“ Credit Card „
My experience of a Zero card is extremely poor - and I haven't used it yet! I applied 3 weeks ago, stating I wanted to transfer a balance of £9000 from another credit card, and then close it. The Zero card arrived with a limit of only £1700. The branch manager where I made the application has written twice to appeal this, with no response. I called card services, to be told I had to write in! I pointed out that this had been done twice, that I only had 30 days from opening the account to take advantage of the 0% transfer rate, and 3 weeks had already passed waiting for Santander to reply, and that if nothing happened over the next week, I would have to close the account, as I couldnt use it for the purpose intended. But the man on the phone wasnt bothered.
I have had the Abbey Zero credit card for about 2 months now, and have found it to be an absolute necessity. With the massive selling point of having zero charges on transactions abroad, I have been able to save a relatively large amount, useful especially with pound currently so weak. How to Apply: I found out about the card on a visit to my local branch, and the application process took about a half an hour. Most of this time was taken up by the banking advisor trying to sell me their payment care and insurances, but I found them to be very expensive, so would avoid the questions if you do ever go down! From what I understand you can apply over the internet or on the phone, which may be a bit speedier. I received the pin number within a week, and the card a few days later, which I found to be very efficient. Benefits: As I described earlier, the 0% foreign exchange fee is an absolute gem. On my recent visit to Dubai, I was able to take full advantage of this, taking very little cash from England, and simply using my card. On my next statement, I saw exactly what was advertised, there were no cash transaction fees, and just the direct conversion of Dubai Dirhams to British Pounds. Previously I have used my debit card or other credit cards and incurred a total fee of 4.5%, so saved a reasonable amount! Another rather rare benefit I have found with the card, is the lack of the usual 3% fee on cash advance, incurred with normal credits cards, which has been quite convenient. The 0% for 12 months on balance transfers is also not a bad addition, though I have not used it. Abbey does charge 3% of the balance for a transfer, which is worth keeping in mind The Cons: On opening a credit card, I have come to expect a lengthy period of 0% interest on purchases, I find the 3 months offered not to be very competitive, especially compared to the 9 months by the Halifax All in One. As with all credit cards, if you do not pay of the full balance, you do risk pay a hefty interest, which can dampen all the previous benefits mentioned, and at currently 18.9% APR, this card is no exception. The service: Thus far I have had no problems with this card, receiving statements on a regular basis (even if the statements are slightly inconvenient, in many parts..). Overall, in my opinion, if you can get this card, I believe it is a very handy addition!
Just a warning for anyone applying for this card. I hold a mortgage with Abbey and was sent through a pre approved offer for the Zero credit card which i applied for as we are going abroad soon so thought it would be handy. When I received the card it didn't look like the card on the application form (Zero wasn't written on the front) so I phoned to ask what sort of account it was and was told it was a normal Santandar credit card. I wasn't impressed especially when I was told there was nothing they could do about it and basically it was my fault for not checking the form I had signed. It seem to go un noticed that it was a pre approved offer THEY had sent me!!!! My advice, phone the account if in any doubt!!!
If you travel abroad a lot then this card is a must for you. The Abbey Zero is great. You can buy anything even your supermarket shop, without a fee being slapped on. Most cards add up to 2.0% fee for every transaction. I was amazed that you can even withdraw cash at the ATM as long as you pay the balance off in full each month. I have a post office card which is also good but it will charge for cash withdrawals from the cash machine. If you only have a post office card and can't be bothered to apply for an Abbey card it is worth paying in some money to your account, because if you are in credit on that account they won't charge you. I found this out by accident when I kicked off about the charges. Please don't get caught out by using your usual credit or debit card abroad as you will be charged. You can apply online for either the post office card or the abbey card. Although if you try and use your web account on the Abbey site you may have trouble I did. They give you three lots of security numbers which they send by post, but I couldn't get online, so I gave up in the end. Hope this helps someone out there.
You are probably already (painfully) aware that most credit cards in the UK charge you fees when you use your card for transferring a balance, withdrawing cash or using it when abroad. However, Abbey National has recently launched the 'Zero' card which has many advantages over other credit cards. This is a great card to have for both using in the UK and overseas. What are the advantages then? Firstly, you won't be charged when you use it for transferring balances from other credit or store cards provided you transfer the balances within the first month of receiving the card. You will the have 0% interest for 6 months. Do be aware, though, that to benefit from the promotional rate of 0% you must make your balance transfers within one month of opening your account and you cannot transfer balances from other Abbey accounts including Cahoot. Another benefit is that you will also get 0% on purchases for the first 6 months. You can also use the Abbey Zero card overseas for purchases and there are no foreign exchange fees to pay on it. Abbey Zero won't incur fees if you ever need to withdraw cash unexpectedly from an ATM. However, you will be charged interest on it from day one - so do avoid doing this as it is a hefty 18.9% APR . It´s easy to apply for an Abbey Zero card which can be done online. It is very useful if you need to make a big purchase and you want to spread the cost...also useful to transfer a balance and avoid paying any transfer fee. It's definitely very useful to have handy when you are travelling abroad as most other credit cards do incur charges when abroad when paying for goods or services. To obtain a Zero card you can apply online, or if you prefer you can visit your local Abbey branch or simply call 0800 389 9905