Credit card companies reduce default charges

Date of Publication: Sunday, 27 April 2008 11:21

The amount that credit card and store card customers are charged when they default on a payment is to be reduced as a result of action taken by the Office of Fair Trading.

 

The amount that credit card and store card customers are charged when they default on a payment is to be reduced as a result of action taken by the Office of Fair Trading.

The OFT approached Clydesdale Financial Services Limited – which is owned by Barclays – and asked them to ease the penalty on customers for failing to meet a repayment on their credit and store cards, and it has now brought the charge down by almost half from £22.50 to £12.

Prompted into action by consumer complaints, the OFT said that the charges have previously been set at a level which was much higher "than was considered fair". This is one of various actions taken by the OFT on unfair credit card charges and many people have been successful in reclaiming credit card charges from their provider.

Mike Haley, head of consumer protection at the OFT, called the decision "a great result for consumers", and said that the OFT is "very pleased that Clydesdale Financial Services has decided to reduce its charges."

The OFT asked credit card and store card providers to cap the excessively high rates at £12 in April 2006, having declared that they were disproportionately high, but in order to recoup the lost revenue from the default charges, providers have been hiking rates and charges elsewhere, says Moneyfacts.co.uk, calling into question the effectiveness of a cut in default charges.

Michelle Slade, analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk, comments: "In April 2006 the average purchase rate on a credit card was 14.9 per cent; today this has jumped to 16.4 per cent. Previously whereas only a select number of customers were being penalised, now all borrowers are paying the price.

"For any customer who are paying their bill in full each month, the rate increase will have no impact, but with many households struggling with increasing financial pressures, those who only repay the minimum will be hardest hit. Anyone with a balance of £5,000 repaying just 2.5 per cent per month will end up paying an additional £755 in interest from the 1.5 per cent increase in purchase rates."

She added that while rates and charges on credit cards have increased, "there are still good deals to be found for those with a good credit history.

"Shop around and find a card that best suits your needs, whether it's a balance transfer deal if you have an existing debt on a card, or a card with an incentive such as cashback if you pay your balance off in full."

Sunday, 27 April 2008 11:21
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Balance Transfers: 17.9% p.a. (variable)
Balance Transfer Fee: 3% p.a.
Cash Advance: 27.9% p.a. (variable)
Annual Fee: N/A
Standard Features
Credit Limit: Subject to Status
Interest Free Days: Up to 56 days
On-Line Banking: Yes
Approval Criteria
  • You are at least 18 Years of Age
  • You are a permanent resident/citizen of the UK
  • You have NOT been declined for a Halifax or Bank of Scotland Credit Card in the last 6 months
  • You DO NOT any CCJs or have been made Bankrupt
  • You have NOT missed payments on your current store cards, credit cards, loans or mortgages
  • You ARE in employment (receiving an annual salary)
  • You can provide a telephone number that you can be contacted on

Advice

You can transfer money to your current account (subject to a 4% transfer fee). You will then have 0% on money transfers for 30 months from the date your account is opened. Balance needs to be transferred within the first 60 days of your account opening.

Introductory Offer
Balance Transfer Rate: 0% for 30 mths
Balance Transfer Fee: 2.89% fee
Purchase Rate: 0% for 3 mths
Representative APR
Purchases: 18.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative Example: Representative 18.9% APR variable. Based on no annual fee, assumed borrowing of £1,200, rate of interest variable (annual) 18.9%
Annual Rates
Balance Transfers: 18.9% p.a. (variable)
Cash Advance: 27.9% p.a. (variable)
Annual Fee: N/A
Standard Features
Credit Limit: Subject to Status
Interest Free Days: Up to 50 days
On-Line Banking: Yes
Approval Criteria
  • You are currently employed
  • You are over 23 years of age
  • You are a homeowner
  • You have an income of over £20,000
  • You do not have any recent credit defaults (CCJ's, current arrears or missed payments) on credit cards / loans / mortgages
  • You are a resident in the UK and can prove residential addresses for the past two years

Advice

Draw down funds as a 'balance transfer' to your current account (subject to 4% transfer fee) providing request is made within 60 days of opening account.

