Credit Card Costs ‘Confusing 95% of Consumers’

September 22, 2015

The true costs associated with a 0 per cent balance transfer credit card deal are not fully understood by 19 out of 20 British consumers.

That’s according to a recent survey carried out by the consumer watchdog Which?, which has initiated a campaign designed to discourage credit card companies from including what it calls “sneaky fees and charges” in their deals.

Which? says that only 4 per cent of respondents to its recent poll could accurately say what it would cost them to make switches on a credit card offering 0 per cent balance transfers.

A majority (68 per cent) believed that such a switch would be free from charges but it would in fact involve fees being levied.

There is also believed to be a good deal of confusion among British credit card users about which credit cards offer the best deals in a given set of circumstances.

Which? asked consumers to select from a handful of credit card deals the offer that they felt would be the least expensive if they were only looking to make a balance transfer and not to use the card for any other purpose.

Only 34 per cent of respondents were able to correctly pick out the credit card that offered the cheapest package, which Which? points to as evidence of underhand tactics being used by financial service firms operating around the UK.

“Too many credit card deals appear to include sneaky fees designed to catch customers out,” said Richard Lloyd, Which?’s executive director.

“With millions now using credit cards to pay for essentials, it’s vital that the Financial Conduct Authority takes action to ensure consumers are well protected.

According to Which?’s most recent estimates, British credit card users spend a collective total of almost £334 million on balance transfer fees each year.

“We want the regulator to scrutinise balance transfer deals and make it easier for people to understand their true cost,” said Lloyd.

If you’re struggling with credit card debts and your personal finance problems are causing you real distress then Scotland Debt Solutions can help. To find out how call one of our advisors for a free consultation.

John Baird

Insolvency Adviser

Tel: 0800 063 9250

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