Financial products associated with sports teams are almost always rubbish.
There are savings accounts that pay frankly insulting rates of interest, but promise to help prop up your team. Take the Gillingham FC savings account from Kent Reliance Building Society, paying an incredible 0.25% AER on your cash, but with the promise of donating 1% of average monthly balances to the club.
And then there are the credit cards, which are at best mediocre. Take the Celtic credit card, which offers nothing bar the opportunity to earn points for your spending which can be redeemed against "money can't buy experiences".
However, there's a new sports-related product that might change this somewhat – the Manchester United Champions credit card
The Manchester United Champions credit card
To mark the club's 20th league title win, the official Manchester United credit card is being replaced until the start of next season by the Champions credit card.
Appropriately, it offers 20 months of 0% interest on balance transfers, with a 3% transfer fee. You can also get 20 months interest free on money transfers, this time with a 4% fee, and 0% on purchases for three months.
There's also the typical rewards hook, where using the card means you get entered into all sorts of competitions for exciting United-related prizes.
As sports cards go, it's pretty decent.
How it compares to other sports credit cards
The Manchester United card, as with most sports credit cards, is provided by MBNA. Here's how it compares to other cards designed for supporters:
It's not just football though. MBNA also offers a series of credit cards to rugby fans, all of which offer nine months of 0% interest on both purchases and balance transfers, with a 4% transfer fee. You can get one for the following clubs:
- Leeds Carnegie
- Leicester Tigers
- London Irish
- London Wasps
- Newcastle Falcons
- Northampton Saints
- Sale Sharks
- Worcester Warriors
Club cards are still pretty rubbish
So the new card from Manchester United is indeed the 'champion' of sports cards. But it's still not that good.
There was a time when a 20-month 0% balance transfer period would raise eyebrows, but it's unspectacular these days. All of the cards below offer longer interest-free periods
That's nine cards that all offer a better deal than the Champions credit card. That seems more mid-table than champion to me.
The sacrifices of supporting your club
The fact is that if you go for a club-associated financial product, whether it's a credit card or a savings account, you won't be getting a top deal. You'll either be sacrificing months of interest-free borrowing or significant amounts of interest on your cash, and all for the sake of a few quid off at the club shop and the chance to win some prizes.
If you want to get the most out of your money, keep it separate from your team!
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