The ending of debit card and credit card fees and surcharges

Have you ever gone to pay by card and been informed that “there’s a flat fee of £2.50 per transaction”? Or something similar. The practice of paying that little extra top up, in addition to the purchase price, is something that most of us are very familiar with. Every business seems to do it and it’s become a widely accepted practice. Well, not anymore. From 13 January 2018 that is set to change, as the government is introducing new rules that mean consumers cannot be penalised for choosing one kind of payment method over another. What are the rules about fees right now? The current rules on credit card fees and extra payments are supposed to prevent companies from profiting from an extra percentage on top of the purchase price. Most of us assume that we’re paying more to complete a transaction by credit card because the retailer has to pay a fee to process that transaction. However, that’s not always the case. Even under the current rules, retailers are not supposed to p


Can it ever make sense to have a Store Card?

Store cards used to seem like a great idea. If you regularly shop with one retailer then a store card acts just like a credit card but specific to your favourite brand and with lots of benefits – doesn’t it? Although the idea may be sound in principle, store cards have recently been labelled “the devil’s debt” because more than two thirds of the cards on offer come with interest rates on purchases of 25 – 30%. So, is it ever going to be worth making purchases with a store card? Why do people have store cards? As well as the convenience of buying without cash, store cards have a number of other benefits too. Many offer discounts on purchases – the New Look card, for example offers 20% off a second purchase – and if you have a store card at somewhere like Topman then you’re entitled to free delivery every time you buy online. Store cards come with a credit limit just like any other credit card. However, these are frequently increased over time as customers remain loyal

How to run your life without a credit card

Credit is a part of life for many of us these days. Credit card debt is one of the fastest growing types of debt with a total of £68.23 billion owed on credit cards, as of March 2017. Sometimes, credit card use seems inevitable – but can you get by without one? It’s perfectly possible to run your life without a credit card. Credit cards in the UK In October 2016 there were 31.5 million credit cards in issue in the UK. Although this may seem like a pretty significant number in a population of 65+ million, by comparison, in October 2016 there were 100.1 million debit cards in circulation. So, in the UK there are almost three times more debit cards being used than there are credit cards. Which indicates that, if you want to run your life without a credit card, you should have no problem doing so. Why live your life without a credit card? There are a plenty of reasons why avoiding a credit card is a positive thing, but do keep in mind that when you use a credit card to make a purcha

Are you using the wrong credit card?

Credit cards are one of those financial tools that can be saintly or sinful depending on how you use them. The idea in principal – extending credit to help manage a short-term lack of cashflow – is a good one. A credit card can help you make big purchases, earn points and cover costs that you might otherwise have to save ages for. However, as we all know, they can also create serious debt problems and – for some – are simply not an option at all. One of the best ways to ensure that you have a positive experience with credit cards is to make sure that you’re using the right one.  We tend to assume that credit cards are all the same but there is actually quite a wide range, and different types suit different people. According to a recent survey from a marketing information firm, one in five people choose a credit card that doesn t actually match their spending habits. For example, having a card with a high APR and a large balance on it. Or choosing a card that accrues air mil

Should I use my credit card abroad?

Until relatively recently, the majority of people who holidayed abroad took travellers cheques or the local currency with them. But carrying a substantial amount of cash can be risky, particularly in countries where petty theft and pickpocketing are rife. And travellers cheques, while safer, can be difficult to exchange for cash or to settle bills when you are holidaying away from the main tourist centres. Using your credit card abroad offers a safer and more convenient way of paying hotel and restaurant bills as well as other spending. No wonder, then, that the majority of payments made by British travellers overseas are now made by plastic. But using your credit card abroad can be expensive. Banks and other issuers will charge you more than once every time you use your credit card overseas and if you withdraw cash with them, the fees you’ll end up paying can be exorbitant. What will I pay? If you use your credit card sensibly at home, it can be a great way of borrowing without pa

Would a balance transfer credit card make sense for you?

If you’ve got a credit card with more than £1,000 outstanding on it, you might be considering applying for a balance transfer credit card. These cards offer a promotional introductory period – sometimes for as long as 18 months – where you will not be charged interest on the amount that you have transferred. But are they a good idea? Do balance transfer cards actually save you money or can you end up in even more debt and make your financial situation worse than it was before you started out? What to consider before applying There are plenty of promotional balance transfer cards out there with virtually every major card issuer offering deals lasting between 12 and 18 months. But before you jump in and start applying for one or more of them, it’s important to note that just because the headline says 0% does not mean that everybody will benefit from that rate. Marketing rules mean that the issuer only has to offer the headline rate to 51% of people who apply. If you have an imp

How to protect yourself from card fraud

By: Alex Hartley Sep 29, 2015 How to protect yourself from card fraud Financial fraud is becoming an increasingly pressing problem and over the last couple of years we have seen more and more cases coming to light. Hackers have been able to steal the financial identities of millions of innocent people. But the large majority of frauds happen through human error and, in most cases, the card holder has been tricked or misled into using the card somewhere they shouldn’t or handing over card details by mistake. It’s important to know how to protect against this, and that using your card provides an additional degree of protection that you won’t have if you pay in a different way. What is Card fraud? Essentially, card fraud is any instance when your card has been used by someone else without your permission.  The purpose of the fraud could be to either obtain goods or services without paying for them or to get hold of funds from an account. Common causes of card fraud include: Phishing