The good, the bad, and the ugly (Jun 07) - Credit cards - News |

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The good, the bad, and the ugly (Jun 07)

The good, the bad, and the ugly (Jun 07)

Category: Credit cards

Updated: 04/12/2009
First Published: 20/06/2007

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

We're now into summer, and unlike the weather the world of personal finance is sizzling with activity. Here's our monthly review of the latest developments for savers, investors and borrowers….

The good news

  • How to avoid getting fleeced on holiday – With many of us soon set to pack our bags and jet off for a well-deserved break in the sun, your bank account can take a rest too, because you can save money before you travel. When changing foreign currency, don't wait until you get to the airport, shop around the high street first to get a better deal on your travel money. For credit card purchases, both Nationwide and Post Office's credit cards don't charge a foreign loading fee. For withdrawals, consider Nationwide's current account, as it's currently the only debit card that does not impose fees on cash withdrawals overseas.

The bad news

  • Buy-to-let tax implications – Thousands of buy-to-let landlords are being urged to contact Inland Revenue & Customs as it prepares to target buy-to-let investors who have failed to pay the right amount of tax. According to newspaper reports, tax inspectors have identified around 80,000 landlords who have either claimed too much tax relief on their rental income, or who have failed to declare that income.
  • Increased housing market uncertainty – Fears are being stoked that the housing market is at a turning point, fuelling fears of a crash. After four interest rate hikes since August, house price inflation is cooling in England and Wales, yet rising in Scotland and Northern Ireland. New mortgage approvals however have been falling, and now only around 1 in 10 property sales go a first time buyer - suggesting that prices have simply surged out of control. In addition, the Government's embarrassing U-turn over Home Information Packs has not helped the matter either, with a reported glut of new properties being put on the market to beat the deadline.

The ugly news

  • Attack on Best Buy tables – There has been an attack on Best Buy tables recently, with some critics complaining that they are not included. At Moneyfacts, over 30 researchers analyse and compare literally thousands of financial products on a daily basis. We then select the best six products every week, and then include them in our charts. Unlike some price comparison websites, we do not charge to be included, and we think our Best Buys provide you with a useful and free service.
  • Overdraft rates have increased dramatically – HSBC, Lloyds, Natwest and Royal Bank of Scotland have all increased their authorised overdraft rates between 2% to over 3%, bringing some authorised overdraft rates to nearly 20%! Considering a reasonable rise would have been around 1% to keep it in line with the rate of inflation, these hikes are unacceptable. So make sure you check your overdraft rates and make sure you know what you are paying for. There are some current accounts which currently provide interest free overdraft facilities.

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.