Manchester United's new Champion credit card is no table topper

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MBNA has launched a new Manchester United credit card to mark the club's 20th league title win. But does it deserve its 'Champion' name?

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:

Card

0% balance transfer period

0% purchase period

Manchester United Champions credit card

20 months (3% fee)

Three months

Arsenal credit card

16 months (3% fee)

Three months

Aston Villa credit card

16 months (3% fee)

Three months

Chelsea credit card

16 months (3% fee)

Three months

Liverpool FC credit card

16 months (3% fee)

Three months

Tottenham Hotspur credit card

16 months (3% fee)

Three months

Rangers credit card

12 months (3% fee)

Three months

West Ham United credit card

12 months (3% fee)

Three months

Derby County credit card

Six months (5% fee)

Nine months when buying your season ticket

Everton credit card

Six months (5% fee)

Nine months when buying your season ticket

Fulham credit card

Six months (5% fee)

Nine months when buying your season ticket

Leeds credit card

Six months (5% fee)

Nine months when buying your season ticket

Sheffield Wednesday credit card

Six months (5% fee)

Nine months when buying your season ticket

West Bromwich Albion credit card

Six months (5% fee)

Nine months when buying your season ticket

Wolverhampton Wanderers credit card

Six months (5% fee)

Nine months when buying your season ticket



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:

  • Bath
  • Gloucester
  • Harlequins
  • Leeds Carnegie
  • Leicester Tigers
  • London Irish
  • London Wasps
  • Newcastle Falcons
  • Northampton Saints
  • Sale Sharks
  • Saracens
  • 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

Card

0% balance transfer period

Transfer fee

Barclaycard 26-month Platinum Visa

26 months

3.5%

Barclaycard 25-month Platinum Visa

25 months

2.4%

Halifax BT 25-Month MasterCard

25 months

2.5%

Tesco Clubcard credit card for balance transfers

25 months

2.9%

MBNA Platinum Visa

24 months

2.85%

Fluid 24-month BT Visa

24 months

2.89%

NatWest Platinum MasterCard

24 months

2.9%

RBS Platinum MasterCard

24 months

2.9%

HSBC Visa*

23 months

3.3%

*Must hold current account to be eligible for credit card

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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