The Best Credit Cards in Britain
It is important to understand the basics of credit cards before you make a decision on which credit card is best for you.
What is the purpose of a credit-card?
Credit cards are essentially a tool that helps individuals manage their finances. They allow them to borrow money up until a certain credit limit. This is then reimbursed in full or in monthly installments. The interest rate and any other incentives that may be offered will determine the amount to repay. Many cards include interest-free periods.
Other types of credit cards such as balance or money transfer cards can be used to help with short-term cash flow issues and current obligations. Some cards are designed for large-ticket purchases and offer low interest rates or none. They also come with cashback, incentives and other perks. Some cards are specifically designed for business users, travelers, and anyone looking to improve their credit scores.
We can help you navigate the UK credit card market to find the best credit cards for your needs. These credit cards were chosen based on factors such as annual fees, interest rates, promotional offers and cashback.
Best 0% Purchase Credit Card
M&S Shopping Credit Card Plus allows you to shop at M&S
- Spreading out the cost of large purchases is the best way to do it.
- Representative APR of 21.9 Percent
- Interest-free period: Purchases will not be charged interest for the next 23 months.
- Balance transfers are free of interest for 23 months. After that, they will be subject to a 2.9 percent fee.
- Perks: Earn 1 point for every pound you spend at M&S and 5 points for each pound you purchase elsewhere. Use your M&S Sparks Card to get more points.
- The annual cost of PS0 is PS0.
- We like it because it has the longest interest-free period among its competitors. It is also guaranteed, rather than conditional, which is something that we love about it. You may also earn points by spending, as well as a slightly lower APR after the interest-free period ends.
You can find more best-buy 0% credit card options in our article “Compare top 0% credit cards.”
Best Balance Transfer Credit Card at 0%
Sainsbury’s Bank 21-Month No-Balance-Transfer-Fee Account
- Transferring existing credit card or store card debt is the best option.
Annual Percentage Rate (Average). Interest-free Period: Up to 21 Months at a variable rate 20.9 percent. No transfer fee.
- Perks: You can earn three Nectar Points for every pound you spend at Sainsbury’s or Argos, Habitat or Tu Clothing. You could earn as many as 5,000 additional Nectar points in the first two months.
- We like it because: This card has no balance transfer fee and you can earn Nectar Points.
You can also find other balance transfer options on our page, titled “Best 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards”.
Which credit card is best for money transfers
Money transfer using the MBNA Credit Card
- Ideal for: Repaying high interest loans
- Based on the personal circumstances of the applicant, the representative APR for this application is 22.9 percent.
- Depending on the circumstances, the interest-free period could last up to 18 months.
- Transfer fees are either 2.99 percent or 3.49%.
- Important: Transfers made within the first 60 days after account opening are exempted from the 0% rate
- It has the longest interest-free period (though it could be shorter) as well as the lowest transfer costs.
For more information about money transfer cards, see our post “A comprehensive guide to the best money-transfer credit cards”
Credit building is possible with the best credit card
The Tesco Foundation has a credit card.
- Representatives with poor or no credit are the best candidates. Variable APR of 27.5 Percent
- Credit limits start at PS250 and PS1,500. Monthly payments begin at PS25.
- For eligibility, a minimum monthly salary of PS5,000 must be earned. CCJs will also be considered if they are older than 18 months.
- Perks: Earn Tesco Clubcard points and use the mobile app for spending monitoring. You’ll also get three years free credit access and your score.
- It has a lot to like: Although it’s a bit pickier about accepting customers, Tesco has one the lowest APRs. You also get Tesco Clubcard points and access to your credit score and credit record.
We examine the top credit cards that are best for people with poor credit in our article “Compare the Best Credit Cards for Individuals with Terrible Credit”.
This is the best credit card to earn cash back and rewards
American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday Credit Card, a cash-back card, is available.
- Ideal for: Cashback and benefits with no-fee
- Variable interest rate at 24.5 percent
- Cashback: You’ll get 5% cashback for the first 3 months (up to PS100), 0.5% on purchases between PS0-PS10,000 and 1% on everything over PS10,000. To qualify for cashback, you must spend at least PS3000 within the first 12 months.
- American Express Experiences provides pre-release tickets for music, movies and theatres as well as savings and perks from selected travel and retail partners.
- Interest-free Period: You have a maximum period of 56 days if you pay your monthly full amount (22.2% APR variable for purchases).
- The annual cost of PS0 is PS0.
- We like it: American Express is known for its market-beating reward programmes. This card has enticing rewards and points, without the exorbitant annual fees of other cards.
We discuss the best cashback credit cards and the most rewarding reward credit cards in our article, “Compare the Top Cashback and Reward Credit Cards”.
Best credit card to travel
Credit Card Barclaycard Reward
- Ideal for: Making money overseas while also spending it in the United Kingdom.
