Barclays Tries To Temp Card Users With Low Interest Rates Rather Than Rewards

A blog about business and economics.
March 6 2012 9:04 AM

Barclays Tries To Temp Card Users With Low Interest Rates Rather Than Rewards

The standard credit card marketplace works by offering customers generous rewards (frequent flier miles, etc.) for using the card and then hammers you with interest payments and fees. Barclays is going to try to come to market with a card that takes the reverse approach, charging an 8 percent interest rate as opposed to last week's national average of 14.87% but offering nothing in the way of rewards.

There's definitely something appealing abut the idea of moving to a more straightforward value proposition. One of the constants in life is that technological change and all the rest doesn't give us any more hours in the day. That creates enormous room for business models built around opacity, complexity, and people not really understanding what they're doing. Certainly the credit card I use personally seems to be working out okay for me, but I've never really run the numbers across the dozens of other options I could be using for the simple reason that calculating all the ins-and-outs of different rewards programs is extremely tedious and time consuming.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

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