Uncertain future for Saga customers as credit card axed

Uncertain future for Saga customers as credit card axed

Over-50s with a flagship Saga credit card face an uncertain future after the provider announced the closure of its popular Platinum credit card.

The account, which offered no fees for overseas transactions and a low interest rate, is being withdrawn as Saga has ended its agreement with Allied Irish Bank (AIB), which had operated the card on its behalf.

Customers will be required to pay off their entire balance or transfer it to another provider by the end of March.

However, over-50s may struggle to take out a replacement card, especially if their financial situation has changed since they opened a Platinum account. The range of perks offered by the Saga card will also be difficult to match.

Saga was unable to confirm what would happen to the customers unable to pay off their credit card debt or transfer it elsewhere.

AIB may take on the customers itself or transfer the outstanding debts to a third party. This means customers could be hit with a higher interest rate on the debt.

Saga said customers unable to pay off their balance by the end of March would be contacted by AIB in due course. A spokesman said: “We are endeavouring to ensure that any customers with outstanding balances are protected and will not be left in a worse financial position.”

Andrew Hagger of Moneycomms, a personal finance researcher, said: “This announcement by Saga will upset many loyal customers who enjoy discounts on Saga holidays and benefit from fee-free purchases when outside the UK.”

Mr Hagger suggested the Barclaycard Platinum and Halifax Clarity cards would be good replacements for people who regularly travel overseas.

He added: “These cards won’t offer the travel discounts, but just because someone is over 50 it doesn’t mean they won’t be eligible for a mainstream credit card – as long as they have a decent credit rating and a regular income.”

Saga said it hoped to launch a new credit card in future.

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