Barclaycard set to scrap free customer benefits

Barclaycard is scrapping its range of free customer benefits because of changes in insurance regulations next year. It plans to axe the benefits from January 1, 2005.

The new regulations, which come into effect on January 14, require credit card operators to obtain a separate agreement from customers if they want to offer extra insurance services as a free benefit of the card. The new restrictions are being introduced by the Financial Services Authority, which takes over responsibility for the insurance industry on the same day.

Barclaycard will no longer offer customers extended warranty, travel accident insurance or the price promise on their cards as free extras. It will resume travel insurance and the price promise from February, although consumers will have to pay a fee, which has yet to be decided.

Barclaycard says it is scrapping the free components because the new regulations make it expensive and too complex to continue them. The company plans to offer new features with Barclaycard, such as fraud and identity protection services. It also plans to launch a travel service that will offer customers discounts on package holidays next year.

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