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Is Your UK Credit Card Doing You Credit?

Aug 17, 2007
With over 1,300 UK credit card providers, the industry in the UK has mushroomed beyond all recognition in the last decade. Nonetheless, much like at any other time during which credit cards have been made available to us in Britain, once we select a provider we rarely change. This does beg the question: 'Is your UK credit card doing you credit'.

Competitive interest rates

With the publication of the recent Office of Fair Trading report on excess interest and fees being charged by UK issuers, many credit card providers in the UK are now having to re-examine the interest rates they charge. Consequently, it is possible to obtain extremely competitive (for credit card use) interest rates at the moment. Do be left behind, make sure your card provider is offering you the best rate of interest available in the market place.

Minimum fees

Some providers charge their members an annual membership fee. Others charges what are known as hidden fees if they fail to make repayments on time, use an ATM to withdraw money, conduct transactions overseas, etc. However, with the cut-throat nature of the business at the moment, you should be able to make sure you get a provider willing to offer you a card without you having to incur these fees.

Make your loyalty program work for you

9 out of every 10 card users now chooses to have a credit card provider that also offers a loyalty program that we like. However, more than 1 in 5 of us neglects to redeem our loyalty points in a timely manner. This is estimated to be a net cost to users of 50 pounds per issued credit card. If you are not making maximum use of your loyalty program, then you are not making maximum use of your credit card and your credit card is not doing you credit!

In need, transfer your credit card balance

Card providers have caught on to the trick where users transfer balances from one credit card provider to another in order to take advantage of special introductory promotions. However, if you're on of the 6 out of every 10 Britons who carries over a balance each month, and are stuck with paying high interest, and have not investigated whether or not you might be able to reduce this burden by transferring your balance to a promotional program with a lower rate of interest, then you are not making maximum use of your card.

Be willing to look at the competition

Finally, whether you are credit card user who like to pay off their balance in a timely manner at the end of each statement payment day, or one who carries over a debt on your card each month, the most important thing about using credit cards in the UK today is that you educate yourself about what is going on in the industry and that you be willing to swap and change provider to meet your individual needs. In short, similar to staying with the same employer throughout your working life, the days of staying with the same provider throughout your adult life is a thing of the past.
About the Author
Joe Kenny writes for the Credit Card Guide, visit today to compare credit cards in the UK, visit them today for some great 0% balance transfers and start clearing credit card debt today.
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