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Credit card eligibility

Find out which credit cards you are guaranteed to be eligible for

  • Compare more then 100 credit cards
  • See cards and rates you’re likely to get
  • Won’t damage your credit score

What is the credit card eligibility checker?

Applying for a credit card can be stressful. There are so many to choose from, and it's hard to know if you'll be approved or what rate you'll be offered.

Our credit card eligibility checker is the answer. It gives you 'guaranteed rates' - so you know that if you're accepted, you'll definitely get the deal you saw when you applied.

We can guarantee the interest rate (APR), the interest-free period and the fee if there is one - and we'll also show you how likely you are to be accepted for each card. The only thing we can't guarantee is the credit limit you'll get.

credit card image

See the cards you're most likely to get

There are lots of credit cards available on the market today, and each one has different rules governing who will
be approved and what interest rate you'll get. These are the main factors lenders take into account:

Credit score

Credit score

A record of how well you've
borrowed and repaid your
debts throughout your life

fixed savings

Your earnings

The more money you have
coming in each month, the
better the terms you'll get

Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy

You might not be accepted
if you've ever been declared
bankrupt or a CCJ

How does the eligibility checker work?

Our clever Eligibility Checker shows you the credit cards you're most likely to be accepted for, so you can protect
your credit rating by only applying for the cards that are right for you.

Results

Accurate results

We use a range of factors to rate
how likely you are to be approved
for each card out of 10

Apply with confidence

Apply with confidence

We'll show you your eligibility
before you apply, so you can be
confident you won’t be turned down

Guaranteed cards

See your guaranteed cards

You’ll see which cards you’re
guaranteed to get so you won’t
have any nasty surprises down the line

Why should I use the Eligibility Checker?

Eligibility Checker shows you which cards you're most likely to be accepted for, so you can avoid the ones that will probably
decline you. Getting declined can damage your credit score, and this makes it harder to borrow money in the future.

You give us some information about yourself, and we use this to find your credit file. We match your credit file to the criteria credit card companies give us about what kind of customer they accept, and use this to work out a score out of ten to show how likely you are to be accepted for each card. Don't worry, we don't leave a footprint on your credit file, so your credit score won't be affected.

So that we can make sure we’ve got the right credit file. We only use your data to find your credit file, so we can work out your eligibility score for each card. We won’t contact you if you ask us not to.

It only takes a few minutes to give us the information we need to find your credit file and show you how likely you are to get each card.

It’s important to know how your credit file and credit score affect your financial situation.

Credit rating agencies build up files on all of us based on a mix of publicly-available information (such as whether you’re on the Electoral Roll) and data from financial companies about products you have or have had, such as loans and credit cards.

From this they calculate a credit score, which companies check when they’re working out whether to give you a product, and on what terms. Managing your finances well and always paying off what you owe in time will give you a good score. Missing payments, as you’d expect, will lower your score.

Every time someone looks at your file, it is recorded as a ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ search.

Finance companies make hard searches when you apply to them for a credit product, and each hard search remains on your credit report for two years. This matters because, for many lenders, a clutch of hard searches in a short period suggests you might be struggling to get a product, or that you’ve opened several accounts that could prove difficult to manage.

Soft searches occur when you or someone else looks at your file, but not in connection with an actual application. For example, when you put your details into our Eligibility Checker, we look at your file and work out how likely you are to be accepted for a range of deals, based on what we know about various firms’ acceptance criteria.

A ‘pre-approval’ search leaves no trace, so it won’t affect your score. You can use the Eligibility Checker as often as you like over any period without risking damage to your file.

We think you should have as much information as possible to help you choose a credit card. As well as all the card features, it’s important to know your chances of being accepted for a card, so you can make sure you choose the right card for you, and protect your credit score as much as possible. If you’d prefer to look at some credit cards without this extra information, you can see all cards here.

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.

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 shift your balance to another 0% card.

You can generally apply for credit cards online, by post, or over the phone – you can also stop by your bank or building society branch and apply in person.

First you need to know what you’ll 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 0% balance transfer card could be ideal.

By comparing on MoneySuperMarket, you’ll be able to see a list of credit cards tailored to your needs, so you can browse at will and choose which one suits you best.

You’ll generally 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 has to be empty.

Your credit rating 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. Find out more here.

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.

If you have a bad credit rating or you don’t have a credit history because you’ve never borrowed before, you won’t 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 have a bad credit rating or you don’t have a credit history because you’ve never borrowed before, you won’t 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 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 therefore a good idea to use MoneySuperMarket’s Eligibility Checker to see how likely you are to be accepted before actually applying and it won’t affect your credit score.

If you’re struggling to get accepted for mainstream credit cards, it can be a good idea to apply for a credit builder card instead.

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 any payments. Once you’ve established a good credit history, you might be successful when asking for a higher credit limit.

Fortunately, unlike many loans and mortgages, you generally won’t be charged for making early repayments – 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 between £100 and £30,000 in order 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.

When using a credit card, 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, pay off at least the minimum monthly payment – ideally more.

Also avoid missing payments – credit card providers will often charge a penalty when you do, but more importantly, you 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 on your credit report. Too many applications will make it look like you are in desperate need for credit and as a result, 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, no matter how tempting lounge access might be – 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 foreign transaction fees, so it can be a good idea to look for a card that won’t charge you for using it abroad.

Some cards will charge a fee if you use it to take cash out of a machine, and on top of that you’ll be charged interest from the moment you receive your money. So avoid using your credit card for cash withdrawals unless it’s an emergency.

Credit card fraud, like any fraud, can be very 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 to make sure there are no surprises.

Can't find what you're looking for? Try looking at our news, views and in-depth credit cards guides

Credit card guides - Credit card news - See all guides

Credit card companies

American Express - Aqua - Asda - Bank of Scotland - Barclaycard - Capital One - Fluid - Halifax - HSBC - John Lewis - Lloyds Bank - M&S - MasterCard - MBNA - Nationwide - Ocean Finance - Post Office - Sainsbury's - Santander - Tandem - Tesco - TSB - Vanquis - Virgin - Visa - 118 118 Money

MoneySuperMarket gives you lots of clever ways to save a lot, by doing very little.

  • Take control of your credit score by checking and improving it for free with Credit Monitor 
  • Never overpay again with Energy Monitor, our energy monitoring service 
  • Over 50 ways to Get Money Calm

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.