Introductory Offer
Balance Transfer Rate: 0% for 21 mths
Balance Transfer Fee: 1.50% fee
Purchase Rate: 0% for 11 mths
Representative APR
Purchases: 14.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative Example: Representative 14.9% APR variable. Based on no annual fee, assumed borrowing of £1,200, rate of interest variable (annual) 14.9%
Annual Rates
Balance Transfers: 14.9% p.a. (variable)
Cash Advance: 27.9% p.a. (variable)
Annual Fee: N/A
Standard Features
Credit Limit: Subject to Status
Interest Free Days: Up to 50 days
On-Line Banking: Yes
Approval Criteria
  • You are currently employed
  • You are over 23 years of age
  • You are a homeowner
  • You have an income of over £20,000
  • You do not have any recent credit defaults (CCJ's, current arrears or missed payments) on credit cards / loans / mortgages
  • You are a resident in the UK and can prove residential addresses for the past two years

Advice

Get 0% commission on credit card purchases overseas (usually 2.75% charge).

Introductory Offer
Balance Transfer Rate: 0% for 18 mths
Balance Transfer Fee: 2.98% fee
Purchase Rate: 0% for 3 mths
Representative APR
Purchases: 17.8% p.a. (variable)
Representative Example: If you spend £1,200 at a purchase interest rate of 17.85% (variable) your Representative APR will be 17.8% (variable).
Annual Rates
Balance Transfers: 17.8% p.a. (variable)
Cash Advance: 24.1% p.a. (variable)
Annual Fee: N/A
Standard Features
Credit Limit: Subject to Status
Interest Free Days: Up to 56 days
On-Line Banking: Yes
Approval Criteria
  • You are at least 18 Years of Age
  • You have a Good Credit History
  • You are a permanent resident/citizen of the UK
  • You have an income over £8,000 p.a

Advice

The standard balance transfer fee of 3% will be applied when a balance transfer is processed. For example, if a customer transfers £1,500 a BT fee of £45 will be applied. We'll refund 73% of that, i.e. £33 into the customer's credit card account within 60 days of the qualifying balance transfer completion date. Minimum balance transfer amount is £100.

Introductory Offer
Balance Transfer Rate: 0% for 15 mths
Balance Transfer Fee: 0.80% fee
Purchase Rate: 0% for 3 mths
Representative APR
Purchases: 17.95% p.a. (variable)
Representative Example: If you spend £1,200 at a purchase interest rate of 17.95% (variable) your Representative APR will be 17.9% (variable).
Annual Rates
Balance Transfers: 17.95% p.a. (variable)
Cash Advance: 17.95% p.a. (variable)
Annual Fee: N/A
Standard Features
Credit Limit: Subject to Status
Interest Free Days: Up to 56 days
On-Line Banking: Yes
Approval Criteria
  • You are at least 18 Years of Age
  • You have a Good Credit History
  • You are a permanent resident/citizen of the UK
  • You have a bank or building society account
Introductory Offer
Balance Transfer Rate: 0% for 28 mths
Balance Transfer Fee: 3% fee
Purchase Rate: 0% for 3 mths
Representative APR
Purchases: 18.95% p.a. (variable)
Representative Example: If you spend £1,200 at a purchase interest rate of 18.94% (variable) your Representative APR will be 18.9% (variable).
Annual Rates
Balance Transfers: 18.95% p.a. (variable)
Cash Advance: 18.95% p.a. (variable)
Annual Fee: N/A
Standard Features
Credit Limit: Subject to Status
Interest Free Days: Up to 56 days
On-Line Banking: Yes
Approval Criteria
  • You are at least 18 Years of Age
  • You have a Good Credit History
  • You are a permanent resident/citizen of the UK
  • You have a bank or building society account

Advice

The standard balance transfer fee of 3% will be applied when a balance transfer is processed. For example, if a customer transfers £1,500 a BT fee of £45 will be applied. We'll refund 66.6% of that, i.e. £30 into the customer's credit card account within 60 days of the qualifying balance transfer completion date. Minimum balance transfer amount is £100.

Introductory Offer
Balance Transfer Rate: 0% for 13 mths
Balance Transfer Fee: 1% fee
Purchase Rate: 0% for 13 mths
Representative APR
Purchases: 17.95% p.a. (variable)
Representative Example: If you spend £1,200 at a purchase interest rate of 17.95% (variable) your Representative APR will be 17.9% (variable).
Annual Rates
Balance Transfers: 17.95% p.a. (variable)
Cash Advance: 17.95% p.a. (variable)
Annual Fee: N/A
Standard Features
Credit Limit: Subject to Status
Interest Free Days: Up to 56 days
On-Line Banking: Yes
Approval Criteria
  • You are at least 18 Years of Age
  • You have a Good Credit History
  • You are a permanent resident/citizen of the UK
  • You have a bank or building society account