£9billion wasted each year by not switching to 0% credit cards, says Abbey

16 March 2009 / by Rachael Stiles
British credit card customers are wasting more than £9billion each year on unnecessary credit card interest payments, research from Abbey has revealed.

The bank found that more than two thirds of Brits hold at least one credit card, each with an average debt of £3,256, but less than a quarter of the debt is currently held on a zero per cent credit card.

Abbey discovered that while 36 per cent of cardholders do not have any credit card debt, or they pay the balance off in full each month, more than 40 per cent have had the credit card debt for at least a year, and 22 per cent have held it for more than four years.

But, despite the fact that such a large proportion of UK consumers have high levels of debt, more than half of cardholders have failed to switch to a zero per cent balance transfer credit card.

Just 11 per cent have moved all of their existing credit card debt to a zero per cent deal, while less than 20 per cent are planning to do so in the next few months.

Callum Gibson, head of Abbey credit cards, is surprised that more people are not taking advantage of interest free deals.

"By transferring an outstanding credit card balance to a 0 per cent deal, Britons could save an average of £443 a year, a huge cost saving in today's difficult economic climate," he said.

"At a time when people are having to manage their finances more carefully, transferring to a 0 per deal is a sensible way of ensuring your money goes further."

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