Britain’s Nationwide Building Society announced last week the introduction of its Nationwide and Nationwide Select credit cards, which have an extended zero-percent balance transfer period of 26 months and a transfer fee of 2.4 percent.
Other issuers offer similar balance transfer periods, though the 2.4 percent transfer fee is currently the lowest available on 26- and 27-month cards.
“It will be interesting to see the response from other issuers to this move by Nationwide as they look to become a force again in the highly competitive Balance Transfer market,” a spokeswoman for U.K. comparison site CompareandSave.com said. “Over the last month or so we have the likes of Barclaycard, Tesco and NatWest/RBS all revising their offers, and this change by Nationwide will probably initiate further changes.”
The Nationwide credit card also offers zero percent on purchases for three months, and the Select card, which can also be used as a travel credit card, offers an unlimited commission-free on purchases abroad and zero percent on purchases for one year.
“In this difficult economy, these moves can only be pleasing to the consumers as they continue to see increasing balance transfers lengths and reduction fees,” the CompareandSave.com spokeswoman said. “But it is also important that the people take time to find the most appropriate card for their circumstances and a useful way of doing this is using comparison tables. As for the banks, the battle for supremacy in the Balance Transfer market will probably carry on for the rest of the long hot summer.”