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New Year, New Credit Card, But Watch Out for the Fees

Personal_Finance / Credit Cards & Scoring Jan 11, 2012 - 08:00 AM GMT

By: MoneyFacts

Personal_Finance

 

Balance transfer cards now offer the longest debt free deals on record, however, the fees charged to move to a balance transfer card are now at their highest level in four years, research by Moneyfacts.co.uk has revealed.

On average, balance transfer cards offer 356 days of interest free debt transfer compared to 295 days three years ago.

 


 

The average balance transfer fee is now at its highest level in four years at 2.93% compared to 2.88% a year ago, 2.65% two years ago and 2.63% four years ago.

 

 

January 2008

January 2009

January 2010

January 2011

January 2012

Interest free days for balance transfers

296

295

306

318

356

Average balance transfer fee %

2.63%

2.61%

2.65%

2.88%

2.93%

 

Latest figures show that the average purchase rate for a credit card is currently 18.3% APR. Working on the common minimum repayment of 1% or £5 a month, a balance of £350 would take over 21 years to repay costing £946 in interest. However, if that balance was £1,000 the interest would build up so much that the balance would never get repaid.

 

Rachel Springall, spokesperson for Moneyfacts.co.uk, said:

 

“Customers should always aim to pay off more than the minimum repayment on a credit card and work towards paying off the whole balance before interest charges start to apply.

 

“Those who want to move credit card debt may want to consider a balance transfer card. The Barclaycard Platinum Balance Transfer Visa has a two year interest free period for balance transfers, giving customers the opportunity to reduce their debt interest free.

 

“Customers need to watch out for any fees that may apply, as these are at the highest level for four years. The long-term debt-free deals available are an attractive pull to those looking for more time to repay a debt. However, customers should always aim to repay the balance before the interest free deal runs out.”

www.moneyfacts.co.uk - The Money Search Engine

Moneyfacts.co.uk is the UK's leading independent provider of personal finance information. For the last 20 years, Moneyfacts' information has been the key driver behind many personal finance decisions, from the Treasury to the high street.


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