New Abbey card 'throws down the gauntlet' to other providers

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Abbey's new Zero credit card has "thrown down the gauntlet" to the other providers in the UK, according to a financial expert.

David Kuo, the head of personal finance at Fool.co.uk, added that the plastic may also give some consumers "welcome breathing space" for the effects of the credit crunch.

The product features zero per cent on balance transfers and purchases for six months, while it is also the first card that features both no foreign exchange fee or cash advance fee.

Available from today, consumers can apply for the card in branch, on the phone or on the web.

Commenting on the card, Mr Kuo said: "Other credit-card providers will now need to lick the tops of their pencils to come up with something to match.

"With its fee-free zero per cent balance transfer deal for six months, Zero will give consumers half a year's welcome breathing space from the credit crunch."

David Black, the principal consultant for banking at research company Defaqto, recently stated introductory offers mean that consumers could benefit from regularly reviewing their credit card deals.

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