New Nationwide 17-month 0% balance transfer dealOverseas fees will be expensive for some consumers

23 February 2011

Nationwide building society

Nationwide has withdrawn its popular Gold credit card and launched the Nationwide Credit Card in its place. The new card offers a table-topping 17-month 0% deal on balance transfers, but comes with a complicated new charging system for overseas use.

0% balance transfer and 0% on purchases deals

New customers are offered a choice of 0% deal:

  • 0% for 17 months on balance transfers made within the first three months, subject to a balance transfer fee of 2.95%. This is a market-leading 0% balance transfer offer.
  • 0% on purchases for six months and on balance transfers for three months. The 0% on purchases deal is easily beaten by the 13 months currently available from Tesco Finance. See our 0% purchases credit card reviews for more details.

New system for calculating overseas card charges

The old Nationwide Gold card charged no transaction fees for most purchases made within Europe, and a relatively low charge of 1% for purchases made in most other destinations. The new credit card replaces this charging structure with an 'allowance' system. Customers with an existing Gold credit card from Nationwide will not be affected by the change. 

Under the new system, you receive a 'reward' of a commission-free foreign allowance every time you make purchases in pounds sterling. For example, if you spend £500 on your shopping in. a month, you’ll be rewarded with £100 worth of commission-free allowance to use on purchases in a foreign currency. 

As a promotional offer, all overseas purchases are commission-free until 31 July 2011.

Credit card customers will desert Nationwide in favour of simpler alternatives

Which? credit card expert Martyn Saville commented: 'It's pretty easy to see why Nationwide has changed the overseas fee structure of its credit card - many consumers applied for the old Gold card just to use it abroad, maintaining a different, better-value credit card from a different provider for day-to-day spending in the UK.

'The new fee structure rewards those customers who regularly use the card in the UK, as well as on holiday. Those who only want to use the card abroad, however, will pay a much higher price than under the old system. Customers who do not want to plan their card spending to this degree will simply desert Nationwide in favour of simpler alternatives.

'Nationwide's unique selling point used to be that it didn't charge for card use abroad. With caveats now attached to its offer, many consumers will be better off getting a 0% on purchases or cashback credit card for use at home, and a second fee-free card for using on overseas holidays.'

Save money by switching credit cards

To find out how much money you could save by switching to a new credit card, try out the free Which? credit card switching calculator. You can then find the best deals by reading the Which? 0% balance transfer credit card reviews and our reviews of the best credit cards for using abroad.

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