Credit-card firms step up competition

COMPETITION in the credit-card market is intensifying, with a big increase in the number of providers offering interest-free deals, research showed yesterday.

There has been a jump in the number of groups offering interest-free purchases for at least ten months, rising from just two deals 12 months ago to 11 now.

There has also been a 20 per cent increase in the number of 0 per cent balance transfer offers, up from 60 in June 2009 to 72 now, according to financial information firm Moneyfacts.

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The company said the credit-card market had seen a "resurgence" in recent months, as providers felt comfortable doing business in the current economic environment, having taken time to assess the market.

Michelle Slade, spokeswoman for, said: "As the recession took hold, credit- card companies cut back on offering cards to new customers.

"Competition has returned to the credit-card market and card providers are actively trying to attract new business."