TOP 10 UK CREDIT CARDS

In this cashless era, credit card is an essential thing to bring wherever you go. Therefore, you need to choose carefully based on what you need. Whether you are a traveller, student, businessman or others, you can get all of the necessary information in this article. For instance, the APR (Annual Percentage Rate), the bank interests up to their deals and benefits. In other words, everything will be compared in details here.




What is a credit card?

Credit card is a payment card issued for users that can be used to pay for goods and services. Just like debit card, credit card lets you pay right when you purchase something. However, if debit card charges directly to your savings money, credit card lets you borrow money from the issuer. In other words, you are in debt for what you buy using the card.

The provider usually sets a limit on how much you can spend using the card issued. Further, the limit depends on what type of card you are eligible to. The higher your limit means the higher your payment capability.

You can apply for a credit card online or at a bank. After that, when your card is ready to use, you are obligated to pay an interest. It is called APR (Annual Percentage Rate). However, not all banks charge you APR. Some banks also have no APR that will let you pay the right amount of what you’ve spent. That is to say, there’s no additional fees. Therefore, it’s important to compare every credit card wisely to ensure you get the best rates.




– How credit cards work

In terms of credit cards usage, you need to pay off the borrowed money in arrears. For instance, you pay for January’s bill in February, February’s bill in March and so on. However, this doesn’t mean you have to pay the full amount of what you use within the month. In other words, you have to make some kind of repayment each month at least in minimal amounts. But, paying in minimal amounts means you will stay in debt for a long period.

It is also important to pay in time to avoid any additional fees because of the late payment. The lack of payment consistency will give you a negative impact. It won’t only give you a bad reputation, but also make you harder to borrow money in the future. So, it’s best to use your card wisely.




– Types of credit cards

There are many types of credit cards, vary from the standard to the specialty ones. For instance, standard type usually has the ability to transfer card balance onto the other card with low interest.

This type is the most common and are universally available from most banks and financial groups.

The other type like rewards credit card offers you cashback and reward points. This type allows users to earn a bonus for making purchases with the credit card. There are seven major types including cash back, general reward, hotel or travel point, retail rewards and gas cards. Each of them gives rewards for users who use the credit card often which will be accumulated to get redeemed.

For travellers, airline mile credit cards are also very engaging. This because the card type offers reward points that can be redeemed for plane tickets.

On the other hand, if you had bad credit in the past, you can still apply for a credit card. This usually happens because your credit score is less than satisfactory, so you need to rebuild the poor histories. This type of credit cards require collateral for a security approval.




Further, there’s also a special credit card that is made for business and student with many enticing rewards and features. For example, the business credit cards offer special business rewards, expense management reports and higher credit limits. On the other hand, student credit cards are mostly used to help them build a credit history.

All of them are available in three biggest providers : Visa, MasterCard and American Express. The three of them act as the bridge between the retailer and the bank. You can use those three networks in almost everywhere.

– How to compare the credit cards

  • Make sure you choose the right type of card. There are three major classes : secured cards, regular cards and premium cards. Secured cards require a security deposit while the regular cards have additional features with no security deposit needed. Lastly, premium cards offer higher limits with extra beneficial features like travel insurance and more.
  • Do a thorough research about the card grace period. It is the number of days you have to pay for your bill in full.
  • Learn about how the finance charge calculated. Companies usually use several methods to calculate your amount due and this can make a big difference for users.




  • Keep in mind about the card annual fees, balance transfer fees, late payment fees, over the limit fees and more.
  • Check if the card has a low interest in cash advance feature. Who knows if you need an emergency money but has no one to ask for.
  • Note the credit limit that will be given for each card. It will be determined by your credit history or it may be a standard for everyone.
  • Look for the best bonuses and rewards programs. These will surely benefit you in some way.
  • Pay attention to the interest rate (APR). Every credit card has a different interest rate and you can choose based on your capabilities. Avoid a fixed rate card if you don’t have a stable economy condition. To clarify, the federal law allows card issuer to change the rate with just 15 days prior notice. Whether it will go high or low, you don’t have the authority to control the change.




