‘Customers more interested in incentives than APRs’

May 20, 2010 at 10:47 am

Everyone likes to feel they are getting something for nothing. But could our desire for a freebie actually be costing us dearly where credit cards are concerned?

Recent research by has revealed that when it comes to choosing which credit card to apply for, over half of us are more interested in the incentives than the boring small print.

Credit cards play an important part in budgeting for the majority of us and if you are the type of person who always pays their credit card bills in full then the details such as the APR are probably not very relevant to you.

In that case you have a wide variety of incentive schemes to consider, from air miles to cash back and of course loyalty points which can be used for things such as money off goods in shops, discounts on Eurostar and reductions in your restaurant bill.

If, however, you do not pay your bill in full each month then it is vital to take a good look at what you will be charged in interest. A fiver off a pizza suddenly looks less attractive when you are paying for this many times over in terms of how much your provider charges you in interest.

The consumer publication Which? has useful advice on choosing a credit card and provides weekly updates on its table showing the Best Rate Cashback card.

If you are interested in collecting air miles then its comparison table, which gives details of annual fees, special offers and extra benefits, might be of interest to you.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

‘Plan ahead for currency’

May 7, 2010 at 2:26 pm

If you are a last-minute sort of person you would do well to ditch the carefree attitude when it comes to thinking about how you are going to obtain currency for your holiday abroad. It’s a common error to think that you can roll up the day before you leave the UK and get your cash from any of a number of High Street bureaux or banks, and if all else fails then there’s always the airport, isn’t there?

If you are straying outside the euro zone or the US you could be in for a nasty shock when it comes to availability of currency. In many instances currency, especially for the more obscure destination, needs to be ordered in advance. Even relatively popular Bulgaria and Croatia require forward planning, with only two providers on the High Street having their currencies on demand.

Recent research carried out by the Post Office shows that travellers buying their currency in a last-minute panic are losing out to the tune of up to 10%, compared to the savvy traveller who has done his homework. Buying at the airport costs on average around £86 more than elsewhere due to hefty commission fees and poor exchange rates.

Leaving aside euros and dollars which are generally pretty easy to obtain at the last minute, travellers heading for the popular destinations of Turkey and Egypt fare best for availability, with the Turkish lira and Egyptian pound usually available on demand. However, the rates offered differ greatly with £200 purchasing 440 Turkish lira at the Post Office but only 430 lira at some of the High Street bureaux. Customers going to Croatia and the Eastern Caribbean islands such as St Lucia and Antigua should also be careful of what rate they are being offered, with the differential in rates amounting to about 7% or 8%.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »