Virgin money CC 13 month interest free purchases offer - removed on latest statement for no reason?

Rich2808
Rich2808 Posts: 1,310
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edited 27 December 2023 at 8:31PM in Credit cards
My elderly mother took out a Virgin money credit card in October which offered interest free purchases for the first 13 months of her account - so any purchases should incur no interest until November 2024. This was to make a large purchase to spread the cost.

This was showing on her November credit card statement as a promotional offer and was clearly stated in the terms for the card when she applied/took it out and in the paperwork with the card when it arrived.

She paid her balance off in full in December via direct debit by the due date (collected by VM themselves from her bank account) - so there was no missed/late payment (nor a late £12 fee) which would cause the promotional offer to be removed.

But on her December statement just issued via the app these various introductory promotional rates are no longer listed (including 0% on purchases made within 13 months of opening up to November 2024) - just the standard purchase interest rates.

Has anyone come across this before with Virgin money - why on earth would the promotional offer just disappear 2 months into the 13 months when minimum/all payments due have been made?

We can only speak to them via the AI chat on their app until tomorrow morning - which is useless - but I thought I would check here first in case anyone has come across this before with VM? 
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  • GrumpyDil
    GrumpyDil Posts: 1,566
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    Are you able to provide a link to the card opened as I can't spot one currently offering 13 months. Some offer interest free purchases for X months but only on purchases in the first Y months. I'm wondering if that is possible but otherwise speak to them (often easier suggested than done)
  • Rich2808
    Rich2808 Posts: 1,310
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    edited 27 December 2023 at 8:54PM
    It was this card offer

    Virgin Money
    All Round Credit Card
    0% on spending for 13 months then 23.9% (variable)

    The precise interest terms on her application and with her card documentation are below. I accept the balance and money transfers offer only lasts for 60 days - but the 13 month interest free on purchases clearly lasts for all purchases from the account opening date for 13 months. So any purchase made up to Nov 2024 should be interest free up to Nov 2024? So why is that purchases offer no longer listed two months in - when Nov 2024 is 11 months away?? And the documentation enclosing her credit card also states card purchases made within 13 months of account opening are interest free for 13 months (i.e. Nov 24)! Hence our confusion and annoyance as to why its not on her December statement but was in November?

    The following promotional interest rates will apply to Balance Transfers and Money Transfers made within 60 days of the account opening date.

    Balance Transfers: 0% p.a. for 16 months

    Money Transfers: 0% p.a. for 12 months

    The following promotional interest rate will apply to Card Purchases from the account opening date.

    Card Purchases: 0% p.a. for 13 months

    Promotional interest periods start from the date your account is opened.

    Promotional interest rates will no longer apply if you fail to make a payment on time.

    When a promotional rate ends or is withdrawn, we charge the current standard interest rate that applies to that transaction.

    Standard interest rates are:

    Card Purchases: 21.66% p.a.*

    Balance Transfers: 21.66% p.a.*

    Money Transfers: 23.29% p.a.*

    Cash Advances: 26.49% p.a.*

    Instalment plans: 0.00% p.a.*

    Any interest payable on an annual card fee will be charged at the standard rate for Card Purchases.

  • GrumpyDil
    GrumpyDil Posts: 1,566
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    Based on that I agree so would suggest checking with Virgin directly. 
  • Hoenir
    Hoenir Posts: 1,270
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    The following promotional interest rate will apply to Card Purchases from the account opening date.

    The assumption being that the card is being applied for to be used immediately. There'll be a finite tranche of money allocated to the promotion. Once reached the promotion will lapse.  

    Purchases over an entire 13 month period is not something I've ever seen. Doubt the FCA would approve either as simply encourages people to potentially build an unsustainable level of debt. That suddenly defaults onto a high interest rate. 
  • Rich2808
    Rich2808 Posts: 1,310
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    edited 28 December 2023 at 12:35AM
    Hoenir said:
    The following promotional interest rate will apply to Card Purchases from the account opening date.

    The assumption being that the card is being applied for to be used immediately. There'll be a finite tranche of money allocated to the promotion. Once reached the promotion will lapse.  

    Purchases over an entire 13 month period is not something I've ever seen. Doubt the FCA would approve either as simply encourages people to potentially build an unsustainable level of debt. That suddenly defaults onto a high interest rate. 

    Sorry but what difference does it make if you spend £4000 in month 1 or month 11 - you still accumulate £4k of debt that eventually needs paying off.

    I have had plenty of 0% purchase cards that allow you to make purchases over the entire interest free period - and its interest free as long as you make the minimum monthly payment until that purchase free period is up. Never have I encountered this situation whereby they remove the reference to the interest free rate on the statement one month without explanation when all minimum payments due have been made on time.

    The agreement which came with her card states this

    "Card purchases made within 13 months of the account opening attract a 0% interest rate (for that 13 month period)."