– What are the requirements to get a credit card?

  • You must be at least 18 years old to apply for a student credit card or 21 years old for the standard ones
  • You need to proof that you are part of the country citizens by showing your Social Security number
  • Make sure that you have a source of income and you can proof your finance responsibility
  • To apply for the standard credit cards, you need to have a positive credit history. If you can’t proof this, you can still apply for credit cards but with the secured type. This type need a collateral to secure your payments.




TOP 10 THE UK’S CREDIT CARDS IN 2020

No.

Credit Cards Name

Short Descriptions

What They Offer

Advantages & Disadvantages

1.

American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday Card

American Express (Amex) is a good choice for shopaholics. Just like its name, Amex gives cashback for every purchase that you’ve made. They give 5% cashback for new cardholders during the first three months up to £100.

  • 22.2% representative APR
  • 5% cashback for the first three months up to £100
  • No annual fee
  • 0.5% cashback for £1 – £5.000 spending after three months
  • 1% cashback for £5.001 & more spending after three months
  • Travel accident insurances

Advantages :

  • Bonus cashback of 5% for new cardholders for the first three months
  • Access to special offers from Amex
  • 56 days interest-free credit on purchases
  • Global assist services

Disadvantages :

  • You need to spend at least £3.000 a year to get the 0.5% cashback
  • High APR on new purchases : 22.9%
  • No cashback for overseas usage
  • Foreign usage charge 2.99% for every purchase

2.

Barclaycard Platinum Purchase & Balance Transfer Visa Credit Card

Barclaycard platinum is a credit card with 0% interest both on purchases and balance transfers.

  • 21.9% representative APR
  • 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers up to 18 months
  • No annual fee
  • Online eligibility checker without affecting the credit rating

Advantages :

  • 0% interest for 18 months
  • New cardholders will get Barclaycard Entertainment that can be used to get discounts for live events

Disadvantages :

  • 2.9% fee applies for balance transfers
  • To get 0% interest on balance transfers, it needs to be made within 60 days.

3.

Virgin Money 18 Month All Round Credit Card

Virgin Money is a master card that is issued by Clydesdale Bank. They offer 0% interest on balance transfers, purchases and money transfers.

  • 21.9% representative APR
  • No annual fee
  • 0% interest on balance transfers (for 18 months), purchases (for 15 months) and money transfers (for 12 months)

Advantages :

  • Excellent customer services
  • Over a year 0% interest
  • Get cashback for online shopping from more than 500 top brands

Disadvantages :

  • Balance transfer fee of 2.9%
  • High cash advances interest rate : 27.9%
  • High money transfer fee : 4%
  • Foreign usage charge 2.99% (outside EU)

4.

John Lewis Partnership Credit Card

John Lewis master card is the perfect credit card for regulars of John Lewis or Waitrose store. Cardholders will get appealing benefits such as 1 rewards point for every spend with 0% interest rate for purchases and balance transfers.

  • 18.9% representative APR
  • one point reward for every £1 spent at John Lewis and Waitrose
  • No annual fee
  • 0% interest for balance transfers (within the first 18 months) and purchases (within the first nine months)

Advantages :

  • Outside John Lewis and Waitrose, you’ll also get one point reward for every £2 spent
  • Card holders will get £5 voucher for every 500 points on four months cycle
  • Card holders will get access to special offers to boost reward points

Disadvantages :

  • The vouchers are only given for John Lewis and Waitrose store only
  • Balance transfers fee of 2.9% applied
  • Foreign transaction fees of 2.75% applied

5.

The NatWest Balance Transfer Credit Card

The NatWest is a credit card that offers 0% balance transfer and purchases with only 0.49% balance transfer fee.

