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Getting the right credit card could save a lot of money. Pay down debt, make a purchase or improve your credit score by comparing the best credit cards that suit your needs.
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Last updated
January 31, 2023
63 results found, sorted by longest balance transfer period.
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Our services are provided at no cost to you. We may receive a commission from the companies we refer you to, but this does not affect what you will pay for the product you choose.

What is a credit card?

Credit cards are a flexible way of borrowing money to pay for goods or services.

Credit cards are a flexible way of borrowing money to pay for goods or services.

The credit card provider sets a limit on how much you can spend on the card, as well as the interest you’ll be charged on your borrowing based on your financial circumstances.

Credit cards in the UK[1]
59.9million

A great deal, offered in partnership with Barclaycard

At Uswitch, we only promote offers that we believe to be a good deal. Our editors look at several factors to weigh each product including the interest free period, fees and any add-on benefits.

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Offered in partnership with Barclaycard

With this combo card, Barclays offers 2 years of interest free purchases. But if you're looking to pay off a balance, you're covered there too with a solid 22 months of 0% interest, with a 2.9% transfer fee.

Author image
Senior Editor - Personal Finance
Card
Barclaycard Platinum Balance Transfer (22/24)
Balance transfer term
0% for 22 months with a 2.9% fee
Purchase term
0% for 24 months
APR
22.9% APR

Representative example: The standard interest rate on purchases is 22.9% p.a. (variable), so if you borrow £1,200 the Representative APR will be 22.9% (variable).

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Offered in partnership with Barclaycard
Card
Barclaycard Platinum Balance Transfer (22/24)
Balance transfer term
0% for 22 months with a 2.9% fee
Purchase term
0% for 24 months
APR
22.9% APR

Representative example: The standard interest rate on purchases is 22.9% p.a. (variable), so if you borrow £1,200 the Representative APR will be 22.9% (variable).

With this combo card, Barclays offers 2 years of interest free purchases. But if you're looking to pay off a balance, you're covered there too with a solid 22 months of 0% interest, with a 2.9% transfer fee.

Author image
Senior Editor - Personal Finance

How do credit cards work?

Every month you’re billed for the debt you’ve accumulated on your credit cards, which is known as the balance. 

You have a few options on how much you pay back. There's a minimum monthly amount you need to pay back to avoid penalties, usually that’s a fixed amount or a percentage of your balance.

The remaining balance will be rolled over to next month’s billing cycle and you’ll be charged interest based on the APR that you were offered when your application was approved. 

You generally get up to 56 days between buying something and interest being charged, which means if you pay off your balance in full each month, they're effectively free to use.

Credit cards can be of great benefit to some when used responsibly. However, missing payments or can impact your credit score.”

Watch: What should and shouldn't you use your credit card for

What Brits are buying with their credit cards
Based on weekly spending

Types of credit cards

Balance transfer credit cards

Balance transfer credit cards allow you to transfer debt from one credit card provider to another and pay no interest on that debt for a set period.

Some of the leading deals give you 0% interest for as long as two years or even more.

You'll generally have to pay a balance transfer fee if you want a longer 0% period, which is a percentage of the total debt you are transferring. Typically, the longer the offer period, the higher the fee will be, but it's generally between 1% and 4%.

0% purchase credit cards

With a 0% purchase credit card, no interest is charged on debt built up through new purchases you make on the card for a set period - although you still have to at least pay back the minimum amount requested each month.

That means as long as you clear the full amount before the 0% period ends, you can effectively borrow money for free. Just make sure you do pay off the debt within the offer period, or you could get stung with high interest rates on anything left on the card.

Money transfer credit cards

Money transfer credit cards allow you to transfer cash into your current account. This means you can pay off any kind of debt or spend as you see fit. Money transfer cards are typically used to pay off expensive overdrafts or as a cheap loan.

Similar to a 0% balance transfer credit card, money transfer credit cards come with a 0% interest offer periods. So, you can repay the balance without paying interest over a year or two...or sometimes longer depending on the card you get approved for.

Credit building and bad credit credit cards

If you have a poor credit score or little credit history, you might still be able to get a credit building or bad credit credit card. These credit cards are aimed at those with a less than perfect credit history and can help customers improve their credit score.

Each time you make a debt repayment it shows up on your credit report, helping improve your score. Credit building credit cards encourage you to make debt repayments in full and on time because they have low credit limits and high interest rates.

Travel credit cards

Travel abroad credit cards let you can make purchases overseas without having to pay the foreign transaction fees charged by standard credit and debit cards.

Travel abroad credit cards use the payment issuer's exchange rate (MasterCard or Visa exchange rate) to work out the price in pounds, without adding any extra on top. This means you also get one of the best exchange rates possible - with the added bonus of protecting your purchases thanks to Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

Cashback and reward credit cards

Some credit cards give you rewards or cashback on purchases. They usually have much higher interest rates than other cards and often charge annual fees. Reward credit cards available offer air miles, where you collect points to spend on flights and travel with every purchase you make, and supermarket loyalty points.

