Britons transfer £1.1 billion in credit card balances a month

03 April 2008 / by Daniela Gieseler
As much as £1.1 billion is being transferred from credit card to credit card each month in the UK.

Sainsbury’s Finance estimates that around 716,600 Britons will attempt to transfer a collective billion in order to take advantage of the various 0 per cent balance transfer introductory deals currently on offer.

However, Sainsbury’s Finance warns that these deals are not always what they seem. According to the research, of the 80 or so cards that offer 0 per cent on balance transfers, as much as a third offered a period of six months or less.

The research shows that the average interest free period on balance transfers is around nine and a half months, but Sainsbury’s Finance argues that people should be shopping around for deals offering as much as twelve months grace.

According to the research, the average credit card balance transfer is £1,555 and one in ten of those intending to transfer have over £4,000 outstanding.

A 0 per cent interest rate on balance transfers will make a considerable difference to these credit card holders, and, the longer it is interest free, the better.

Donald MacLeod, head of cards at Sainsbury’s said: "There is a significant market for cards offering balance transfers as our research indicates that 40 per cent of card holders think it will take longer than one month to clear their current balance."

The current credit crisis is beginning to take hold and directly affect millions of UK households.

Rising living costs mean that Britons should, according to Sainsbury’s Finance be shopping around cautiously for the best credit card deals, Mr. MacLeod continued:

"Although there are a number of credit cards offering introductory 0 per cent on balance transfers, there is a considerable difference in their duration so people need to choose carefully. Also, when choosing a card for a balance transfer, it is also worth considering what else it offers.

"For example, we offer 0 per cent for a whole year on Sainsbury’s purchases as well as earning Nectar points equivalent to 2 per cent cash-back."

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