HSBC has taken the fight to Barclaycard in the run-up to Christmas by extending the introductory 0% balance transfer period on its credit card to 34 months.
The bank’s previous offer was at 30 months, and was restricted to its current account customers.
However, it has since rebranded the card and removed this restriction, making it one of the most attractive options available.
The card comes with a 3.3% balance transfer fee, which is one of the highest on the market, and above Barclaycard’s 2.99%.
Customers who transfer a balance to the HSBC card will face a charge of £33 for every £1,000 they transfer, compared to £29.90 with Barclaycard.
It also carries a standard purchase rate of 18.9%, and with only a short introductory offer on purchases, it’s clear that this is a card most suitable for reducing debts rather than building them.
But it is a bold move to challenge Barclaycard’s imperious control of the balance transfer market.
Rise to a Challenge
Barclaycard has faced numerous challenges to its dominance of the market this year, from Lloyds Banking Group (including Halifax) and supermarket banks including Sainsbury’s and Tesco Bank.
Every time a rival has increased its maximum term to match Barclaycard’s leading offer, the lender has unremittingly responded by extending its own maximum term to guard its market-leading position.
More of the same behaviour will see the market soon reach a point where customers will have the option of a three year 0% period to reduce their existing balances.
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