In 2017 there is a lot of competition to get the top spot in the credit card best buy 0% transfer tables. At the moment (September 2017) the longest period is 40 months, You can see the current "best buys" for balance transfers here - if you know you can clear the balance soon, then look for a zero or very low fee transfer, if you think this is being too optimistic then look for the longest 0% … [Read more...]
Articles about credit cards
Credit cards can be really useful but they can also be dangerous - if you just hand over that piece of plastic it can be too easy to run up bills which will take you many years to clear. So how can you make the best use of them? The articles here look at
make sure you get the benefits - practical steps you can take so that the banks don't make huge profits from you;
what's new and whats changing with credit cards in Britain?
too much credit card debt - how can you tackle it fast?
Over the last couple of weeks Barclaycard have been writing to their customers explaining that they are changing the way they will be setting interest rates. Here is the start of the email I received: The changes they are making At the moment, everyone with a Barclaycard has an standard interest rate for purchases and a different interest rate if you withdraw cash - you may also have a … [Read more...]
Yesterday the FCA issued an interim report for its Credit Card Market Study. It feels the overall market is working well however it is worried about the number of people who appear to be just above the default level: around 2 million people have "persistent levels of debt", normally using 90%+ of their credit limit, suggesting that they may be struggling to repay; another 1.6 million … [Read more...]
I've got a Barclaycard, so I was interested in the news of a new facility they sent me: the Barclaycard Purchase Plan. This offers a 0% deal on a single new purchase for an up-front fee, all run as part of your normal credit card account. Launched in summer 2015 I've found out a bit more about how it works and there are a couple of things to be be careful about. Setting up a Purchase … [Read more...]
This week many Halifax credit card holders have received a letter saying there is a change to the way their interest rate will be set in future. The letter says your current interest rate isn't increasing so this may sound pretty harmless, but it's worth a closer look as you may want to reject the change. The new interest rate formula At the moment, Halifax simply sets an interest rate for you, … [Read more...]
If you have a credit card with a zero balance, should you close it? Would cancelling it improve or harm your credit score? This is important to get right if you are trying to clear your debts as fast as possible or if you are hoping to get a mortgage soon. Here are the main arguments for and against closing the credit card: No simple answer There are five arguments for and five against … [Read more...]
Do you only make the minimum payments on your credit cards? Lots of people do... in April 2017 the FCA, who regulate banks and credit card providers, estimated that there are four million credit card accounts in what they call long-term, persistent debt. If money is tight, you may feel, minimum payments are your only option, but do you know how much they are costing you? Two out of five adults … [Read more...]
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced details of its study into the UK credit card market. This will look at how lenders and borrowers behave in order to identify what, if any, action the regulator might take. Christopher Woolard, director of Policy, Risk and Research at the FCA said: " We want to understand in more depth what drives consumers to make the choices they do and how … [Read more...]
Everyone loves the idea of snowballing - pay the minimum to all your debts apart from one, overpay that one by as much as possible ("the snowball") and watch your debts fall faster each month as the snowball gets bigger. It's described in detail here. But a few months in and some people find it a hassle to track and find they have less to pay off at the end of the month than they … [Read more...]