Apply with confidence
When you’re pre-approved, the interest rate, interest-free period and fee (if there is one) are all confirmed – the only thing not guaranteed is your credit limit.
Great option for shifting debt
0% interest for 29 months on balance transfers, plus £25 cashback
Only available through MoneySuperMarket or MoneySavingExpert
Representative example: If you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate 21.9% (variable) p.a. your representative APR is 21.9% APR (variable)
Credit cards let you borrow money from a bank, a building society or another lender to pay for goods and services up front. You then pay back the money over a longer period of time, with a little interest added on top – think of it like a short-term loan tied to a piece of plastic..
A credit card is defined by its credit limit and APR – in other words, how much the lender will let you borrow, and what rate of interest they charge. Your credit history is assessed when you apply – and this will have a significant effect on the terms you’re offered.
Lets you transfer balances from other cards, for lower interest.
Gives you low or 0% interest on what you buy for a variable period.
Helps you build up your credit score with careful spending.
Gives you a percentage back in on certain purchases.
Combines these two functions in one package.
Lets you consolidate other debts for better interest.
Makes spending abroad easier, with lower fees and exchange rates.
When you’re pre-approved, the interest rate, interest-free period and fee (if there is one) are all confirmed – the only thing not guaranteed is your credit limit.
You’ll see your unique, personalised chance of being approved for all credit cards, so you can easily compare all your options at a glance.
Knowing all this upfront puts you in the driving seat. You’re less likely to be turned down when you apply, so your credit score is protected.
If you have several credit cards, you may be repaying more money on the balance than you need. Balance transfer credit cards can be very useful for consolidating these debts: for a small fee, you transfer all your existing credit card debts onto the new card, which will come with a hefty period of low or even zero interest. This should make it cheaper to repay what you owe. Money transfer credit cards let you do this with other types of debt.
People can end up struggling to maintain a high credit score for all sorts of reasons. You might have had difficulties with debt in the past, or perhaps you’ve not got much of a credit history at all because you’ve only just turn 18 or recently moved to the UK. Whatever your situation, a credit-builder card lets you spend small amounts of money in a responsible manner in order to show lenders that you can be trusted to borrow more
Of course, many people like to use credit cards for a very simple reason: spending money. Because credit cards are in effect a small loan you take out on any purchase, they’re great for spreading out the cost of a larger item. And many credit cards will give you 0% interest on any purchase made within three months or so, saving you the usual cost of borrowing – provided that you’re diligent about making your repayments on time.
There are many types of credit card that offer rewards on your spending. From airline credit cards that offer you points to put towards the cost of flights to store cards that give you benefits when you shop at your favourite brands, there are many rewards on offer – as well as some cards that simply give you a bit of cash back on what you buy. These cards only suit people who are very disciplined and on top of their finances, however.
Even if your credit score isn’t where you want it to be, there are credit cards available to you. Bad-credit credit cards are specifically designed to boost the scores of people who’ve struggled with debt in the past, or people who don’t have much credit history at all (either because they’re young, or because they’ve just moved to the UK).
You’re offered a low credit limit and a high APR, but if you make regular small purchases and pay the balance off in full every month, your credit score will begin to improve after a few months – allowing you to qualify for better credit cards or other borrowing products.
A higher credit score means you’ll have a better chance of being accepted for a wider range of credit cards, with more competitive deals. So growing your score could give you more offers to choose from.
Check your score with Credit Monitor, then get regular updates and personalised tips to help it grow – all for free.
Unlike some of our competitors, MoneySuperMarket is not owned by an insurance company. So we can offer the best value, with savings delivered straight to you.
We combine independence, so we can negotiate the best prices, with excellent technology, to find the best value products and services.
of our customers would buy again based on 4,029 reviews
We'll ask you a handful of simple questions about you and your financial circumstances, and what you need from a credit card
We'll sift through dozens of credit cards offers from across the market, and show you the cards we think will suit you best
You'll be shown a range of credit cards, which you'll be able to sort according to APR, features and your chances of being approved
Provided you’re over 18 and a UK resident, you are probably available for one credit card or another. Most card providers also require a minimum income – but that doesn’t usually have to be high to qualify. You also need a credit score of reasonable standing, but there are credit cards available to people with fairly low scores. They won’t have the best terms, however.
The best way to check whether you’re eligible for a credit card is with MoneySuperMarket’s Eligibility Checker tool.
A credit card lets you borrow money from a bank or building society which you can use to pay for goods or services upfront.
You then pay the money you’ve spent on the credit card – known as the balance – on a monthly basis. If you pay back your balance in full each month, you won’t pay any interest on what you borrowed. If you can’t afford to pay the whole balance back, you make monthly repayments, but you will often be charged interest on the outstanding balance.
