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Common Charges Associated with UK Credit Cards

Aug 17, 2007
In recent years, the UK credit card industry has undergone absolutely massive changes. It is practically unrecognisable from the industry that was present even just a few short years ago. The competition that has flowed in from other countries, especially the United States, as well as from internet lenders and other institutions has meant that there are now more offers and more products than ever before.

Some of these offers would have been unimaginable in the past. You don't have to go back very far to think of a time when no one had heard of zero per cent balance transfers. Not to mention zero per cent on purchases which is now available. Then there is the whole range of rewards schemes and loyalty schemes that lenders are offering in an ever heating bid to claim a larger market share.

Despite these massive changes in recent years however, it is certainly the case that credit cards can still cost a lot of money. In fact we spend more money on credit cards now than ever before. The UK credit card industry makes billions of pounds every year in profits and it shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone to learn that all these offers aren't being made to the public out of the good kind hearts of credit card providers.

The main charge that we still incur when using our credit cards is interest on out card balance. If you incur a balance on your card, and don't pay it off by the end of the billing cycle, then you will be charged interest on the balance. This interest is among the highest of any credit available in the UK. While loans are coming in at six to eight per cent, credit cards rates typically average anywhere up to twenty five or even thirty per cent. The rates are far higher than other sources of credit.

However, interest on your account balance is not the only place you pay for your credit card. There are a host of penalty charges for people who fail to make their repayments or who do so late. These penalty charges can become very expensive if you get into the habit of paying your bill late and they will soon add up. There are also some credit cards that charge an annual subscription fee. While these cards purport to do so to give them an air of exclusivity, these days when cards are so common, it seems to make little sense to pay for one when you don't have to, and there seems to be little benefit for doing so.
About the Author
Joe Kenny writes for the Credit Card Guide, offering views on credit cards in the UK, visit them today for some great 0% balance transfer offers and start clearing credit card debt today.
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