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They are arguably one of the most recognised personal finance products in the marketplace and have been in our lives for nearly the last 70 years. The humble credit card is a product that needs no formal introduction.

Based on a system that allows you to purchase on credit (whether that’s online or in a store), a credit card is an unsecured debt that is repaid based on the terms you agreed to when you initially took it out. This could be via a direct debit, or direct payment to the lender each week or month.

Whether you have a purchase credit card or a 0 interest on purchases variety, you will need to repay the debt you build up after using the card each time.

Our guide will take you through the different credit card options available and help you decide on what card may be suitable for your specific financial needs.

Used wisely, a credit card can be a valuable tool in your personal finance arsenal. From helping you with unforeseen financial emergencies to building up your credit score, these plastic cards can be a great financial product to help you through a short term period.

However – like all other forms of unsecured debt – you need to pay your debt back regularly to avoid penalties and additional charges. In some cases, a County Court Judgement (CCJ) may be issued if you don’t pay the minimum amounts over a period of time.

With so many deals available and with so many cards on the market place, a question you may want to ask is, what are the pros and cons of having a credit card?

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FAQ's

Check out out most commonly asked questions about credit cards:

You will have received the paperwork, even seen the billboards and adverts. Credit card offers are a great way to entice you into spending, borrowing and even transferring card debt for up to 12 months.

Depending on your personal circumstances, knowing which kind of credit card deal works for you is going to be essential. Remember, you will still need to pay a minimum balance each month and know when the best credit card deals will end.

From being charged interest to having the representative APR shoot up from 0% interest to 27% can be a shock to most prudent of us. Some deals may only last 60 days whilst others a lot longer – before you take out a deal, get a calendar and start making notes to deal deadlines.

 

There are a lot of different credit card packages available in the marketplace today. From cards that allow you to purchase at 0% to cards that can help those with low credit scores build a better score over time.

0% on balance transfers
If you already have a credit card but you are paying a high interest rate on your repayments, a balance transfer credit card is the perfect way to transfer the existing debt to a card where you pay off the balance at 0% interest rate. Failure to pay a monthly bill though may mean you lose your 0% offer.

0% on purchases
There are credit cards on the market which will give you 0% on purchases between 6 and 18 months. This could be an ideal solution for someone looking to make a bigger purchase such as a holiday, and then pay back the debt at a later date – as long as you pay off the minimum amount each month and the debt before the 0% deal ends.

Reward cards
There are some credit cards which are specifically designed to reward you – this could be with air miles, cashback and even points for shopping at your favourite stores. The reward credit card is designed to give you those very things, but isn’t the best for 0 interest or balance transfers. Be sure to read what rewards are on offer with these cards and pay back the balance in full each month to avoid losing the reward bonuses and paying heavy interest fees.

Credit building cards
We touched on these cards before but, for those who have a low credit score and want to build their credit rating over time, these can be an ideal solution. They may not have the best rates but by using these cards wisely, you can build up to better borrowing terms over time.

Money transfer cards
Whilst this may be an option with 0% balance cards, money transfer cards are specifically designed to transfer cash from credit card to your current account with usually an interest free option. There will be a charge for this service and you will need to make minimum repayments to keep the interest free fee from your transfer.

0% on balance transfers and purchases

These are some of the most sought after credit cards and are generally only available to people with a spotless credit history. This is a card where a deal will incorporate both spending and purchases at 0% interest. You need to pay the minimum balance each month to avoid a penalty and not lose your 0% deal as well.

This will completely depend on your circumstances and what you’re looking to do with it. Are you looking to make big purchases each month and then pay them off in full? Are you looking to build your credit score? Are you trying to find a way to pay down existing debt?

There are millions of people applying for credit cards on a daily basis and they’re not always going to be accepted. An eligibility checker is a quick and credit score safe method of seeing what kinds of cards you’re eligible for and importantly – what you won’t be declined for either. Being declined can have a negative impact on your credit score making it harder to borrow money in the future.

In a few minutes, you can go from not knowing what kind of cards and credit limit you are entitled to, to having a good understanding of what it is you can apply for.

Again, our eligibility checker will not affect your credit score as it is a soft search only. This means that you are not applying directly for credit and that we are simply providing the suitable packages available to you based on the information you have given us. A hard search would impact your credit score as you could be declined on a package which you may have not been eligible for to begin with.

Use our eligibility checker to see what amazing offers you are entitled to.

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