There are different types of credit cards, and each is designed for different spending needs.
There are many different types of credit cards. Some of the most popular include
0% purchase cards – which let you buy large purchases up front and you pay back what you’ve borrowed without incurring interest over a set period.
Balance transfer cards – so you can transfer the outstanding balance from one card to a new card at either a lower or no interest rate for a set period. There is often an upfront fee pay for the transfer.
Credit cards are useful to pay for goods and services, and you can use them in a similar way to an interest-free loan as you can in essence borrow money for free, providing you pay it back in full each month. Using a credit card for purchases will mean you’re covered under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act which means you can get your money back if a product you buy is faulty or doesn’t arrive.
However, it is easy to rack up a large debt with a credit card, especially if you make only the minimum repayment each month as interest will be charged on what’s left. If you miss a payment, make a late payment, or go over your credit limit, you will often be charged a penalty fee.
Choosing the right credit card depends on many factors including what you are using the card for, how likely you are to pay off your balance in full, and your credit rating.
Our Eligibility Checker will ask questions to determine which type of card suits your needs, and because it uses a ‘soft search’, it won’t affect your credit report. There are hundreds of different credit card deals, but you can compare our leading offers quickly and easily with MoneySuperMarket.
MoneySuperMarket is a credit broker – this means we’ll show you products offered by lenders. We never take a fee from customers for this service. Instead we are usually paid a fee by the lenders, but the size of that payment doesn’t affect how we show products to customers.
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.
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:
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.
Credit card providers can change interest rates at any time, so it’s always a good idea to stay on top of your credit balance. If you have a 0% offer on your credit card, this will only be for a set number of months so you should make sure you clear your balance before it ends, or transfer your remaining balance to another 0% card.
You can apply for credit cards online, either using MoneySuperMarket or going directly to the provider, or by calling them up or through the post. You can also stop by your bank or building society branch and apply in person.
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 on MoneySuperMarket, 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.
Your credit score is a number that represents your creditworthiness to credit lenders, based on an analysis of your credit history (your history of borrowing and paying back credit). The higher your score, the more likely you are to be accepted for future credit applications. If your score is low, there are ways to improve it. MoneySuperMarket’s Credit Monitor lets you check your credit score for free and gives you tips on how to improve it.
Your credit score is a number that represents your creditworthiness to credit lenders, based on an analysis of your credit history (your history of borrowing and paying back credit).
The higher your score, the more likely you are to be accepted for future credit applications. If your score is low, there are ways to improve it. MoneySuperMarket’s Credit Monitor lets you check your credit score for free and gives you tips on how to improve it.
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. This is usually done via a website such as MoneySuperMarket.
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 have a bad credit rating or you don’t have a credit history because you’ve never borrowed before, you might not qualify for the very best credit card deals. However, some credit cards are designed specifically for those who need to build up their credit score. Just be aware they often come with low credit limits and high interest rates.
However, if you use this type of card sensibly and always pay off your balance in full, you can improve your credit score so you’ll eventually be eligible for better credit cards.
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.
You might be able to get more credit from your provider if you prove yourself to be a responsible borrower by repaying on time and never missing payments. Once you’ve established a good credit history, you might be successful when asking for a higher credit limit.
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.
The Consumer Credit Act was established in 1974, and under Section 75 the credit card lender is jointly responsible with the retailer or supplier for any goods or services you purchase with your credit card.
This means if those products are faulty, or if there was any contract breach or misrepresentation on the retailer’s part, you can claim from your credit card company as well as the retailer.
However, you can’t recover money from both sides, so it’s useful for when the retailer has gone bust or they won’t respond to your communication. You should be aware the purchase value must be more than £100 and not more than £30,000 for you to be able to claim.
You can cancel your credit card by contacting your lender, by phone, email, online, post, or in person if they have a local branch.
Can't find what you're looking for? Try looking at our news, views and in-depth credit cards guides
0% balance transfer credit cards - 0% purchase credit cards - Low fee balance transfer credit cards - Credit cards for bad credit - Credit Builder credit cards - Balance transfers and purchases - Reward credit cards - Low rate credit cards - Money transfer credit cards - Airline credit cards - Cashback credit cards - Credit card calculator - No-fee balance transfer cards - Interest free credit cards - MasterCard credit cards - Buying Mood Index - Charge cards
American Express - Aqua - Asda - Bank of Scotland - Barclaycard - Capital One - Fluid - Halifax - HSBC - John Lewis - Lloyds Bank - Marbles - M&S - MasterCard - MBNA - Nationwide - NatWest - Ocean Finance - Post Office - RBS - Sainsbury's - Santander - Tandem - Tesco - TSB - Vanquis - Virgin - Visa - 118 118 Money
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.
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.