Black marks for Asda. The Walmart-owned grocer mistakenly told customers to have a "magical" Christmas by withdrawing up to £300 a day using their Asda Money Credit Card - with charges of up to £9 a go. Asda has apologised.

But the move takes the shine of Asda's hitherto claims of selling Britons a super-cheap Christmas.


Apology

Asda says it's looking into how the incident happened. "It appears," it says, "that the company which issues credit cards for us has sent a flyer out to our customers suggesting that they use their credit cards to withdraw cash."

It adds: "We are looking into how this happened and would like to apologise to anyone who has received one of these flyers."

Worse, the flyer did not detail the expensive credit charges attached. To be clear, Asda's Credit Card is managed by a credit operator called Creation, based in Solihull, operating under the tagline "We Keep Finance Personal".


Crushing fees

Asda claims Creation - who have other credit card clients beside Asda - are attempting to foist this nasty, expensive flier on other clients. AOL Money rang Creation who told us they'd would get a response to us (yet to arrive).

Taking cash from a credit card is very expensive with most issuers charging immediate 3% for cash advances. Interest is normally piled on a withdrawal immediately - there's no interest-free period whatsoever. Also, cash advances are often subject to much higher rates of interest than normal.


Refund?

So, if you're in any supermarket or retail outlet and pick up a similar flyer, we'd advise you to bin it.

We asked Asda and Creation whether they will retract these charges should anyone take up their offer without realising the extortionate charges attached, but we've had no clear response so far.

As of 1.15pm on Wednesday lunchtime Asda said: "We are in ongoing discussions with our credit card supplier on how we're addressing this situation."

As of 1.35pm Creation sent us the following - but no promise to rescind fees: "We confirm that this offer was sent to Asda customers in error for which we apologise. In discussion with Asda we have taken on board the comments about the positioning of this service and will ensure that this feedback is featured in future communications. We will also write to Asda's customers to apologise for this error."