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PERSONAL FINANCE NEWS

PAY BY CARD TO GAIN REWARDS
Savvy shoppers could earn substantial rewards by whacking all their day-to-day spending on the plastic. Based on an average household spend of £386.30 per week on a reward credit card, and by paying off the balance in full each month, Confused.com research shows after just one year, some of the potential rewards include return flights to Dubai with Lloyds TSB’s Airmiles Duo Credit Card or £200 worth of jewellery at Goldsmiths with Barclaycard Platinum.

BRITS RESTRICTED TO VISA AT OLYMPICS
British sports fans will not be able to pay by card for tickets at the 2012 Olympics held in London nor withdraw cash from any cash machines at Olympic sites unless they have a Visa card. The exclusive deal has been criticised by Which? The consumer champion points out that millions of UK adults, who only have Mastercards or Amex cards, will not be able to use their cards. Which? also says that the restrictions only apply to UK cardholders while non-UK cardholders will be able to use cards beside Visas.

WOMEN MORE PRONE TO CAR PARK PRANGS
We may continue to argue about whether men and women are better drivers but a survey conducted by Diamond, the car insurance specialist for women, does suggest that the sexes crash differently. Women are more likely to be involved in accidents in car parks, bumps on roundabouts and prangs at traffic lights. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to have a head-on collision, hit an animal or even have their car catch fire. Women are also more likely to have expensive items stolen from their vehicle.

LLOYDS TSB TO HAVE NEW OVERDRAFT RULES
High-street bank Lloyds TSB has announced this week that it will reduce unauthorised borrowing charges from 2 December 2010. Returned item fees will also be halved from £20 to £10 – this fee is applied when there are insufficient funds in the account to honour a cheque, standing order or direct debit and it has not agreed to give the customer an unplanned overdraft to cover the payment. However, consumer websites have highlighted Lloyds TSB’s new £5 monthly overdraft usage fee, which is applicable if customers use their planned or unplanned overdrafts.

NATIONWIDE’S BALANCE TRANSFER DEAL
Nationwide this week launched a credit card balance transfer offer, which will give customers who open one of its Gold credit card accounts 0 per cent on all balance transfers for 15 months and 0 per cent on all new purchases for three months. It also repays cash advances (charged at higher rates) before non-promotional purchases (charged at lower rates). The typical variable APR is 16.9 per cent.