Post Office warns consumers about store card traps

05 January 2006
With hundreds of post-Christmas sales hitting stores this week, the lure of the high street can be too much for some consumers who become enticed by bargains that can be purchased on store cards.

However the Post Office says shoppers beware, as many stores will "up the anti" during this period to get consumers signed up to store cards which could land them with huge APRs.

Gary Fitton head of credit card, at the Post Office said: "Beware your bargain doesn't become a budget buster! On the face of it, the savings offered by some store cards look tempting but once the promotional periods have closed, it's easy to be landed with hefty APRs – meaning you could still be paying for your new year 'bargains' well into next Christmas and beyond."

A common trap is stores frequently offering interest-free deals for six months to a year on purchases and although the deal may sound peachy, it can often be hard to take advantage of in time.

The interest free period can end up leaving customers having to pay interest right back to the day the loan started, if they fail to pay off the outstanding lump sum when the offer period ends.

However, the Post Office says its 'two in one' credit card offers the best of both worlds, an introductory offer coupled with a competitive long-term rate.

There is an interest free period on new purchases for six months, plus the ability to transfer up several large purchases of between £500 and £2,000 onto a low rate loan-like facility with a rate of 6.8 per cent.

Mr Fitton concluded: "Those with their eyes on a real bargain should do their homework before hitting the high street. Our ‘two in one’ credit card is a winner for those wanting to make the most of the January sales, especially those buying larger items such as furniture which can be transferred to the loan-like facility."

To read more about credit cards, click here.

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