with Ulster Bank, 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 Ulster Bank Purchase & Balance Transfer Credit Card?
If Ulster Bank is able to offer you this deal, the offer will specify a personalised credit limit based on Ulster Bank's assessment of your situation. The minimum limit offered on this card is £350 and Ulster Bank does not specify a maximum. Once you've had the card for a while and shown Ulster Bank that you're reliable, you may wish to apply for a credit limit increase.
Can I withdraw cash using the Ulster Bank 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 Ulster Bank 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 8% 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 Ulster Bank-branded card to the Ulster Bank Purchase & Balance Transfer Credit Card?
What should I do with my old credit card after transferring the balance to the Ulster Bank 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 Ulster Bank Purchase & Balance Transfer Credit Card abroad?
Non-sterling transactions are subject to a 2.75% charge. For example, if you spend 200 euros (£173.15), it'll cost you around £4.76 in fees.
Can I transfer money from the Ulster Bank 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 Ulster Bank's app. This part of your card balance will incur interest of 26.9%. The fee for a money transfer is 3%.