Credit card companies should do more to keep existing customers

14 November 2007
Credit companies are not rewarding customers enough for continuing to use their services according to a new Defaqto report entitled ‘Credit Cards in the UK’.

It indicates that although some companies – including Egg Card and the Post Office’s Two-in-One Credit Card – offer ‘anniversary’ deals, new customers are often offered better rates and more special offers by credit card issuers.

Defaqto’s research shows that the average zero per cent deal for balance transfers lasts 9.5 months, while zero per cent offers on purchases typically last 5.6 months. This compares favourably to existing ‘anniversary offers’, where balance transfer offers last five or six months, giving the consumer little encouragement to remain faithful to the company.

Principal consultant banking and author of the report, David Black, said: “There is a clear incentive for the creditworthy to review and change their credit card on a regular basis. The credit card industry is geared to routinely rewarding customer disloyalty for the creditworthy and there seems to be little evidence of this changing.”

Some credit card companies are even offering 15-month interest-free balance transfers. Others have introduced cash back deals which give customers an introductory period in which they can earn up to six per cent on purchases as a way of tempting people away from existing credit card accounts.

However, some providers offer incentives for existing companies as Mr Black explains. “One area where credit card loyalty can be engendered is a rich reward scheme partnership with a national retailer or service provider whereby discounts are earned towards future high value purchases,” he said.

Find out more about zero per cent interest credit cards and cash back credit cards

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