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Clamp down on credit card 'rate tarts' as leading providers share data

01 December 2008 / by Rachel Mason
Credit card customers known as 'rate tarts' because they legitimately move their debts from card to card in order to keep down their repayment costs could find they are no longer able to get the best deals.

From today, the five biggest credit card companies will begin sharing details about customers who regularly switch deals.

Up until now, credit card providers have shared information about customers who do not pay on time as well as what their limits and balances are.

But now, Barclaycard, Capital One, GE Money, HBOS and MBNA are going to have a voluntary agreement whereby they share details about whether customers are on a promotional deal, like a 0 per cent balance transfer credit card, and whether they pay off their card in full, or just make the minimum repayments.

This means that if a customer does consistently move their balance from card to card, credit card companies will know about it when that customer applies for a new deal.'s Martin Lewis says that this new agreement will allow credit card companies to weed out these safe but unprofitable customers, known as 'rate tarts'.

"The new rules are designed to crack down on irresponsible lending, but I would not be surprised if card firms use it to crack down on the millions of customers that in recent years have quite legitimately played the system to bring down their cost of credit," he told the Telegraph.

But APACs denies that the rules will be used to weed out either 'rate tarts' or unprofitable customers, saying that the agreement will not be used for anything other than to help customers who might be getting into trouble.

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