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Which? calls on credit card companies to play fair

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has received a 'super-complaint' from Which? after the consumer watchdog found that the 20 most popular credit card providers use 12 separate methods to calculate interest, making deal comparison very tricky.'Super-complaints' allow consumer bodies to indicate to the OFT any general market practices or product features that appear to be unfair to the public.Which? has asked that the OFT complete a full investigation of the £400million industry after discovering that half of card users believe the annual percentage rate (APR) is the best way to compare cards.Alena Kozakova, the watchdog's principal economist, said that this alone is misleading. Mr Kozakova said in the Guardian: "Two people who have two different credit cards with the same APR, and who use their credit card in the same way, could be paying very different levels of interest."Which? points out that some lower interest cards can actually cost more. For example, HSBC and Sainsbury's Bank both charge 15.9 per cent APR for their respective Mastercards, yet two cardholders spending £500 a month and paying it off in four monthly cycles would be saddled with different bills. The interest on the HSBC account would work out at £58 over a year, while the Sainsbury's Bank card would cost £83.

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