Almost two thirds of credit cards which offer customers a zero per cent balance transfer introductory period will revert to their standard APR if customers miss a single payment, leaving customers up to £278 worse off, moneysupermarket.com has found.
Customers must check terms and conditions to ensure that they do not incur avoidable charges, the financial advice site warned as it found that 62 per cent of cards – 31 per cent of the 50 surveyed – revert to the quoted 'typical' APR rate after just one payment default.
Many more, meanwhile, reserve the right to do so at their discretion.
The headline charge of £278 would be incurred by missing the first minimum payment on a £2,000 loan on an MBNA Platinum Plus credit card, which exacts a punishing fee of £266 plus another £12 penalty charge.
Moneysupermarket.com's head of credit cards, Rob Kenley, warned that missing a payment would not only inflict instant charges, it could also damage the customer's credit rating and deter lenders from granting them mortgages or even mobile phone contracts.
During January 2007, over one million bills were missed in Britain, including 332,500 credit card payments, according to recent research from MoneyExpert.com.For more information about zero per cent credit cards, click here.
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