Over 30% of all credit card cash withdrawals are carried out by 18-24 years olds
A recent survey of UK credit card data by Totally Money shows that the nationwide cost of making credit card cash withdrawals is up by £21 million since 2010, and currently costing the nation £214 million a year in fees and interest rates alone.
More worryingly, the survey also revealed that as many as 1 in 4 credit card users are unaware of the fact that cash withdrawal came with a higher cost than making a purchase or withdrawing money from a debit card. Getting cash out on your credit card costs you a withdrawal fee of an average of £3.34, plus an inflated interest rate which is charged from the point of withdrawal, rather than the 56 days interest free period that you are offered if you use your card to make purchases.
It’s in the age bracket 18-24 that we find consumers who most frequently withdraw cash using their credit cards, with a total of one third of all withdrawals being carried out. It’s also the age group that seems most oblivious to the associated costs. So why are young people wasting their money like this? It’s the opinion of this writer that 18-24 year-olds today have a much tougher deal than their counterparts had 10-15 years ago. Rising costs of tuition rates has gone hand in hand with increased costs of living, while the availability of scholarships or financial aid is put under strain with more and more students being in need of financial assistance during their academic career. Although it’s becoming more common for students to choose a local university to be able to remain living at home, moving away from your parental home to go to university is for many an initiation rite into adulthood they are not willing to sacrifice. No wonder then that money can be tight at the end of the month.
Are younger consumers more ignorant to the terms and fees associated with their credit cards? As Will Becker, CEO and co-founder of TotallyMoney.com points out, it’s rare that the cash withdrawal charges are considered when choosing a credit card and changes to the fees made by the provider are difficult to spot.
Totally Money’s survey reveals that of the 6 million people using credit card cash facilities, 1.1 million do so to pay utilities bills such as gas and electricity or their daily expenses with 40% of the total withdrawn amount used to cover cash shortage at the end of the month.
If you are using your credit card to make cash withdrawals, the Halifax Clarity Card is offering one of the best deals around. You should always make sure to shop around for the best available credit card deal using the Totally Money comparison tools.