    The terms I have supplied are therefore very clear - and Virgin have entered into a legal agreement with my mother on the basis of those terms. If she broke them - they would enforce them - but equally they shouldn't break them unilaterally either!

    I hope this is just an error on their part. But if not I am going to make certain they comply with the terms they entered into with my mother - because there is a basic point of principle at stake here! 

    I shall report back with an update once we have spoken with a human being at Virgin money.
  • born_again
    born_again Posts: 13,684
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    Rich2808 said:
    My elderly mother took out a Virgin money credit card in October which offered interest free purchases for the first 13 months of her account - so any purchases should incur no interest until November 2024. This was to make a large purchase to spread the cost.

    This was showing on her November credit card statement as a promotional offer and was clearly stated in the terms for the card when she applied/took it out and in the paperwork with the card when it arrived.

    She paid her balance off in full in December via direct debit by the due date (collected by VM themselves from her bank account) - so there was no missed/late payment (nor a late £12 fee) which would cause the promotional offer to be removed.

    But on her December statement just issued via the app these various introductory promotional rates are no longer listed (including 0% on purchases made within 13 months of opening up to November 2024) - just the standard purchase interest rates.

    Has anyone come across this before with Virgin money - why on earth would the promotional offer just disappear 2 months into the 13 months when minimum/all payments due have been made?

    We can only speak to them via the AI chat on their app until tomorrow morning - which is useless - but I thought I would check here first in case anyone has come across this before with VM? 
    I would speak to them, but a mistake was paying it off in full on a 0% deal for 13 months, when you could have been earning interest on the funds in a savings acc...
    This is MSE after all. 
    Life in the slow lane
  • Rich2808
    Rich2808 Posts: 1,310
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    edited 28 December 2023 at 10:29AM
    Rich2808 said:
    My elderly mother took out a Virgin money credit card in October which offered interest free purchases for the first 13 months of her account - so any purchases should incur no interest until November 2024. This was to make a large purchase to spread the cost.

    This was showing on her November credit card statement as a promotional offer and was clearly stated in the terms for the card when she applied/took it out and in the paperwork with the card when it arrived.

    She paid her balance off in full in December via direct debit by the due date (collected by VM themselves from her bank account) - so there was no missed/late payment (nor a late £12 fee) which would cause the promotional offer to be removed.

    But on her December statement just issued via the app these various introductory promotional rates are no longer listed (including 0% on purchases made within 13 months of opening up to November 2024) - just the standard purchase interest rates.

    Has anyone come across this before with Virgin money - why on earth would the promotional offer just disappear 2 months into the 13 months when minimum/all payments due have been made?

    We can only speak to them via the AI chat on their app until tomorrow morning - which is useless - but I thought I would check here first in case anyone has come across this before with VM? 
    I would speak to them, but a mistake was paying it off in full on a 0% deal for 13 months, when you could have been earning interest on the funds in a savings acc...
    This is MSE after all. 
    All that has been done so far is a couple of small shop transactions for less than £10 - and the minimum payments equated to the full balance outstanding. So - being polite - your comment is not relevant!

    The bulk purchase she wishes to make on a much more expensive item is about to be made - as she took a bit of time choosing the item. But 11 months interest free - what is rightly left - is better than one and of course interest can be earned on that sum until next November as opposed to paying it off in full! Hence us being keen to resolve that the offer made via her credit card agreement is going to be the offer honoured.

    Best not to make assumptions therefore about posters (unless they make them clear) - we know what is what. Its less clear the credit card provider here knows what it is doing or what the terms of the card it offered/provided were - and why it removed the promotional interest box on her latest statement when it still has 11 months to run!

    Maybe we need a forum to explain to certain credit card providers what their terms and conditions are - and if they offer them they should stick to them!
  • born_again
    born_again Posts: 13,684
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    Rich2808 said:
    Rich2808 said:
    My elderly mother took out a Virgin money credit card in October which offered interest free purchases for the first 13 months of her account - so any purchases should incur no interest until November 2024. This was to make a large purchase to spread the cost.

    This was showing on her November credit card statement as a promotional offer and was clearly stated in the terms for the card when she applied/took it out and in the paperwork with the card when it arrived.

    She paid her balance off in full in December via direct debit by the due date (collected by VM themselves from her bank account) - so there was no missed/late payment (nor a late £12 fee) which would cause the promotional offer to be removed.

    But on her December statement just issued via the app these various introductory promotional rates are no longer listed (including 0% on purchases made within 13 months of opening up to November 2024) - just the standard purchase interest rates.

    Has anyone come across this before with Virgin money - why on earth would the promotional offer just disappear 2 months into the 13 months when minimum/all payments due have been made?

    We can only speak to them via the AI chat on their app until tomorrow morning - which is useless - but I thought I would check here first in case anyone has come across this before with VM? 
    I would speak to them, but a mistake was paying it off in full on a 0% deal for 13 months, when you could have been earning interest on the funds in a savings acc...
    This is MSE after all. 
    All that has been done so far is a couple of small shop transactions for less than £10 - and the minimum payments equated to the full balance outstanding. So - being polite - your comment is not relevant!

