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).

Credit cards explained

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
  • statement copy fees.

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 or make a late payment
  • you go over your credit limit
  • 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.

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.

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.

Control

A Control card allows you to spread the cost of big purchases by setting up instalment plans, then you can pay them off in regular monthly payments, with one simple low interest rate.

What does it mean for me?


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 me


Ready to apply?

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

How to apply