Since lockdown was introduced on 23rd March, credit card lenders have been reviewing their product offerings with many of the major players slashing the length of interest free deals.
Barclaycard has taken the biggest step back and cut its longest 0% BT term from 27 month to just 18 months, whilst Halifax and Virgin Money have both chopped their 29 month offers back to 22 months.
The coronavirus pandemic has changed the credit landscape almost overnight, with lenders wary of a deep recession and a surge in unemployment on the horizon.
Card companies will be ultra-cautious knowing there will be a wave of defaults and bad debts on the horizon once the furlough scheme winds down and the repayment holidays come to an end.
For those who have been shifting balances from card to card over the last few years, the choice of new deals and length of deals are dwindling on a weekly basis and many may struggle to switch again when their current 0% deal expires.
Those heady days when you could get 43 months interest free are long gone.
0% Balance Transfer durations 23 March v 13 July 2020
|Lender||23 March 2020||13 July 2020||Reduction||Reduction %|
|Barclaycard||27 months||18 months||9 months||33%|
|Halifax||29 months||22 months||7 months||24%|
|Virgin Money||29 months||22 months||7 months||24%|
|MBNA||29 months||26 months||3 months||10%|
|Sainsbury’s Bank||29 months||26 months||3 months||10%|
|Tesco Bank||28 months||26 months||2 months||7%|
The longest 0% BT deals still available are from NatWest, TSB and M&S Bank, all currently offering interest free card switching for 28 months, however the way the market is moving, these deals could well be trimmed back in the coming weeks.