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1Annual saving based on 51% of customers transferring £2,000 from a 24% card, with a 5% monthly repayment (December 2023). Representative example: transferring £2,000, 3.45% balance transfer fee, 0% over 28 months then 24.9% (variable). Representative 24.9% APR. MoneySuperMarket is a credit broker not a lender. 18+. Subject to status.
2Accurate as of February 2024
As of February 2024, the base rate of interest is 5.25%, which is the highest it's been for 15 years. Consequently, right now it's relatively expensive to take out out a loan.
But there are still ways to borrow money relatively cheaply. These include:
0% balance transfer card. These offer 0% interest for a limited period when you transfer your balance from another card. Sometimes for as long as two years or more
0% purchase card. Purchase cards let you make purchases and pay upfront. You then pay off your balance over a set period without accruing interest
0% money transfer card. Lets you move cash from a card to your bank account and secure a 0% loan for as much as 12 months
Switch an existing card balance to a lower rate or 0% interest balance transfer card to clear your debts more quickly. The best balance transfer cards offer 0% interest for more than two and a half years. There will usually be a balance transfer fee.
You’ll start with a low credit limit. But with careful use you can build up your credit score – and credit limit - over time. Improving your credit score can help with other credit applications in the future, such as for a loan or mortgage.
Allows you to consolidate other debts and pay a lower interest rate. Typically they are used to transfer cash to a current account so you can pay off an overdraft. Transfer fees usually apply.
Offers a low or 0% interest rate on what you buy on the credit card for an extended offer period. This time period will vary depending on the deal, but it could be up to two years – great if you need to make a big purchase.
Gives you a percentage back in on certain purchases made on the card. Suits spenders who know they can clear their card balance every month as interest rates can be high. There may be an annual fee but cashback can be generous.
A combined card for those who have an existing card balance to switch to a lower or 0% rate, but who also need to spend on the card. The best deals offer 0% interest on transfers and new spending for a time.
This type of credit card is ideal for taking abroad because the fees and charges for overseas use are much lower than those on standard credit cards. You should also get competitive exchange rates.
With a balance transfer credit card you can consolidate credit card debts: for a small fee, you transfer all your existing debt onto the new card, which will come with a hefty period of low or even zero interest.
If you have a poor credit rating for whatever reason, there are cards that can strengthen your credit score. With MoneySuperMarket, you can compare credit cards for bad credit, where you could still get a card even with a bad credit score.
Credit cards can be handy for day-to-day spending or spreading out the cost of a larger item - or maybe a big purchase like a holiday. Many credit cards give you 0% interest on any purchase made within three months or so, saving you the usual cost of borrowing – provided you stick to making your repayments on time.
There are many types of credit card that offer rewards on your spending. Frequent flyers can benefit from airline credit cards which give you travel-related rewards. Savvy shoppers can also take advantage of credit cards that reward you with cashback on what you buy.
With such a range of credit cards designed for different circumstances, it’s important to be clear about what you want yours to do for you before you start. That way you can narrow down your options and are more likely to use it as intended. Those who don’t may quickly find their costs, and debts, rising. Credit cards can be a very useful and flexible financial tool if used properly, but don’t forget that these are money making products for providers."
APR stands for Annual Percentage Rate and it represents how much it’ll cost to borrow money on a particular credit card. It’s calculated by taking into account:
Your interest rate
Additional fees and charges.
However, you might see the term ‘representative APR’ on adverts for credit cards – this means that the interest rate quoted only has to be offered to at least 51% of successful applicants, so it may not be the actual rate you get when you apply.
First consider what you want to use the credit card for – cards come with different features that are useful for different purposes.
If you have a large purchase coming up, you might want to spread the cost with a 0% purchase card, if you fly a lot you might want an airmiles card, and if you want to transfer a balance to avoid interest payments, a balance transfer card could be ideal.
By comparing with us you’ll be able to see a list of credit cards, so you can browse at will and choose which one suits you best.
You’ll get a cooling off period of two weeks from when you receive your card, and you’ll have 30 days to pay off your balance. You can cancel by contacting your provider, either by post, phone, online, or in-branch.
However, if you want to cancel your credit card after the cooling off period, your account balance generally must be zero.
A soft credit search is a way of finding out which credit cards you’re most likely to be accepted for without your credit score being affected.
A hard search on your credit report is a mark left by a lender who has assessed your credit rating after you have applied for a credit card. Too many hard searches (often through multiple applications) may make lenders think you are desperate for credit so it’s best to limit your applications for credit in a short space of time.
If you miss a repayment on your credit card balance, you likely have to pay a penalty fee. What’s more, if you have any type of promotional offer with your card, such as an interest-free deal, this may be cancelled, and a missed payment may have a negative effect on your credit score.
