Belfast Telegraph

Credit card rates hikes to hit Virgin borrowers

By Vicky Shaw

Virgin Money has raised interest rates on its credit cards by almost 50% in a further blow to borrowers faced by recent mortgage rate hikes.

Rates on purchases using Virgin credit cards have risen from 16.8% to 24.9% for some customers, while balance transfer rates have increased from 18.9% to 27.9%.

Thousands of selected Virgin Money customers have been earmarked for the increases following a review of the lender's database and they were written to last week and told they can either accept the rises or they will need to pay off their balances.

Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Money, which recently bought Northern Rock, said the rises reflected "responsible" lending.

Virgin Money has around 2.5 million credit card customers and less than 1% of them are understood to be affected, the equivalent of fewer than 25,000 people.