Card swapping sums up debt culture

19 December 2006
Such is the state of Britain's debt culture that the nation swapped £6.5 billion in balance transfer deals this year, new figures have revealed.

Research from shows that around eight million people transferred an average of nearly £760 each, despite credit card balance transfer fees as high as three per cent.

This means Britons looking for a cheap credit card could pay £150 on a balance of £5,000, though long-term savings could be possible through such deals.

"It is yet more evidence of the UK's debt culture that so many people have balances of more than £5,000 on their credit cards," said Sean Gardner, chief executive of

"While it is heartening that people are getting the message and taking advantage of balance transfer offers from other providers, customers need to remember that switching balances should also mean cutting debts. Changing to another card shouldn't be seen as a licence to carry on spending."

People aged 30 to 50 years old were the most likely to be transferring large balances, with seven per cent moving a balance of more than £5,000, compared to two per cent of over-50s and 18 to 29-year-olds.

Mr Gardner added that credit card users should look carefully at balance transfer fees when making the decision to move debts onto a cheap credit card.

To read more about credit cards, click here.

track© Adfero Ltd