For practically the last decade we’ve seen the credit card change from something only the rich use to something practically every person in the UK owns. I think the average number of credit cards per person in the uk is 2 or 3 and I know it’s commonplace for people to have 5 credit cards in their wallet or purse!
In my opinion the internet is responsible for most of the change in attitude, not only to credit cards, but finance in general, accross the UK. Something like 57 per cent of UK homes have broadband access today and this is obviously only set to increase over time.
So, how has this affected credit card and finance industry over the last 10 years? Firstly, there has been an increase in new internet only banks and credit card companies springing up. The traditional high street banks and building societies also created their online brands and products. Many financial products on offer via the internet have additional benefits or lower interest rates becuase the banks have less overheads and administrational work to do if customers are applying and managing their accounts online.
The internet has fuelled the consumer demand for credit cards and loans and certainly the banks have only helped fan the fire by offering attractive 0 per cent and low rate deals in order to attract new customers and increase their market share. More people have built up debts on credit cards and loans than ever before and the total UK debt mountain now stands at a staggering 1430 billion. According to Credit Action Britain’s personal debt is increasing by 1 million every 5 minutes. It’s no wonder that the credit crunch has hit the UK hard and people are now struggling to keep up with repaying their debts.
You might expect the credit card market to have taken a simlar stumble but this isn’t the case so far..Amazingly, amongst all the mortgage mysery and reports of house prices falling, credit cards seem to have stood up to these issues. Today there are credit card companies offering 15 month interest free on purchases and balance transfers. The best credit card deals not so long ago were 12 months 0 per cent for purchases and 13 months 0 per cent for balance transfers, but even in the midst of the credit crunch we are seeing better deals on offer every month.
This is good news for consumers but should not mean that people continue spending on their card without thinking about the consequenses; every credit card bill has to be repaid. Credit card companies are continuing to increase their 0 per cent offers because they want new customers, and now looks like a good time to take advantage of these fantastic 0 per cent deals.
The main advantage with a 0 per cent balance transfer period is the peace of mind it can give to customers wanting to keep interest payments at a minimum. Virginia writes for the Virgin credit card. Thevirgincreditcard.co.uk is still one of the best UK credit cards and offers 0% on balance transfers. The Virgin credit card could be the perfect solution if you have other credit card balances to transfer. Get 0% on balance transfers for 20 months! With the Virgin credit card, you could get an instant decision today!