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Consumers warned against store cards

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Written by:
16/11/2007

Store cards are still charging average interest rates of up to 24.4 per cent despite recent action by watchdogs, according to financial comparison website MoneyExpert.com.

And four stores have increased the cost of borrowing on their store cards since last Christmas. Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Argos and Marks & Spencer Money have increased their APRs by an average of 2.7%.

MoneyExpert.com says store cards are prohibitively expensive and is warning Christmas shoppers with tight budgets to avoid the lure of the store card as the discounts and gimmicks on offer do not make up for the massively expensive rate of borrowing.

It says that a shopper putting an average £1,270 on a new card this festive season could unnecessarily incur annual interest of up to £234 more on a store card than if they chose a typical credit card (with an average introductory rate of 5.9%).

Sean Gardner, chief executive of MoneyExpert.com, said: “With store cards the advice is simple. Don’t use them. Avoid the gimmicks, don’t be lured in. Invariably people forget about spending on their plastic, or they use credit precisely because they know they won’t be able to repay the debt immediately. Under those circumstances there is no more expensive form of borrowing than a store card.”

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