Thursday 8 December 2016

Most credit card users don't know what interest they pay

Published 19/08/2015 | 02:30

KBC’s Bank Rob Hurley
KBC’s Bank Rob Hurley

The majority of people who have a credit card have no idea what interest they pay for using it.

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And younger women are more likely to use cards for unplanned buys, new research shows.

Men are more inclined to use the plastic card for day-to-day spending than their female counterparts, the research commissioned by KBC Bank shows.

Around seven out of 10 people own a credit card. Most people use it for major purchases and unexpected expenses, the survey conducted by iReach on a nationally representative sample of 500 adults shows.

But one of the more shocking findings is that 71pc of people in the 25 to 40 age bracket admitted they have no idea what interest they are being charged for using the card.

This falls for the over-40s, with almost half knowing the current rate being charged for purchases on their card.

Credit cards interest rates can be as high as 23pc for purchases, with interest rates of up to 21pc for cash withdrawals on a card.

Many people said they used their card when they were abroad on their holidays, with women more inclined to use the plastic payment method when outside the country on a break.

Director of consumer finance at KBC Bank Rob Hurley said: "Our research shows that consumers are a diverse bunch, using their credit card to cover everything from big ticket buys to routine spending and foreign travel."

Most people clear their card debt within the month, so avoid having to pay hefty interest charges.

The research found that 60pc of card users pay off the balance on the card account each month.

Those in the 25 to 40 age bracket are more likely to keep on top of payments each month.

Others pay half of the bill each month, with 8pc paying the minimum monthly amount.

With more than one in four people, the amount they pay off depends on their cash flow that month. This was particularly evident among younger female credit card holders.

Despite security warnings, one in ten confessed to letting their credit card out of sight when handing it over in shops or restaurants. A further 9pc admitted to storing the PIN for their card in their mobile phone.

KBC has extended an offer that gives a 4pc cash reward until the end of the month for those who sign up.

Those who use their KBC credit card to pay for online or grocery items will have their cash reward paid into their KBC credit card account at the end of each month. This means a customer who spends €1,000 in a month on online or grocery purchases would have €40 credited to their account.

Irish Independent

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