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Credit card competition heats up

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Competition in the balance transfer and introductory rate market continues to grow this week with Capital One extending its 0% deals for both purchases and transfers until September 1 2009.

While there has been growing concern in the credit card market, with a reduction in the number of applications accepted and providers increasing rates for both purchases and cash, the deals on offer at the top end of the market have not been affected.

Samantha Owens, head of personal finance at Moneyfacts, said: “This new Capital One deal offers 0% for nearly 15 months, which is one of the longest deals we have seen. That the card offers this for both balance transfers and purchases is rare and means consumers do not have to worry about one deal ending, negating any benefits on the other deal.

“This time last year, for purchases, the best deal was 12 months and for balance transfers was 13. In the current market, deals on balance transfers for 13 months are commonplace and credit card companies have to compete to attract new customers.

“Credit cards with 0% deals should not be treated as a licence to spend, as one day the balance will have to be repaid. Nevertheless, those who have a balance to transfer can benefit for up to 15 months with no interest and only one balance transfer fee. Those who have an unavoidable purchase can also have the luxury of repaying over a much longer term with no additional cost.”

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