After the attempts by the savings industry and mortgage industry to label anyone who looks for the best deal a “tart”, now it is the turn of the credit card industry.
A PricewaterhouseCoopers report — Precious Plastic 2005 — asserts that “rate tarts” are costing the credit card industry £1bn a year.
Whether the credit card industry deserves an extra £1bn a year is not discussed. PwC partner Richard Thompson said that “there is a clear danger that issuers are growing a breed of so-called ‘rate tarts’ who will move perpetually from issuer to issuer to finance their debts at no cost”.
So, here’s how it is meant to work. You are meant to be bright enough transfer your massive unsecured debt on which you have been paying 18.3% interest to another provider that offers 0% for six months (19.4% thereafter), but then you are meant to be too stupid to transfer it again when another credit card provider comes up with a similar offer.
PwC’s report anticipated that “issuers will be more selective about which customers they will offer balance transfers to”. Presumably that will entail seeking customers likely to lose all their critical faculties within six months.
The trick (in case you need to know it) is to transfer balances to the interest-free credit card, but to keep your old card for purchases. This is Money offers a guide to what offers are currently available.