With the 2013/14 football season fast approaching Andrew Hagger of Moneycomms.co.uk looks at whether football credit cards offer a good deal.
What’s in it for the clubs?
MBNA and Creation Cards continue to be the main providers of football affinity credit cards, with the former currently issuing cards for 29 clubs, with Creation credit cards providing plastic for a further 7 teams (full list below).
The football affinity cards are not just for the premiership big boys, but also some of the cash strapped smaller teams across the English and Scottish leagues.
The youth training academy at your club will receive up to £20 when you sign up for an MBNA football card and then a further contribution is made every time you spend on the card, in the last 12 years this partnership has resulted in over £10 million being donated to clubs.
A bad choice of card if you never clear your statement balance
Using a football credit card may well help boost the coffers of your favourite club, but as much as fans may love to flash their club colours when they open their wallet, this loyalty could see some customers scoring a financial own goal.
Some diehard fans are blinded by club loyalty and are paying over the odds as a result.
If you keep a large balance on your card and rarely repay your statement in full, then it makes more sense to look for a cheaper ‘non-football’ deal.
The MBNA football cards charge 16.9% APR on purchases and Creation cards 18.9%, but with Sainsbury’s Bank at 7.8% APR and Barclaycard Simplicity at 7.9% there are cheaper deals to be had.
The interest rates on these cards are not far out of line with the average for the market of 17.9%, but if you don’t pay your balance off in full each month you would be better opting for a cheaper rate deal and making a separate donation to your club.
If you’re looking at 0% balance transfers the Creation football credit cards for Everton, Leeds United and Fulham only offer an interest free period of six months and charge a hefty one off 5% balance transfer fee – a poor deal when you compare with many mainstream cards offering 26 months plus with fees of around 3%.
A good option if you pay your balance in full every month
However for football fans who always repay their whole card balance every month, some of these cards offer some decent incentives.
For example this season supporters of Chelsea, Liverpool , Aston Villa (mid-August) and Spurs (from September) who take out their team football card from MBNA and spend a minimum of £200 in the first 90 days will be entitled to a 2013/14 shirt – not a bad deal when you realise these retail at around £50 each.
Also these football cards entitle you to discounts in the club shop and the chance to win ‘money can’t buy’ VIP days at your favourite club plus they also make a valuable donation to your team’s coffers – a stream of revenue that the smaller clubs will appreciate.
It’s great to be able to show your club colours on your plastic just as long as you’re not paying over the odds to do so.
|Club||Provider||RepresentativeAPR||0% Balance transfers||Benefits|
|Manchester Utd||MBNA||16.9%||20 months (3% fee)||0% purchases 3 months The monthly RedRewards prize draw also gives you the chance to win club memorabilia and once-in-a lifetime days out.|
|Arsenal||MBNA||16.9%||16 months(3% fee)||0% purchases 3 months 1 reward point for every £1 spent on purchases – redeem points for exclusive club experiences & merchandise. Signed framed photo of Arsenal legend if £200 spent on the card in first 90 days|
|Chelsea||MBNA||16.9%||16 months(3% fee)||0% purchases 3 months New customers can get a 2013/14 team shirt if they spend £200 within first 90 days.|
|Leeds United||Creation||18.9%||6 months(5% fee)||0% for 9 months on season ticket purchases Exclusive discounts in the club shop or at leedsunited.com|
|Derby County||Creation||18.9%||6 months(5% fee)||0% for 9 months on season ticket purchases Two free tickets after the first three spends on your card|
Examples as per research from Moneycomms.co.uk 25.07.2013