The season to switch? - Credit cards - News |

News News brings you the latest financial & economic news & reviews of the best products in the UK by our team of money experts.

The season to switch?

The season to switch?

Category: Credit cards

Updated: 28/07/2010
First Published: 28/07/2010

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 It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

It is understandable that people want to wile away their days in the summer, but putting off switching your credit card when rates are so high is nigh on unforgivable.

Recent figures from the Bank of England show that the average rate charged on credit cards rose to an eye-watering 16.69% in June – some 33 times greater than the current base rate of interest!

Card holders on particularly harsh agreements, or those that have seen their introductory period come and go, may be suffering from even higher rates.

The good news is that the credit card market is enjoying something of a boom period in terms of choice, as providers fight pitched battles to entice credit card customers.

A card that may have caught the collective eye of plastic fanatics may well have been the Clubcard Credit Card Mastercard from Tesco Bank. A great all rounder, it recently had its 0% on purchases period extended to 13 months, which dovetails nicely with the 0% it offers for nine months on balance transfers.

Similarly, Barclaycard offers a credit card that boasts a 0% rate for an entire year for both balance transfers and purchases – an all round performance Ian Botham would have been proud of.

For those keen to pay down their card debts, a card that offers the longest term for balance transfers would probably be more suitable.

At the top of the transfer tree currently sits the NatWest Platinum Credit Card MasterCard, offering a whopping 16 months in which to pay your balance off without accruing any interest.

It sits just above a number of other cards in the market, with Nationwide BS, Barclaycard Platinum and balance transfer regular Virgin Money all tempting with cracking offers.

If your circumstances dictate a major purchase, however, and you're keen to spread the cost while not racking up mountains of interest repayments, cards offering a long 0% term on purchases might well be the right route to take.

If so, the aforementioned card from Tesco Bank might tickle your fancy, while other alternatives are included in's Credit Card Best Buy tables.

Or if you're the sort of person who likes to earn while you spend, the American Express Platinum Cashback Card gives back an introductory 5.00% for three months on spends up to £2,000 per year.

Finally, if constantly switching seems like a lot of hassle, the Barclaycard Simplicity offers a typical lifetime APR of 6.8%.

Card Tip: If you do not make your monthly minimum repayment you risk losing the introductory 0% offer. Pay your credit card statement on time by direct debit.

Any rates or deals quoted in this article were correct at the time of writing.

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.