Credit card companies claw back lost revenue

21 March 2006
Credit card companies are beginning to withdraw some of the special offers that were used to entice new customers.

Just 12 months ago, consumers could have chosen from a huge range of zero per cent deals.

The idea of these offers was to draw in customers with the offer of zero interest on balance transfers and purchases for a fixed period in the hope that they would stay once that period expired.

However, rates tarts – the name given to consumers who moved their credit card balances when the introductory rate expired – have cost the industry dearly.

Now, more and more providers are ditching these kinds of offers.

"It is a gradual process," explained Andrew Hagger, head of news and press at

"If they can gradually reduce the rate over time they may keep more of their customers.

"The banks don't want to just stop the offers, because of the fear this could cause a mass exodus," he added.

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