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How to choose a credit card

It's important that you find the card that's right for you.

What is a credit card?

  • Credit cards can help you manage your money by borrowing to spread the cost of your everyday spending and providing a secure way to pay.
  • Credit cards are typically used for short-term borrowing for everyday shopping such as groceries, or for larger purchases such as holidays.
  • A credit card can be used to consolidate balances from most credit and some store cards (cards must display a Visa, Mastercard or Amex logo).

What do I need to know?

We try to keep choosing a credit card as simple as possible but there are some things it's good to know before you start comparing options.

APR

Annual Percentage Rate (APR) tells you how much your borrowing will cost over an average year.

Watch our video which explains APR in under 20 seconds.

Learn more about APR

Balance transfer

A balance transfer is the process of transferring a balance from one credit card to another.

Find out more about balance transfers with our short video.

Balance transfers explained

Fees and Charges

Credit card providers may charge fees when using your card for:

  • cash transactions
  • non-sterling transactions
  • non promotional balance transfers and money transfers

You could pay an annual fee just for having a card, regardless of how much you spend. A single transaction may attract more than one fee. For example, for a cash transaction in a foreign currency we charge a cash transaction and a non-sterling fee.

Keep in mind that we do charge interest on fees, except annual fees, purchases during the interest free period and default charges. For awareness, no interest will be charged on default charges within the first 28 days after notice is given that these are payable. After this time interest will be charged.

Default charges may apply if:

  • you miss your payment or we do not receive your payment on time
  • your payment is returned unpaid.

Types of card

Credit cards can fall under a few different categories. Understanding these will help you to decide the type of card you are looking for. Here are some of the types of cards that we have to offer.

  • Purchase Offer

    A Purchase card is often used for purchasing everyday goods or services and will often have a promotional interest free period available which can be useful if you make a large purchase, as you won’t pay any interest. You will be required to pay the minimum payment each month , once the promotional period ends you’ll be charged your standard rate.

  • Combined Balance and Purchase

    Combined cards will usually have 0% interest introductory offers for both purchases and balance transfers. A balance transfer lets you transfer the balance from one credit card, where you may be paying interest, to another. It can also be helpful if you want to make a large purchase in order to spread the cost for a promotional period.

  • Cards with other features

    Travel

    A travel card will often allow you to spend money abroad without incurring overseas charges. A regular credit card will usually have a number of fees for using the card abroad such as non-sterling transaction fees, cash withdrawal fees and an overseas transaction charge.

Balance Transfer

A Balance Transfer card can help reduce the amount of interest you are paying on your existing credit card debts. This type of card enables you to transfer all or part of a credit card or some store card balances onto a new credit card and you may benefit from a 0% introductory offer. When the introductory period has ended, any balance remaining on your account will be charged at your standard rate of interest.

Find out more about our balance transfer credit cards.

What does it mean for me?

  • Your biggest commitment is to pay back what you borrow plus any interest charged and stay within your credit limit. Each month you must repay at least the minimum payment on time as shown on your statement. Please read your credit card terms and conditions carefully so you understand how your credit card works.

  • We calculate interest daily for all transactions (purchases, cash transactions, balance transfers and money transfers) based on the total amount you owe. Interest is not charged on annual fees, purchases during an interest free period and default charges for the first 28 days. If you only make the minimum payment each month, this will cost more in the long run as it will take longer to clear your balance.

    If you miss your payment or we do not receive your payment on time, you’ll be charged a fee. To help avoid late payment fees, you can pay a fixed amount or the minimum or full amount by Direct Debit each month. It is important to keep within your credit limit. Missing a payment could also affect your credit rating which can make it difficult to obtain future credit.

  • When making a lending decision, we consider a number of factors: such as credit history (i.e. maintaining credit card payments and length of time the current account is held), current level of borrowing and financial commitments.

    If successful, you’ll get a credit limit and any applicable promotional rates based on your current status. At least 51% of successful applicants will receive the representative variable rate advertised. You may receive a different promotional period, rate or product offered which will be based on your individual circumstances.

    Please check all the features of the credit card to ensure they still meet your requirements as these may differ from the card you originally applied for.

  • Halifax Secure is a free service that gives you extra protection when you use your Credit, Debit and Charge Cards to shop online.

    Stay secure

    If you’ve bought something using your credit card, the credit card issuer and the merchant may be equally liable for compensating you if things go wrong.

    Payment disputes

Selecting a card

You can use our card selector tool to help you find the right card for you. It lets you:

  • filter cards based on what you would like the main purpose of your card to be
  • tailor results by entering an existing balance to transfer or how much you want to spend
  • sort results by lowest cost, longest 0% interest period or cards for balance transfers and purchases.
Find the card for meCompare Halifax credit cards

Ready to apply?

Our handy guide covers eligibility, the information you'll need to provide and what happens after you apply.