According to credit card industry experts the new offers from credit cards have surpassed the levels of generosity maintained before the economic crisis. Customers who are creditworthy never had it so good before. Interest free credit card promotions are running for a period of more than a year, according to Moneysupermarket.com, a comparison service, and there are other cards which are adding to the appeal by giving extra rewards on spending.
There has been an increase in competition between card issuers following bad debts and reduced borrowing by customers. The surge is in spite of fears that a double dip recession will cause more repayment problems for the card holders. The headline deals have hardly ever been better. The average time duration of the 5 longest 0% purchase offers is now a little over a year which is a record in itself. Interest free balance transfer deals which are aimed at borrowers who are switching debts between credit cards are seeing it for over 16 months. These terms are far longer than what it was even on July 2007 when the credit crunch started. The biggest card brand in Britain, Barclays, on Friday became the latest to join the bandwagon by increasing 0% balance transfers to over 16 months.
One of the best offers seen is the Clubcard credit card from Tesco which is offering 13 months of no interest on all purchases along with giving on Tesco Clubcard reward point for every 4 dollars spent on the card. The Platinum and Rewards Cards from American Express were winners too with the Platinum giving 5% cash back on spending for a quarter and both the cards remained interest free on purchases for half a year. Along with earning rewards through making purchases, customers making minimum payments on their credit cards during the initial term when the interest is 0% can earn interest on the cash which they would have otherwise used to clear their monthly bills placing the money in a separate account.
According to comparison services there was also evidence that some credit card issuers were even easing the acceptance criteria for the latest customers after the heavy restrictions applied during the downturn. This could get easier with the market activity increasing in the future. However, for a bad credit record it is harder to get a card now than it was before the credit crunch. Issuers were now granting lower credit limits too.