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18
DEC
2006

One in four transfer credit card balance

A quarter of credit card holders have transferred their balance onto another card in the last year, research from Moneyexpert.com shows.

Around eight million people have transferred a huge £6.5 billion between cards – around £760 each – despite credit card balance transfer fees averaging 2.1 per cent.

This means Brits looking for a cheap credit card could pay £105 on a balance of £5,000, though long-term savings could be much greater.

People aged 30 to 50-years-old were the most likely to be transferring large balances, seven per cent moving a balance of more than £5,000, compared to two per cent of over-50s and 18 to 29-year-olds.

And Scots lead the country when it comes to transferring the largest balances, moving £1,110.39 each on average, with around eight per cent transferring over £5,000 onto a cheaper credit card, well ahead of the national average of four per cent.

“It is yet more evidence of the UK’s debt culture that so many people have balances of more than £5,000 on their credit cards,” said Sean Gardner, chief executive of Moneyexpert.

“While it is heartening that people are getting the message and taking advantage of balance transfer offers from other providers, customers need to remember that switching balances should also mean cutting debts. Changing to another card shouldn’t be seen as a licence to carry on spending.”

Mr Gardner advised credit card holders to look carefully at balance transfer fees when making the decision to move debts onto a cheap credit card.

“And remember switching cards should be the first step to getting your debts under control. You need to commit to a plan to paying off your cards if at all possible.”

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