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Are cards the new kings of consumption?
Earlier this month, we heard the news that Irish people are now spending more with debit and credit cards than in cash that’s withdrawn from an ATM.
Debit card payments amounted to an average of €7,442 in 2015, while ATM withdrawals amounted to an average of €5,388.
Consumers still rely on cash for low-value daily payments, but as contactless cards continue to creep into our consciousness, this habit may be about to change too.
With the Government (remember them?) announcing in the last budget that contactless fees are to be waived and that limits are being increased from €15 to €30, paying without a PIN is getting easier and easier.
But as plastic becomes increasingly prevalent in our pockets, it’s important to know you’re getting the best rate available. Let’s take a look at some of the most competitive credit cards on offer in the marketplace.
AIB is currently offering to pay the Government’s €30 stamp duty for new credit card customers who apply and are approved before April 1st.
Sign up incentives like this one are sometimes met with a cynically-raised eyebrow and a fear that there must be some sort of catch. But this isn’t the case with AIB’s offer, especially considering that its CLICK credit card is one of the most competitive on the market, even without the stamp duty bonus.
The card has a typical APR of 13.6%, requires applicants to have a minimum income of €16,000 and has no fees. However, there is no balance transfer feature with the card.
KBC’s Cash Reward Credit Card is another competitive card right now, with a typical APR of 18.25% along with a balance transfer option which charges 0% for the first 6 months.
Customers must have a minimum annual income of €20,000 to apply.
Permanent TSB ICE Credit Card comes with a typical APR of 20.7%, a minimum annual income requirement of €20,000 and a balance transfer option with a 0% rate for the first 6 months.
The card also comes with 0% APR for the first 3 months of purchases made.
Bank of Ireland’s Classic Credit Card comes with a typical APR of 22.1%, no income requirement and a balance transfer option which comes with 0% APR for 7 months.
As Ireland continues to move away from cash and towards plastic, it’s important to know that your credit card comes with the right rates and features for your habits.
The number of personal cards in issue has fallen from 2.2 million to 1.7 million since 2008, but perhaps AIB's sign-up incentive is evidence of the banks adapting to changes in consumer behaviour. We certainly hope to see more competitive rates offered by more banks in the near future.
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