If you get rejected for a credit card, this will leave a mark on your credit report and could lead to further rejections in the future. It’s a good idea to use MoneySuperMarket’s Eligibility Checker to see how likely you are to be accepted for a card before applying to get it, and it won’t affect your credit score.
Unlike many loans and mortgages, you generally won’t be charged for making early repayments on your credit card – which means it’s a good way to get ahead of your balance.
You can’t get joint credit cards in the same way as bank accounts and mortgages, but you can add additional users to your own credit cards. However, you should remember that it’s still the primary cardholder’s responsibility to pay off the balance.
You can cancel your credit card by contacting your lender, by phone, email, online, post, or in person if they have a local branch.
In most cases your credit card provider will set your credit limit after you’ve been accepted for a credit card. So you will not be able to ‘apply’ or request a certain spending limit. Your credit limit will be based on your income, financial circumstances and your credit score as well as the individual policy of the card provider. Card issuers will want to be satisfied that the limit is affordable for you. You’ll be told your credit limit once your application is approved and your credit card account is open.
Whether you're approved for a credit card will depend on your personal circumstances. There's no universal standard applied by lenders. But factors that will influence a credit-card provider's decision will include: Your income, age (you must be over 18 in most cases), your financial history and your credit score.
You can overpay on your credit card and that happens when you pay back more than you owe on your credit card balance. When you do this, you’ve cleared your balance, but you’ve gone a step further and your card issuer now owes you money.
A credit card is a plastic card that allows you to borrow money from your card issuer, instead of spending the money in your current account. Your credit card will have a credit limit which is the maximum amount you can borrow.
Yes, you can have multiple credit cards but keep in mind that if you’re struggling with one credit card it’s best not to get any more.
Your credit limit is the maximum amount of money you can borrow on your credit card. Your lender sets your limit, and it will be influenced by various factors such as your credit score and income.
It’s best to pay off your entire credit card balance every month if you can afford to – this way you won’t pay interest and you can avoid building up debt. If you can’t afford to pay off the full balance, you must pay off at least the minimum monthly payment – ideally more.
Avoid missing credit card payments – credit card providers will often charge a penalty if you miss a payment and you also risk harming your credit score.
Setting up a direct debit could be a good way to ensure you pay off at least the minimum amount of your credit balance each month.
Each time you make an application for a credit card, it leaves a record – known as a ‘hard search’ - on your credit report. Too many applications can make lenders think you are in desperate need for credit and your application may be rejected.
Some credit cards have extra benefits that reward you when you use them a certain way. While some of them can be tempting, it’s better to get a credit card that will give you rewards for the way you spend already. For example, an airmiles credit card is only going to be useful if you’re a regular flyer, but if you’re a regular shopper at a particular high street store, there might be a credit card that gives you cashback for shopping there.
If you’re planning to use your credit card overseas, check whether or not you’ll be charged for doing so. Many credit cards charge fees for foreign transactions, so it can be a good idea to look for a card that won’t charge you for using it abroad.
Some credit cards will charge a fee if you use them to take cash out of a cash machine, and on top of that you’ll be charged interest from the moment you receive your money. Avoid using your credit card for cash withdrawals unless it’s an emergency.
Credit card fraud, like any fraud, is serious – you should always take care when using your credit card and be careful where you keep it. Never tell anyone your PIN and regularly check your statements every month – or if your credit card has an app, check that regularly - to make sure there are no surprises.
If you’re applying for a credit card, you might be able to find a better deal if you look through offers from different providers before taking one out. With MoneySuperMarket you’ll be able to search through multiple credit cards and compare them by a range of factors, including their interest rates and any benefits and rewards they come with.
All you need to do is answer a few questions about yourself and your financial situation, and our Eligibility Checker will show your chances of being accepted for different credit cards. This won’t affect your credit score, so you can run a check without any worries.
Once you know which card you want, you can normally apply by phone, online, or in person if the provider has a high street branch. However, when you do apply, the provider will usually run a hard credit check – which will show up on your credit report – to confirm whether they’ll give you the card. If you’re accepted they’ll tell you your credit limit and interest rate, and soon you’ll be ready to start using your credit card.
MoneySuperMarket gives you lots of clever ways to save a lot, by doing very little.
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So how do we make our money? In a nutshell, when you use us to buy a product, we get a reward from the company you’re buying from.
But you might have other questions. Do we provide access to all the companies operating in a given market? Do we have commercial relationships or ownership ties that might make us feature one company above another?
We commit to providing you with clear and informative answers on all points such as this, so we have gathered the relevant information on this page.