- Foreign transaction costs are 0%
- Cash withdrawals are free of charge at 0%
- Representative variable annual percentage rate (APR), 22.90 percent
- Variable APR applies to cash withdrawals. It is 27.90%
- Get 0.25 percent cashback for ordinary transactions, but not money transfers, balance transfers, cash withdrawals or purchasing currency. Barclaycard Entertainment offers discounts on live events
- It’s a great way to earn cashback, and you can take advantage of benefits without having to pay international transaction fees or cash withdrawal fees.
For a comprehensive overview of travel credit cards, see our article “Compare best travel credit card options”
The best choice is to get low-interest credit cards
Lloyds Bank’s Low Premium Rate
- Ideal for: Lowering your monthly payments if you aren’t able to pay the full amount.
- Representative Annual Percentage Ratio (APR), Variable 9.9 percent
- Balance transfers 9.94% variable
- Variable 9.94% from the total purchase price
- Fees per calendar year: It’s because it is easy to budget, and individuals who don’t want to change between interest-free first agreements can take advantage of Lloyds Bank’s low APR for a longer period.
Small businesses have the best credit card
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Card is a credit card that offers business rewards.
- Ideal for: Companies that want to be recognized. Representative Annual Percentage Rate (APR), 29.90%. Some businesses may be able to get as low as 9.9 per cent.
- The annual fee is PS99
- There is a credit limit of up to PS150,000. You also get unlimited cards, 1% cashback, 1 Avios, unlimited foreign currency and UK ATM fees, as well as a bonus of 10,000 Points after you spend PS5,000 within the first three months.
- We like it: The Capital On Tap Business Rewards Card strikes a balance in a competitive industry. It offers no-frills, cost-free options and all-singing all-dancing rewards cards with low annual fees.
- You may also find great deals on business cards in our post, “Compare best and cheapest business cards.”
- The best student credit card
HSBC Student Credit Card
- Ideal for: Students who are looking to improve their credit practices.
- Variable APR Representative: 18.9 percent
- Credit limit: A credit limit up to PS500 may be available, subject to your status
- If you pay your monthly account in full, you will not earn any interest.
- The annual cost of PS0 is PS0.
- We like it because: It’s a great first credit card for young people, who are careful and have a decent credit limit. You also get the added benefit of no interest if the balance is paid in full each month.
The best credit card to suit every situation
All-In-One Santander Credit Card
- Best for: Checking all boxes
- Interest-free period: 26 Months of 0% on transfers, and 20 Months of 0% on purchases at a variable rate of 23.7 percent.
- You get 0.5 percent cashback for all purchases and no foreign transaction fees for purchases made in local currency. Additionally, Santander offers “Retailer Offers” which offer up to 15% cashback at major retailers when you use the card. There are also five welcome offers that give 25% cashback.
- The annual fee for this is PS36
- It has many benefits that we love: The card offers a long interest-free term, low APR and benefits without making us feel cheated.
How to choose the most appropriate credit card
When weighing the pros and cons of each option, consider whether you will need a credit card. Are you able to afford monthly payments and take out a loan? What other financial options, such as personal loans or mortgages, might be better suited to your needs? Credit cards have many benefits, but they can be too expensive or ineffective for some people.
There are upsides and downsides to credit cards
You are covered by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act when you use your credit card to purchase goods or services between PS100 to PS30,000.
Prudent credit usage can improve your credit score which will help you qualify to borrow in the future.
Credit cards can also be used to reduce or eliminate other types of debt such as personal loans and shop cards. If you can take advantage of interest-free periods, you may be able to save money and pay off your debts quicker.
You may be eligible for incredible cashback or incentive offers from many retailers if you are able to pay the card off in full each month.
Credit cards can be costly. They may have higher interest rates and fees than other forms of borrowing.
If you don’t pay your bills on time or borrow more than you can repay, you could end up in a debt cycle. This could damage your credit and make it more difficult to borrow in the future. We urge you to read our post if you find yourself in this situation.
How to get credit card acceptance
It is easy to apply for a credit card. Many online applications will notify you immediately if you have been accepted. In most cases, you will need to provide your name, address, date of birth and income. Additional identification may be required for some applications, including a copy your passport, driver’s license, bank statement or the most recent utility bill.
When applying for a credit-card, keep these things in mind:
It is important to evaluate your eligibility and chances of approval before you submit an application. Rejected applications will be listed on your credit report. Experian Clearscore* or MSM Credit Monitor* is a good place to start. It will give you an accurate assessment of your chances of success.
Many credit card companies offer online eligibility checks that can help you determine if you are eligible without affecting your credit score. The golden rule of thumb is not to apply for another credit card if you’re turned down. Instead, inquire about the reason you were declined for a credit card and what you can do to improve your credit score. This post, “How to Improve Credit Score Quickly”, offers great tips.
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