HSBC has the most loyal credit card customers
HSBC customers are the most loyal when it comes to their credit card, exclusive data from Moneywise can reveal.
Figures from the Moneywise Consumer Opinion Survey found that more than three-quarters (76%) of HSBC credit card customers have had their card for five years or more.
In second place was the Co-operative, with 74% of their customers holding onto their credit card for five years or more.
HSBC's internet and phone-bank First Direct (71%) took the third spot, with NatWest in fourth (62%).
Lloyds TSB – which was split into two separate banks last September - came fifth with 61% of customers keeping their cards for the same period.
The data also revealed what consumers are most attracted to when it comes to picking a new card.
Some 41% said a worthwhile rewards scheme was the most important feature, while a good balance transfer offer and low interest rate and charges (15% respectively) were also strongly appreciated.
Some 42% of cardholders said they would switch if there was a compelling offer from another provider, 30% would if they were to receive continual bad customer service and 16% would switch for an extended 0% balance transfer period.
The survey also found that most Moneywise users (34%) spend between £100 and £500 a month on their card, while 21% spend between £500 and £1,000.
The majority of Moneywise users know how to use their credit card properly. Nearly two-thirds (63%) never pay interest on their main credit card and 59% are well aware of the rate of interest they pay if they do.
The Consumer Opinion Survey forms the basis of the Moneywise Customer Service Awards 2014, which recognise the very best financial services companies in Britain.
The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on Thursday 12 June and will be published soon after at Moneywise.co.uk.
Used by the holder to buy goods and services, credit cards also have a monthly or annual spending limit, which may be raised or lowered depending on the creditworthiness of the cardholder. But unlike charge cards, borrowers aren’t forced to pay the balance off in full every month and, as long as they make a stated minimum payment, can carry a balance from one month to the next, generating compound interest. As the issuing company is effectively giving you a short-term loan, most credit cards have variable and relatively high interest rates. Allowing the interest to compound for too long may result in dire financial straits.
Moving money from one account to another, whether switching bank accounts or more likely transferring the outstanding balance on your credit card to another card that charges a lower – or 0% – rate of interest. Some card providers may charge a transfer fee that can be a percentage of the balance transferred.