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With a 69% increase over 3 years, introductory periods on purchase credit cards are at an all-time high

30 November 2015
  • 69% increase in the average length (in months) of introductory rate for purchases over the last 3 years
  • The length of an introductory offer on purchases increased by 35% between 2014 and 2015, as opposed to just11% the previous year
  • Back in 2012 the longest introductory period on offer was 16 months
  • The introductory period on the market leading purchase card currently stands at 27 months

New research* from Gocompare.com reveals that the introductory period for purchases on credit cards has risen 69% since 2012 – with the longest rate now standing at 27 months.  The comparison site found that the length of the introductory period on purchase credit cards has been accelerating - 2013-14 saw it rise by just 2 months, compared to a 7 month jump between 2014 and 15.

With very little loyalty from customers who are simply looking for the best deal, the competition between credit card companies is causing the introductory period offered to skyrocket – and its savvy consumers who are reaping the benefits.

Matt Sanders, Gocompare.com’s credit card spokesperson, commented: “As credit card companies compete for customers, offering a longer 0% introductory period has become the go-to way of attracting consumers.  The appeal is clear - a longer period of 0% is attractive way to spread the cost of a larger purchase for longer.

When used sensibly, an interest-free introductory period can be used to make and pay off a large purchase.  However, it’s important to remember that, like with any other form of debt; whatever you borrow you will be expected to pay back.

“Before considering a purchase credit card, ensure that you can clear the balance within the period of the introductory period to avoid any interest on your borrowing.  Once the introductory offer expires any remaining debt on the card will standard rate on the card, which could be 18.9% APR (variable) or higher, so set a reminder of the offer end-date and create yourself a manageable and realistic repayment plan to clear the balance before it the introductory period finishes.”

For more information about purchase credit cards, Gocompare.com has created this handy guide.

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Notes to editors:

*Based on a comparison of the longest introductory rate on the market (in months) for purchase cards from November 2nd of 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012, using data provided by Defaqto.