Britons are bait for balance transfers

The proliferation of ‘rate tarts’ – those who move their debt from one zero per cent interest credit card to the next – will see some 5.8 million credit card holders move an average of £2,061 on balance transfers, according to the Capital One study.

However, those who aim to maximise their money through low interest balance transfers are being urged not to get caught out, which could quickly send them into debt.

Justin Basini of Capital One explained: “Around 57 per cent of credit cards offer zero per cent interest on balance transfers, but people switching balances to these cards need to choose carefully because the length of interest free periods varies dramatically.

“For example, nearly four out of ten of these cards have zero per cent interest balance transfers that last for six months or less, which may not be long enough for some people.”

The Capital One research confirms this as it shows just 43 per cent of credit card holders clear the debt from their balance within six months, meaning the remainder could well be hit by costly interest charges.