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28 Jun 2019

Bank of Ireland sells off UK credit cards: what will happen to your account?

AA and Post Office credit cards also sold under the deal

UK credit cards issued by the Bank of Ireland, AA and the Post Office will be transferred to a new owner in 2020, under a new deal announced today.

If you hold a credit card from one of these brands, your account will be passed on to Jaja, a digital finance company. Yet Bank of Ireland is continuing to issue cards to new customers.

Which? explains how the sale will work and how customers are likely to be affected.

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Jaja buys Bank of Ireland credit cards

The Bank of Ireland currently issues a number of credit cards in the UK, including those branded as AA and the Post Office.

But this business has been sold for £530m to a group of investors, which include the Jaja Finance Ltd brand.

Jaja will be taking over these accounts from 2020, though an exact timeframe has not yet been confirmed.

Which cards will be affected?

The sale only affects credit card accounts in the UK, so Irish customers of the Bank of Ireland won't see a change.

AA stopped accepting new credit card applications from UK customers earlier this year, while Post Office withdrew its offers this week.

Bank of Ireland, on the other hand, continues to offer credit card deals. This includes the Mastercard Matched card, which has a 19.9% APR and 24-months 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers.

The Bank of Ireland told Which? it has no plans to withdraw its credit card offers.

A recent customer satisfaction survey by Which? found the Bank of Ireland had one of the worst scores from its customers. You can find out more about our methodology, and how providers compare, in our guide to best and worst credit card providers.

What do I need to do?

If you have a credit card with one of these brands, you'll be able to continue using it as normal.

At some point in 2020, your account will be transferred to Jaja, and you may be issued with a new card. The Bank of Ireland has confirmed that you'll be written to well in advance of the transfer.

If you have questions, you can contact your normal customer support line for your card issuer.

Will your terms and conditions change?

The Bank of Ireland told Which? there were no plans to change customers' terms and conditions as a result of the sale.

Any promotional offers should also continue to apply as normal.

However, you should keep in mind that terms and conditions are generally subject to change, which could include your rate or repayment terms.

The Bank of Ireland confirmed that customers would be informed well in advance if there were any changes announced in future.

What is Jaja Finance?

Jaja Finance is a London-based start-up focused on digital finance.

It's fully regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority as a payment services provider, though it does not have a full banking license.

The company announced in February that it would be launching a digital credit card, which would allow customers to use their app to make purchases. It claimed applying via its mobile app would take less than three minutes, though it would still carry out credit checks.

While customers were able to join a waiting list for the Jaja credit card, it hasn't been released yet beyond a limited test. So the purchase of the Bank of Ireland's credit card business marks its first major foray into the UK consumer market.