The number of credit cards offering a standard long term APR – a lower rate without any introductory zero per cent offers – has fallen by 35 per cent over the past five years, according to new research.
There are now just four cards on the market offering rates below 10 per cent APR on purchases, compared with 14 five years ago, the study by Sainsbury’s reveals.
Card providers have continually increased the length of their longest zero per cent balance transfer or purchase deals during the past five years, while reducing the number of standard long term options available, the analysis indicates.
Five years ago there were 62 cards available offering long term rates on purchases with no introductory offer. Now there are just 41 cards available with only a long term rate on purchases, the supermarket bank’s figures show.
Stuart McKeggie, head of Sainsbury’s Credit Cards, said that customers choosing a credit card must remember to be realistic about what will happen to their rate at the end of the introductory offer.
“There are so many introductory offers available today and many people may think this is the best option for them but that might not necessarily be the case,” he said.
“It’s important to think about your card usage and consider the benefits of introductory offers against the benefits of cards with good standard long term rates. In many cases the latter could make more financial sense and be more convenient. One way you can decide is to look at a comparison guide to credit card machines themselves. This lets you know how widely accepted your new plastic will be!”
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