The lowdown on football affinity credit cards

With the new Premier League season kicking off this weekend football fans across the country will be donning their new replica shirts and scarves, whilst some supporters will take their loyalty a step further by carrying a club branded credit card in their wallet.

It may be a great talking point and often a bit of a wind up when you get your football club credit card out in the bar or restaurant in front of your friends, but these deals aren’t the best option for all fans and by choosing the wrong plastic you could end up scoring a financial own goal.

MBNA remains the primary provider when it comes to football affinity credit cards, currently behind the deals for almost 30 clubs – not just the premiership big boys, but also some of the cash strapped smaller teams in the lower leagues.

Creation cards is the other influential company in this sector and currently advertises cards for six football league clubs although the financial terms of these cards are less attractive.

A prime example is that even though the 0% balance transfer term is a mere 6 months on the Creation football cards the one off balance transfer fees of 5% are way out of line when compared with the market average of 2% to 3%.

Aside from the pride of carrying your club colours in your purse or wallet, simply spending on your football credit card can deliver a welcome cash injection to the coffers of your favourite team.

The funds donated from these cards make a vital financial contribution to the grass roots player development your club thus helping the first team players of tomorrow.

If you sign up for a card the youth training academy at your club will receive up to £20 when you first use it and then a further contribution every time you spend on the card, in the last 14 years the partnership with MBNA has resulted in over £10 million being donated to teams up and down the country.

The interest rates on these cards at 18.9% APR representative are in line with the market average but if you can’t afford to pay your balance off in full each month you would be better opting for a cheaper rate deal such as the Halifax Low Rate credit card at 6.4% APR or MBNA’s own 6.6% low rate deal and making a separate donation to your club – as long as you remember!

MBNA Football Credit Cards offer 24 months interest free on balance transfers, that’s a full year less than the best non-football cards, however a plus point is that you can transfer money from your these football cards directly to your bank account subject to a one off money transfer fee of 4% – a low cost way to clear that nagging and expensive overdraft once and for all.

For fans who always pay their statement in full every month, these cards won’t hurt your finances and can get you decent discounts in the club shop and the chance to win ‘money can’t buy’ and VIP days at your club

Some of the Creation Card deals also allow you to spread the cost of your season ticket over 9 months interest free which could prove a useful option when funds are tight.

However, if you keep a big balance on your card, then look for a lower rate non-football card and don’t be blinded by club loyalty as it could cost you far more than the value of benefits you receive.

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