The store cards that charge for a nil balance

1 min read Published: 17 Dec 2010

Santander which issues store cards for House of Fraser, Debenhams, Laura Ashley and a string of other High Street chains has written to customers to inform them that their terms and conditions have changed.

Santander have added a new clause to their small print which allows them to charge customers a £10 fee if they do not use their store card for 6 months.

Store cards are a hideously expensive means of obtaining credit, often with annual interest rates as high as 30%. However, the stores hook shoopers in by offering tempting introductory discounts once the shopper signs up. But in general store cards are a bad deal for consumers, yet a huge money spinner for the banks and retailers.

The introduction of this new fee aims to make money out of those people who take out store cards for the initial discount and then never use them – which is something the banks don't like as they don't make any money if you refuse to use your new card. While these shoppers may think that they are being prudent, in fact, they are the most likely to be hit by this new charge. So remember, whether you are finishing your Christmas shopping or checking out 'the sales' just say no when it comes to store cards.

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