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Seven Million Plan To Transfer Credit Card Balance In 2016

11 January 2016

Research from Sainsbury’s Bank Credit Cards reveals that around seven million UK adults(1) (14%) are considering  transferring a credit card balance in 2016. The bank’s research shows an average outstanding credit card balance of £2,347. In order to make the most of their balance transfers, the bank is urging card holders to transfer their balances as soon as possible.

Sainsbury’s Bank’s own data(2) shows that January is the busiest month for balance transfer card applications, followed by February and March.

Simon Ranson, Head of Banking at Sainsbury’s Bank said: “Transferring a credit card balance can be an excellent way of paying down debt and organising finances if managed properly, and January, just after the Christmas period is a popular time to do this.

“We’d encourage card holders to pay off as much as they can each month rather than just making the minimum payment as this will make a huge difference in paying down the outstanding balance.”

In the balance transfer market, 69%(4) of applications are for traditional long interest free period cards. However, the bank’s data shows that of card holders who take out the long balance transfer credit card, only 48% transfer a balance in their first month of the account being open. This is followed by 24% transferring a balance in month two.

Simon Ranson, Head of Banking at Sainsbury’s Bank added: “We’d urge people who have set up a balance transfer card to move their balances quickly to save paying unnecessary interest. By not transferring their balances straight away, card holders could potentially still be incurring interest with their old credit card provider(s).”

Of those card holders transferring a balance, Sainsbury’s Bank data(2) shows 15% do a second balance transfer within the first 10 months, the majority of which occur in months two, three and four from account opening.

Card holders transferring the industry average balance transfer amount of £2,250(4) would pay the following with the Sainsbury’s Bank suite of balance transfer credit cards:

Sainsbury’s Bank Nectar No Balance Transfer Fee Card Sainsbury’s Bank NEW Nectar Low Balance Transfer Fee Card Sainsbury’s Bank Nectar Long Balance Transfer Card
Balance to transfer £2,250 £2,250 £2,250
Balance Transfer Fee (%) 0% 0.98%*† 2.89%†
Balance Transfer Fee (£) £0.00 £22.05 £65.03
Interest Free Period 18 months 30 months 37 months
Monthly Payment £125.00 £75.74 £62.57
Months till Balance Paid Off 18 months 30 months 37 months

*Card holders will be charged a fee of 1.5% which will be reduced to 0.98% by refund. Must apply by 19th January 2016 and transfer a balance within the first 30 days of account opening.

†A 3% fee will be applied for any balance transfers after the first 3 months of account opening.

For information on Sainsbury’s Bank credit cards call 0800 030 4429, visit sainsburysbank.co.uk/cards or pick up a leaflet instore at Sainsbury’s. Card Holders applying for a Sainsbury’s Bank credit card should have their Nectar card ready.

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Notes to Editors

  1. Sainsbury’s Bank commissioned Opinium Research to survey 2,006 nationally representative UK adults aged 18+ between 24th to 27th November 2015. Opinium Research is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules
  2. Sainsbury’s Bank Credit Cards Data, Nov 2014-Dec 2015
  3. Card holders will be charged a fee of 1.5% which will be reduced to 0.98% by refund. Must apply by 19th January 2016 and transfer a balance within the first 30 days of account opening. A 3% fee will be applied for any balance transfers after the first 3 months of account opening.
  1. Sainsbury’s Bank Credit Card Payment Study, July 2015

For further information, please contact:

Citigate Dewe Rogerson on 020 7638 9571
Lorna Gilmour, Sainsbury’s Bank on 0131 286 0786 / Sainsbury’s Bank press office on 0131 286 0010

This press release is information for journalists only and is not intended to be a promotion to be acted upon by consumers.

Sainsbury’s Bank:

To view our latest press releases and product information, please visit the Sainsbury’s Bank online media centre at www.sainsburysbank.co.uk/media

Sainsbury’s was the first major British supermarket to open a bank, commencing trading in February 1997. Benefiting from a fantastic, trusted brand that enables us to combine the shopping experience with personal finance, Sainsbury’s Bank provides a range of quality products including insurances, credit cards, savings and loans. Our proposition is to make shopping more rewarding by offering customers great products at fair prices, while consistently rewarding shoppers for their loyalty and being easy to do business with at all times. Our products consistently top best buy tables and regularly win awards for quality, price and service.

Sainsbury’s Bank plc. Registered Office, 33 Holborn, London EC1N 2HT (registered in England and Wales, no 3279730) is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (register no. 184514). Sainsbury’s Bank plc is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).