  • 19.9% representative APR
  • No annual fee
  • 0% balance transfers (for 18 months) and purchases (for three months) interest

Advantages :

  • Balance transfer fee is only 0.49%
  • NatWest app available to track and lock the credit card
  • Low cash advance fee : 3%

Disadvantages :

  • Foreign usage charge of 2.75% applied for both inside and outside EU
  • Not available for new customers

6.

MBNA Low Fee 0% Balance Transfer Card

MBNA transfer and purchase credit card is issued by MBNA Limited. The enticing part of this card is it has 0% interest rate for balance transfers, purchases as well as 0% interest on money transfers.

  • 20.9% representative APR
  • No annual fee
  • 0% interest rate for balance transfers and purchases (the first 18 months)
  • 0% interest for money transfers (the first 12 months)

Advantages :

  • Mobile app available to freezing and unfreezing cards as well as making transfers
  • MBNA has a long 0% interest periods
  • 0% purchase offer for the first 60 days
  • Good for savings

Disadvantages :

  • Foreign usage charge both for inside and outside EU is 2.95%
  • You need to have at least £14,000 income to apply for the card
  • No perks and rewards offer
  • Balance transfers, money transfers and purchases after the first 60 days are subject to interest
  • High cash advance fee : 5%

7.

M&S Bank Reward Plus Mastercard

Just like its name, M&S Bank Reward credit card is designed for people who like to shop and get rewards for every purchase that has been made.

  • 19.9% representative APR
  • No annual fee
  • 0% interest rate for balance transfers and purchases for the first six months

Advantages :

  • Get reward points both for purchases made in-store and outside
  • Card holders will get priority access and special offers to new season preview and sales
  • Cardholders will get £20 M&S reward voucher for the first spend
  • Have an excellent customer services and online account management

Disadvantages :

  • Short period of 0% interest both for balance transfers and purchases
  • Foreign usage fee is 2.99% both for inside and outside EU

8.

Santander All In One Credit Card

Santander All In One credit card is a multi-functional card that offers 0% interest both for balance transfers and purchases as well as cash back rewards. They also charge no fees for foreign transaction.

  • 21.7% representative APR
  • 0% interest rate for balance transfers and purchases (for the first 26 months)
  • 0.5% cashback for every purchase

Advantages :

  • Long period of 0% interest rate (over two years)
  • No balance transfer fee
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Get special cashback up to 15% in retail offers and 25% cashback for new cardholders
  • Excellent customer services

Disadvantages :

  • Cardholders are subject to pay £36 for annual fee (£3 per month)
  • There’s a minimum annual income required to apply for this card : £7.500
  • Cash advance interest is relatively high : 29.9%

9.

M&S Bank Shopping Plus Mastercard

M&S Bank Shopping Plus credit card that has a long period of 0% interest rate both for purchases and balance transfers.

  • 19.9% representative APR
  • No annual fee
  • 0% interest rate for purchases and balance transfers (the first 20 months)

Advantages :

  • Long period of 0% interest rate (20 months)
  • Get M&S reward points for every purchase at M&S store and otherwhere
  • Get bonus points voucher of 500 M&S points (about £5 worth) for new cardholders

Disadvantages :

  • There’s a fee for balance transfer : 2.9%
  • The rewards and vouchers are only for M&S products

10.

TSB Platinum Balance Transfer Card

The TSB Platinum credit card is a good card to reduce your debt because of interest. To clarify, they offer 0% interest for balance transfers for up to 29 months.

  • 19.9% representative APR
  • No annual fee
  • 0% interest rate for balance transfers (the first 29 months) and purchases (the first three months)

Advantages :

  • Long period of 0% interest on balance transfers (over two years) which is good to reduce card debt
  • The cash advances fee is relatively low : 19.95%
  • Low cash advance fee : 3%

Disadvantages :

  • Balance transfer fee of 2.95% applied
  • There’s foreign usage charge both for inside and outside EU : 2.95%