Money Insider: Halifax's Clarity card offers no-fee foreign withdrawals
Saturday 17 July 2010
despite credit card providers writing off up to 10 per cent of outstanding balances as bad debts, there is still a huge choice of credit card deals out there, offering a confusing array of introductory deals with numerous interest rate and fee combinations.
That's why it was a refreshing change to see the launch of the new Clarity credit card from Halifax last week. It's simply a good value, no nonsense product which stands out from the majority of the market.
There are no confusing interest-free introductory offers for purchases or balance transfers; instead, Halifax is aiming for a longer-term relationship with customers by offering straightforward value. What is particularly good is that there are no cash withdrawal or foreign loading fees for those who like to use their credit card overseas. Typically, a £100 cash withdrawal abroad can cost you almost an extra £6, by the time you take into account a 3 per cent withdrawal fee plus a foreign loading fee of typically between 2.75 per cent and 2.99 per cent.
At 12.9 per cent, the Clarity card's APR for purchases is well below the market average of 18.4 per cent, and the cash rate of 12.9 per cent is less than half that charged by many high-street rivals. While 12.9 per cent is the typical rate, bear in mind that some people with a less-than-perfect credit record may be offered the card at a slightly higher rate of 17.9 per cent or 21.9 per cent APR.
If you are someone who doesn't clear their balance every month, then one of the many cards offering a 0 per cent introductory deal on purchases or balance transfers may be a more cost-effective option. Halifax's Clarity card is a back-to-basics product and likely to prove a big hit with holidaymakers in the coming months, providing the opportunity to withdraw cash overseas without having to shell out a small fortune in costs.
It's also good to see Halifax customers being given the opportunity to earn a further £5 bonus per month, simply by spending a minimum of £300 per month on their card.
If you take out the current account and the credit card, you can potentially earn £120 per year in return for your loyalty, a strategy that could well pay dividends for bank and customer alike.
Examine your credit record online for £2
Following a deal between the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and the three main credit reference agencies, consumers can now view their credit records online for a nominal fee of £2. Until now this information was available only as a hard copy which was posted to you and could take seven days to arrive.
I would urge everybody to check their own credit record at least once a year, because any incorrect or outdated information recorded against your name could lead to you paying higher interest rates on your borrowing or, in some cases, see your application for credit declined.
These on-demand credit reports are available from the websites of Experian, Equifax and Callcredit.
Yorkshire tries to cheer up savers with fixed-rate bond
With the savings market still in the doldrums, it is encouraging to see some new best-buy fixed-rate bonds from the mutuals. Yorkshire Building Society has launched branch-based bonds from just £100. They pay 3.56 per cent AER fixed for two years, 4.11 per cent for three years and 4.6 per cent for a five-year term. All of these come with an option to receive monthly interest if you're looking to boost your income.
The Nottingham BS also has a four-year, fixed-rate postal bond paying an attractive 4.2 per cent from £1,000. Although it doesn't offer monthly interest, it does allow you to make further deposits while the account is still available.
*The US private equity firm JC Flowers is said to be considering investing £50m for a 49 per cent stake in Kent Reliance Building Society. The financial services market thrives on competition and maybe this could be a blueprint for similar deals to be struck with other societies, rather than the sector shrinking amid further mergers and being dominated by the profit-hungry banking giants.
Andrew Hagger is a money analyst at Moneynet.co.uk
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
- 1 Scottish referendum: So how about the English now being given a chance to split from England?
- 3 Kim Kardashian 'naked pictures' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence 'The Fappening' scandal
- 4 Matthew Miller: American sentenced to hard labour in North Korea 'wanted to be Snowden II'
- 5 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
iJobs Money & Business
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...
Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...
£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...
To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...
Day In a Page
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village
A secluded seven-bedroom detached house with large private garden, £490,000
A three-bedroom cottage overlooking Sarratt village green with open fires and solid oak floors
A three-bedroom maisonette flat in a Grade I-listed, Georgian townhouse in a sought-after location
A one-bedroom apartment located within a private gated development, north of Turnham Green
Look forward to a brighter future at two-bedroom Sunny Cottages, ideal for Londoners looking to downsize