Credit card charges on the rise to recoup costs

30 August 2007
Credit card companies that lost a portion of their profit when the Office of Fair Trading ruled that the charges they implemented upon their customers were too high have found other ways of charging their customers, Which? Money has warned.

The OFT ruled in 2006 that the fees companies were charging were disproportionate and that they should be limited to £12, but credit card providers are now recouping the profit they’ve lost by putting in place a host of new charges.

Some of the new charges include annual fees, charges for low usage, balance transfer fees, lower minimum payments, so that customers pay more interest, increased fees for making cash withdrawals, charging for buying gift vouchers as if they were cash, and allocating payment to lower interest borrowing.

Martyn Hocking, Editor at Which? Money, says: “Credit card providers seem to be resorting to a raft of ingenious methods to recoup lost revenue following the OFT crackdown on penalty fees.”

According to figures from the OFT, banks were making more than £300 million a year from bank charges, much of which customers are now claiming back.

To avoid being stung, Which? Money recommends that consumers “always check the small print to make sure you know what charges apply.”

Compare credit card deals and learn how to reclaim unfair credit card charges