Lenders have granted almost 1.2 million payment holidays on credit cards and personal loans since the Covid-19 outbreak began. Banks have also offered to waive interest on overdrafts of up to £500 for 27 million customers.
Anyone considering asking for a break should be aware that interest would still be charged on most credit cards and personal loans during payment holidays. So, your debt will grow.
Gareth Shaw, head of money at consumers’ association which has warned that regulators need to “work with firms to ensure that customers who take a payment holiday are not plunged into unnecessary financial distress once it ends”.
Banks are increasing rates on credit cards despite the cuts to the Bank of England’s base rate. Average credit-card interest rates have risen from 24.8% in February to 25.2% at the time of writing.
This has always been an issue, with savers getting cuts almost instantly after a base-rate reduction while borrowers are less likely to benefit. One of the reasons that credit-card rates have risen in recent years is because they are helping to fund 0% introductory offers.
While new customers can often get a great interest-free offer, loyal customers pay over the odds to finance this generosity.
Additionally, Holidays could double in price once lockdown is lifted due to a raft of new safety measures imposed on hotels. When we are finally able to travel again, holiday accommodation will have to be at the top of its game when it comes to hygiene.
Firms could be forced to increase cleaning budgets, leave rooms vacant between guests and install expensive equipment to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Be prepared for a rather dramatic increase in costs. In some instances prices could even quadruple.
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Enjoy The Finer Things In Lockdown
Fine dining has gone mobile. The coronavirus lockdown has closed down luxury restaurants, so Michelin-starred chefs have been scrabbling to sign up to upmarket versions of Deliver and Just Eat.
Zuma, the high-end Japanese restaurant in Knightsbridge, Chinese fine-dining outlet Hakkasan and Mayfair’s Michelin-starred Hide are among the brands supplying Supper, a central London posh food delivery service.
Demand has jumped by 700% during lockdown; one family in Surrey sends a driver to collect dinners at £1,500 a go.
Nor need the lockdown deprive the rich of other pleasures. Vintage wine-tasting for your friends, car viewing or the odd Mykonos-themed beach party from Annabel’s are all options on Zoom.
Some people hired an in-house chef just before lockdown, while a Covid19 deep-clean squad to root the virus out from under the sofa is also an idea.
The boss of one cleaning group, which usually services industry but now sends people fully gloved and masked into houses, says some people are obviously not used to cleaning … they think it’s more complicated than it actually is.
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