    The bulk purchase she wishes to make on a much more expensive item is about to be made - as she took a bit of time choosing the item. But 11 months interest free - what is rightly left - is better than one and of course interest can be earned on that sum until next November as opposed to paying it off in full! Hence us being keen to resolve that the offer made via her credit card agreement is going to be the offer honoured.

    Best not to make assumptions therefore about posters (unless they make them clear) - we know what is what. Its less clear the credit card provider here knows what it is doing or what the terms of the card it offered/provided were - and why it removed the promotional interest box on her latest statement when it still has 11 months to run!

    Maybe we need a forum to explain to certain credit card providers what their terms and conditions are - and if they offer them they should stick to them!
    So being polite. You made no mention of this only "This was to make a large purchase."

    So How can one know it was only small purchases 🤷‍♀️

    Hope you have a nice new year 👍
    Life in the slow lane
  • The only explanation I can think of with regards to not displaying the 0% promotional rate is if there is no credit allocated to it. For example;

    1st Dec - £10 spent
    10th Dec - £10 paid off
    15th Dec - Statement came through - balance as £0 but shows the £10 transaction
    17th Dec - £15 spent but on next months statement
    25th Dec - Statement payment date (£0 to pay)

    Because of £0 to pay there's no line allocated on the interest breakdown as no balance to fall under the promotional rate.


    However, the bit that doesn't add up is the 'pay in full via DD', in which case this should have taken a statemented balance and therefore the above doesn't apply. It's definitely an odd one and I have never heard of a 0% promotional rate being rescinded unless the debtor has broken the T&C's, by missing a payment or similar.


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  • Rich2808
    Rich2808 Posts: 1,310
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    edited 28 December 2023 at 11:10AM
    Rich2808 said:
    Rich2808 said:
    My elderly mother took out a Virgin money credit card in October which offered interest free purchases for the first 13 months of her account - so any purchases should incur no interest until November 2024. This was to make a large purchase to spread the cost.

    This was showing on her November credit card statement as a promotional offer and was clearly stated in the terms for the card when she applied/took it out and in the paperwork with the card when it arrived.

    She paid her balance off in full in December via direct debit by the due date (collected by VM themselves from her bank account) - so there was no missed/late payment (nor a late £12 fee) which would cause the promotional offer to be removed.

    But on her December statement just issued via the app these various introductory promotional rates are no longer listed (including 0% on purchases made within 13 months of opening up to November 2024) - just the standard purchase interest rates.

    Has anyone come across this before with Virgin money - why on earth would the promotional offer just disappear 2 months into the 13 months when minimum/all payments due have been made?

    We can only speak to them via the AI chat on their app until tomorrow morning - which is useless - but I thought I would check here first in case anyone has come across this before with VM? 
    I would speak to them, but a mistake was paying it off in full on a 0% deal for 13 months, when you could have been earning interest on the funds in a savings acc...
    This is MSE after all. 
    All that has been done so far is a couple of small shop transactions for less than £10 - and the minimum payments equated to the full balance outstanding. So - being polite - your comment is not relevant!

    The bulk purchase she wishes to make on a much more expensive item is about to be made - as she took a bit of time choosing the item. But 11 months interest free - what is rightly left - is better than one and of course interest can be earned on that sum until next November as opposed to paying it off in full! Hence us being keen to resolve that the offer made via her credit card agreement is going to be the offer honoured.

    Best not to make assumptions therefore about posters (unless they make them clear) - we know what is what. Its less clear the credit card provider here knows what it is doing or what the terms of the card it offered/provided were - and why it removed the promotional interest box on her latest statement when it still has 11 months to run!

    Maybe we need a forum to explain to certain credit card providers what their terms and conditions are - and if they offer them they should stick to them!
    So being polite. You made no mention of this only "This was to make a large purchase."

    So How can one know it was only small purchases 🤷‍♀️

    Hope you have a nice new year 👍
    I didn't say the large purchase had been made though! What would be the point of making a large purchase on a 13 month interest free period and then paying it off immediately - as you say?

    Happy new year to you too - sorry if I came across as a bit abrupt!

    Anyway we spoke to VM via their online chat in their app - hard work! - and they confirmed the 13 month 0% offer is still on the account and they are going to investigate why the promotional offer table confirming this was not included on the December statement (but was previously).

    So thanks for your and others help - VM clearly made an error when producing the statement and I was told they will investigate it.  We will therefore accept this error at face value and hope its corrected for January's statement - by which time the large purchase will have been made.

    I have to say that typing in their app chat is hard work even on a big phone - but as they are app only for statements/PIN nos etc (no paper statements by post and/or an easier to use online portal like most providers offer) its easiest to contact them via this route. Not very accessible though for elderly people or others who can't work easily app only (or have big fingers so can't type easily in a small box).

    So am hoping it is all now sorted!
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