The return of underhand credit card companies
Three years ago, credit card companies were helping us to pay off our debts as quickly as possible. But now, thanks to new EU rules which stop card companies making as much money from customers, sneaky tricks, hidden fees and rising rates could rear their ugly heads.
In February, the European Parliament approved a limit on transaction fees for retailers, which means that credit card companies will make less money. How are they going to claw it back? From the poor debt-ridden cardholders, of course!
Some card companies have raised card limits through the roof, in the vain hope that you’ll spend more and get into more lovely, stinking, profitable debt. Others are reducing the amount you pay each month so it takes longer to clear the balance on your card.
Charges are already increasing, too. M&S Bank, Nationwide and Tesco have already raised their interest rates. Barclaycard customers are paying more to use their card abroad – they recently raised their overseas charges from 2.75% to 2.99%.
What can we do about it? Well, customers are allowed some control over having their limits raised – but you have to tell the credit card company yourself. Otherwise, it looks like it's back to the bad old days...