Barclaycard offers rebate to encourage low spenders

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The Independent Online
BARCLAYCARD is offering special discounts to drum up business next month, but they are available only to customers who have cut back their card spending or were not spending much in the first place. The vast majority of the 8.8 million cardholders are excluded, writes Tom Tickell.

Debra Pentelow, a Barclaycard marketing manager, has written to 50,000 customers saying they can save money every time they use the card in June, provided they clock up enough on their bills. The bank will refund up to 4 per cent of the total bill, with a maximum rebate of pounds 20.

The benefits grow with spending. There will be a 1 per cent discount on bills for the month of between pounds 100 and pounds 200, 2 per cent on pounds 200- pounds 300 and 4 per cent on pounds 400- pounds 500.

At first sight, the benefits do not look that attractive when Barclaycard charges interest at 22.9 per cent a year. But the bank stresses that many customers do not pay interest at all.

'Half our customers settle their bills in full each month, and get their credit for nothing,' a spokesman said. 'Typically the rest will settle their bills over three months. Admittedly you can't use the official APR interest formula over that period, but broadly interest works out at 5 per cent.'

Barclaycard knows 30 per cent of its customers hold other credit cards and wants to ensure they do not use them too often. Concessions in June are designed to get people back into the Barclaycard habit.

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