Consumers are wising up to the advantages of switching cards for cheaper interest rates – but failing to clear their debt during the initial offer period, M&S Money warns.
Over half of Britain's credit card holders have now switched a balance from their existing card to one with a cheaper introductory rate on at least one occasion.
"Britain's borrowers have caught the balance transfer bug," notes Eddie Nott, M&S Money's deputy chief executive.
But only 36 per cent clear their debts by the time their new credit card reverts to its standard rate.
Almost three-quarters of the debt on any credit card is still owed at the end of an introductory interest-free period.
Split by gender, men transfer larger balances but find it hardest to repay debt, clearing only £17.50 of every £100 they transfer during the introductory period. As a result, over 80 per cent of their debt reverts to a standard higher interest rate, whereas women pay off on average £27.70 per £100 transferred.
Mr Nott urges borrowers to "opt for lifetime balance transfer offers unless they are confident they will repay their borrowings while it's cheaper to do so".For more information about credit cards, click here.
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