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Fancy some easy credit?

If you're a credit card fiend then you'll know – probably to your cost – that rates have gone up 2.6 percent in the last 5 years. But on the plus side, there are some more competitive than ever 0 percent deals out there too.

Research by Defaqto showed that the average APR has increased from 15.8 percent to 18.4 percent since 2006. But at the same time introductory offers are becoming far more generous.

David Black, financial analyst with Defaqto's, said: 'The credit card market abounds with some very attractive offers but it remains the case that the best deals are aimed at new customers. Therefore, those with good credit ratings have a real incentive to change their credit card on a regular basis and should ensure that they choose a card that matches their likely usage. If someone always repays their entire balance every month then it makes sense to opt for a card that gives rewards.

'In addition, it is unusual to find one credit card that offers the best deal for all types of usage. For this reason, people able to get credit cards may find it beneficial to have more than one credit card and use each for a specific purpose to take advantage of the best features of that card. Clearly an individual would need to be disciplined to do this.

'Against this backdrop, it is important to remember that as an individual's credit blemishes increase it becomes increasingly difficult to get the credit cards with the most attractive standard interest rates - because of the widespread use of personal pricing - and, as credit records deteriorate further, even to get a credit card at all.'

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