Ten Reasons why Credit Cards are so Popular in the UK

By: Jon Francis

According to APACS (Association for Payment Clearing Services), in 2004 we Brits charged just about ?269bn on our plastic. Cash sales for the same period totaled just about ?268bn. For the first time in history, credit card sales topped cash sales. If it wasn't official before, it is now - credit card UK spending is a way of life. What has made them so popular in the UK in just a generation?

1.Living on the never-never has become living for today. Today's culture is more mobile - both socially and financially. We've come to expect that we'll have more to do with tomorrow than we have today. With that comes the realisation that debt is less a burden of shame than it is a payment in advance from tomorrow's wealth.

2.We're richer faster than ever before in history. It's a hurry hurry get it now culture that's fuelled in part by watching housing values soar while interest rates remained low. As a result, we're feeling richer and more able to take on some debt in the interests of living well NOW.

3.And then there's the American influence.It has to be said. In the mid-90s, American lenders set up shop and started doling out easy credit terms and quick turn-around times on credit card and loan applications. With the advent of online applications and scoring checks, what used to take days now takes minutes.

All right, you're saying - what's all this got to do with the popularity of credit cards in the UK? Simply this - in less than a decade, aggressive marketing, more fluid credit and more affluence set the stage for plastic to become an every day necessity rather than a luxury afforded the precious, privileged few. Credit cards offer advantages in so many ways that once they became easier to acquire, we've quickly made up for lost time.

4.Increased purchasing power. Using a card allows you to make a purchase now rather than wait till you've saved up for it. If you're realistic about what you can afford, this isn't living beyond your means - it's tapping into your future savings

5.Ease of purchase. A credit card allows you to make purchases in places where cash is difficult to handle - over the telly or online for instance.

6.Protecting your purchases. If your purchases are lost or damaged, you have proof from your credit records that the purchase was made. It's far easier to get reimbursement with that proof. In addition, many card issuers insure purchases made on their cards for up to a year.

7.Building your credit history. Using credit wisely builds a strong credit history - a very good thing when you go to apply for a mortgage or car loan.

8.Quick cash for emergencies. Cash advances make it easy to get cash in a real emergency - without resorting to bank loans or begging relatives.

9.Ease of record keeping. Regular statements give you a handy record of all your purchases for verification when you need it.

10.Credit card benefits. Cash rewards and cash back and discount programs from various card issuers can save you a good bit.

It's easy to apply for a credit card online. There are some really good comparison sites online where you'll find listings of credit cards that make it easy for you to compare them against each other. If you're looking for the best credit card UK issuers have to offer, you'll be able to find all the information you need at some really good online comparison sites.

Most Read Articles On
"Credit Cards"
Top Searches on
Credit Cards
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Credit Cards
 



Share this article :
Click to see more related articles