Balance transfers are part of the package in approximately 60% of all acquisition offers. In 2002, there was a growing trend to offer the balance transfer rate for 12 or more months. Toward the end of 2002, over 70% of the balance transfer offers were for 12 or more months, compared to 30 - 40% in the beginning of the year. This could be a growing trend in 2003, and issuers may begin placing more conditions on their offers. For example, in November, Discover offered a 0% APR for life on transferred balances, but only if the cardholder makes at least two purchases or cash transactions each billing period. If the required transactions are not made, then the APR reverts to the regular interest rate of 12.99%.The report also noted an increase in late fee charges.
In the beginning of 2002, late fees were predominantly between $11 and $20. Now the majority are between $31 and $40.