Cardholders with a high credit score could earn cashback every time they use their plastic.
The market-leading deal is the American Express Platinum Cashback Card, which pays 5% cashback for the first three months, to a total spend of £2,000. After that, you earn up to 1.25%, depending on the amount you spend.
Its representative annual percentage rate (APR) is 19.9% variable, so you’d need to be confident you can clear the balance in full each month, or your cashback would soon be cancelled out.
Save money on groceries
If you regularly use the same supermarket then it might be worth seeing if it offers a linked credit card, allowing you to earn extra loyalty points and discounts.
The Tesco Clubcard Credit Card is a good example as it’s also one of the market-leading cards for purchases, offering 13 months at 0% on purchases and nine months at 0% on balance transfers, for a 2.90% fee.
The card doubles up as a Clubcard but gives you an extra point for every £4 you spend with it, plus 500 extra points if you spend more than £300 in the first two months.
These points can be used on discounts in store, or for a variety of getaways, magazines and experience days.
Get stuff for your car
The AA Rewards Credit Card lets you earn points to redeem against items for your car, like child seats, roof racks and even car insurance – as long as you buy it through the AA.
As you shop, you earn one point for every £2 spent, but you get one point for every £1 spent when you use the card on a service for the car, fuel or other motoring expenses.
The card also comes with 12 months at 0% on balance transfers, for a 3% fee, and 10 months interest-free on purchases. Its representative APR is 16.9% variable.
Frequent fliers can save a fortune on flights by using the right credit card. Different cards are linked to different airlines, so be sure to pick a card that operates with your preferred carrier.
One of the best airmiles credit cards on the market is the BMI American Express Credit Card. If you spend £250 within the first 90 days, you get 20,000 destination miles – enough for two economy tickets to Amsterdam or a return business class trip to Moscow.
After that, you earn 4.5 miles for every £1 you spend at flybmi.com and 1.5 miles for every £2 you spend elsewhere.
It also comes with three months at 0% on purchases and has a representative APR of 16.9% variable.
Gain extra protection
All credit cards give you extra protection under the Consumer Credit Directive.
If you use a credit card to fund any spending between £100 and £60,260, the card provider is jointly liable with the seller if anything goes wrong.
Boost your credit score
If your credit score isn’t that great then you probably won’t qualify for any of the best credit cards. You’re also likely to struggle to get a loan.
However, there are credit builder credit cards available which enable you to prove that you can handle credit responsibly. The APRs are generally high, but the idea is that you clear the balance each month, so rarely pay it.
The current market-leader is the Capital One Visa Card, with a representative APR of 28.9% variable. There are no rewards or perks – it’s a basic card that should help you qualify for a better one in the future.
Give to charity
There are many credit cards that make a charitable donation each time you use them and this is an invaluable source of support to many organisations.
If you support a particular organisation then see if it has a linked card – Amnesty International, the RSPCA, Wateraid all do.
Alternatively, the Virgin Choose Your Charity Card gives you real flexibility over the organisation that receives your support. It pays 0.8% cashback on all your spending, which you can donate to any charity registered with VirginMoneyGiving.
The representative APR is 12.9% variable.
Plenty of credit cards offer special deals on holidays, shopping and experiences.
For example, the Virgin Credit Card offers cardholders 50% off its balloon flights, 20% off other experience days and a considerable 10% off its holidays, cruises and Virgin Wine orders.
The card offers three months at 0% on purchases and 16 months interest-free on balance transfers for a 2.89% fee. It has a representative APR of 16.8% variable.
Cut your phone bill
There are even credit cards out there that cut your phone bill. For example, the BT Credit Card gives customers 1p off their phone bill for every £1.50 they spend with the card.
That means that if you spend £300 a month, you’ll get a £24 discount on your bill over a year.
The card gives you three months at 0% on purchases and 13 months at 0% on balance transfers, for a 3% fee. The representative APR is 16.9% variable.
Support your football team
Most of the Premier League clubs have a linked credit card, which works the same way as a charity card – they get a small donation each time you use it.
You’ll obviously only want the card that supports your club, but they all work in similar ways. A small donation is made to the club each time you use it, and you may also earn points for your spending, which can be redeemed against merchandise.
The donations made are very small, so you may well be better off using a cashback card and spending what you earn on merchandise or tickets.