Credit card competition cramping costs

20 April 2006
An increase in competition throughout the credit card market recently has led to lower interest charges across the board, analysts say.

The rise of Internet banking and an increase in the ability to compare and contrast credit card deals has led to more people being prepared to shop around for better deals.

This kind of competition has benefited consumers, with a rise in zero per cent rates and special introductory offers of low charges and attractive benefits flooding the market.

Nick White, head of personal finance at, says people are demonstrating much more nous: "The credit card market is so competitive and consumers are much more savvy.

"People are more inclined to invest the time to find a good deal," he continued. "The benefit always has to outweigh the hassle and the Internet has ensured that this is generally the case."

Personal debt is reaching higher levels every day in the UK, topping the £1 trillion mark recently and rising by £1 million every four minutes, according to the Economic and Social Research Council.

Although the majority of consumers welcome competitive interest rates, market analysts continue to question the sustainability of the current "credit card culture" that exists today.

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