Millions of credit card savings up for grabs when switching

Switching to a balance transfer card could typically save £865 over 25 months. Experian says over 3 in 4 UK credit card holders could be eligible for a new deal. 60% of customers who searched with Experian saw one pre-approved offer for a balance transfer card.

09 December 2020: According to new analysis released by Experian, millions of UK credit card holders could secure hundreds of pounds worth of savings before Christmas by switching to a balance transfer card.

The Money Charity estimates UK households have an average credit card debt of around £2,241[2]. Experian calculates that a customer with this balance, paying the minimum monthly payment of 3% (£67) with an APR of 20.9%[3], could be saving around £34 per month if they were to transfer their balance. After taking the 1.85% transfer fee into account, this results in an overall saving of £865 over 25 months.

Currently, 77% of consumers will see a balance transfer credit card product that they have a good chance of being accepted for, with 60%1 pre-approved on Experian’s price comparison marketplace. As well as helping people check their eligibility for a credit card without affecting their credit score, Experian customers can also use its Credit Limits service to see whether they will get the credit limit they need to cover their balance transfer before they apply.

Experian says financial providers are continuing to lend, and that there are now 41 credit cards on its comparison site, of which three are exclusive to Experian and 261 have a 0% balance transfer promotion.

Earlier this month Experian announced that the rise in consumer eligibility over the last lockdown period in November meant people’s chances of being approved for a credit card is now 35% higher than at the start of the first UK lockdown in March.

Amir Goshtai, Managing Director at Experian Marketplace said: “Switching credit cards could save hundreds of pounds and help you to pay off debts faster. Many people will have spent more money over Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so in the run up to Christmas, switching to a balance transfer card could help them cut the interest they pay. However, people should ensure it’s at a level they can afford, that they keep up with regular payments and stay within their credit limit in order to maintain their promotional rate.

“Before switching, people can check their eligibility on comparison sites like Experian’s, as its quick and won’t damage their credit score. The good news is our data shows consumer eligibility rising, and that lenders are continuing to bring products back to market. To give people even more certainty when choosing a balance transfer credit card, we even have some lenders that will confirm if their new credit limit will cover the balance they need to transfer through our credit limits feature.”

Experian also contacts its customers to let them know if they have a balance on their credit cards which they may be paying interest on unnecessarily, so they can save money.

Four tips when thinking about applying for a credit card

  1. Check your credit score and eligibility for free on sites like Experian. This will enable you to see what condition your finances are in, and whether you are eligible for a credit card. Remember checking your eligibility before you apply doesn’t affect your credit score. There are ways you can improve your score before you apply if it’s not good.
  2. Credit card providers look for certain behaviours before approving applications and deciding the interest rate. This includes staying below your credit limit so that you’re not considered high risk, evidence of payment history (even a single recent missed payment can hurt your chances of getting a new card) as well as your credit history.

  3. Consider the reasons why you’re applying for a credit card, which will then help you to choose the right product. Balance transfer cards make sense for people who already have money owed on other cards that they’re paying interest on, so that they can transfer that balance on to a new card that offers 0% interest for a fixed period. If this option isn’t for you then you may want to think about other types of card, such as 0% purchase cards, rewards cards or credit builder cards.

  4. Keep up to date with the market: We’re regularly updating customers on lender changes in the market and how their chances of being approved have changed through our weekly emails. Also, our dedicated Coronavirus Hub answers some of the most commonly asked questions and offers guidance on payment holidays and managing debt.

-ENDS-

Notes to editors

[1] Figures taken using Experian’s price comparison marketplace

[2] Average credit card debt per household is based on latest figures from The Money Charity figures – October 2020 https://themoneycharity.org.uk/money-statistics/october-2020/

[3] Figure calculated on 2 December by Experian. The figure was calculated using the average UK household credit debt of £2,241, the minimum monthly repayment of 3% and a current APR of 20.9%

Media contact

Rajan Lakhani, Head of PR, Consumer, UK&I, Experian

Tel: (+44) 07976 634 484 | E: rajan.lakhani@experian.com

Brands2Life, PR agency

Tel: +44 (0)20 7592 1200 | E: chris.sury@brands2life.com

About Experian

Experian is the world’s leading global information services company. During life’s big moments – from buying a home or a car, to sending a child to college, to growing a business by connecting with new customers – we empower consumers and our clients to manage their data with confidence. We help individuals to take financial control and access financial services, businesses to make smarter decisions and thrive, lenders to lend more responsibly, and organisations to prevent identity fraud and crime.

We have 17,800 people operating across 45 countries and every day we’re investing in new technologies, talented people and innovation to help all our clients maximise every opportunity. We are listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and are a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.

Learn more at www.experianplc.com or visit our global content hub at our global news blog for the latest news and insights from the Group.