In a December press release, MoneySupermarket.com, the U.K.'s number one credit card comparison site, revealed a survey in which 22 percent of Brits never thought of switching when asked why they remain loyal to their credit card issuer. More shockingly, however, is that 16 percent of those staying loyal to their plastic provider in the survey said that they couldn't be bothered to switch. That caused some mirth around the water coolers here at the IndexCreditCards.com -- and, perhaps, a little admiration for sheer candor. It's hard to imagine that many Americans admitting they would be prepared to miss out on potential savings of hundreds of bucks simply because they couldn't be bothered.
Balance transfer credit cards
So what excuses might we give for failing to take advantage of such offers? Because millions of us do. According to this site's credit card rates monitor, the average interest charged by rewards credit cards is, at the time of writing, 17.45 percent APR. At the same time, at least four balance transfer credit cards (three from Citi; one from Discover) are offering zero percent APRs for a full 18 months. Using a "How much will I pay in interest?" credit card calculator to do the math, someone paying that 17.45 percent average rate with a $5,000 balance would save -- tax-free, of course -- $945.77 in the first 12 months alone. Chances are, you wouldn't poke your boss in the eye with a sharp stick if he or she offered you that as an extra bonus. You can find current balance transfer offers with one click. When you do, be sure to check out the Citi® Simplicity® Visa, and Slate® from Chase cards, both of which, at the time of writing, have excellent offers.
Credit card switching: why so rare?
Of course, not everyone can qualify for balance transfer offers: you need a pretty good credit score to stand a chance. But that question about why we don't switch our plastic more often is a good one. Are we really so loyal to our credit card companies that we're prepared to pay them more than than we would if we opted for one of their competitors?