Cashback credit cards give you back a percentage of the money you've spent on them as cash into your account. You can later withdraw it or use it to pay back some of your credit card balance.

Types of credit cards
Balance transfer credit cards

Balance transfer credit cards allow you to transfer debt from one credit card provider to another and pay no interest on that debt for a set period.

Some of the leading deals give you 0% interest for as long as two years or even more.

You'll generally have to pay a balance transfer fee if you want a longer 0% period, which is a percentage of the total debt you are transferring. Typically, the longer the offer period, the higher the fee will be, but it's generally between 1% and 4%.

0% purchase credit cards

With a 0% purchase credit card, no interest is charged on debt built up through new purchases you make on the card for a set period - although you still have to at least pay back the minimum amount requested each month.

That means as long as you clear the full amount before the 0% period ends, you can effectively borrow money for free. Just make sure you do pay off the debt within the offer period, or you could get stung with high interest rates on anything left on the card.

Money transfer credit cards

Money transfer credit cards allow you to transfer cash into your current account. This means you can pay off any kind of debt or spend as you see fit. Money transfer cards are typically used to pay off expensive overdrafts or as a cheap loan.

Similar to a 0% balance transfer credit card, money transfer credit cards come with a 0% interest offer periods. So, you can repay the balance without paying interest over a year or two...or sometimes longer depending on the card you get approved for.

Credit building and bad credit credit cards

If you have a poor credit score or little credit history, you might still be able to get a credit building or bad credit credit card. These credit cards are aimed at those with a less than perfect credit history and can help customers improve their credit score.

Each time you make a debt repayment it shows up on your credit report, helping improve your score. Credit building credit cards encourage you to make debt repayments in full and on time because they have low credit limits and high interest rates.

Travel credit cards

Travel abroad credit cards let you can make purchases overseas without having to pay the foreign transaction fees charged by standard credit and debit cards.

Travel abroad credit cards use the payment issuer's exchange rate (MasterCard or Visa exchange rate) to work out the price in pounds, without adding any extra on top. This means you also get one of the best exchange rates possible - with the added bonus of protecting your purchases thanks to Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

Cashback and reward credit cards

Some credit cards give you rewards or cashback on purchases. They usually have much higher interest rates than other cards and often charge annual fees. Reward credit cards available offer air miles, where you collect points to spend on flights and travel with every purchase you make, and supermarket loyalty points.

Cashback credit cards give you back a percentage of the money you've spent on them as cash into your account. You can later withdraw it or use it to pay back some of your credit card balance.

How to apply for a credit card

You must be at least 18 years old and a UK resident to get a credit card, but whether or not you are accepted for your chosen card depends on your financial situation. After deciding what you'll apply for, the process for a credit card application looks like this:
Apply online for a credit card, entering a few details about yourself
Wait for a response to see if your application has been approved or rejected
If you've been approved, wait for your credit card to arrive in the post
Register the card online or call up the provider to activate it
Start spending online and in store or add it to your Apple Pay or Google Pay account

The difference between a debit card and credit card

Debit card
Debit card

Your debit card will allow you to spend money that you have placed in your personal bank account.

It may have an overdraft attached, which will allow you to spend over the amount in your account usually for a fee

Credit card
Credit card

A credit card is a loan from the bank, which you pay back with an agreed interest fee for repayments depending on when you clear the balance. Credit cards come with credit limits, meaning you can't spend more than is available to you.

The difference between a debit card and credit card
Debit card
Debit card

Your debit card will allow you to spend money that you have placed in your personal bank account.

It may have an overdraft attached, which will allow you to spend over the amount in your account usually for a fee

Credit card
Credit card

A credit card is a loan from the bank, which you pay back with an agreed interest fee for repayments depending on when you clear the balance. Credit cards come with credit limits, meaning you can't spend more than is available to you.

How Section 75 protects your credit card spending

There's an additional benefit to spending on a credit card rather than a debit card or with cash too.

Thanks to Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, if you're buying something costing over £100 and up to £30,000 using a credit card to pay for any part of it, the card provider is held jointly liable if things go wrong.

That means you can apply to them for a refund (for the full purchase amount) if the seller lets you down - especially useful for things like holidays and purchases abroad, where you might not have the same rights to refunds as you have in the UK.

Read our guide about Section 75 to find out more.

Credit cards FAQs

What you need to apply for a credit card

In terms of what you will need to provide, it's generally quite straightforward. Questions you can expect on a credit card application include:

  • Your name

  • Contact information

  • Date of birth

  • Address and how long you have lived there

  • Residential status (tenant, owner, living with parents, etc)

  • Your annual income

On a balance transfer or money transfer credit card application, you will need to have the details of the other accounts you are transferring to your new credit card.


How many credit cards should I have?

There’s no prescribed number of credit cards you should have. It all depends on your personal circumstances. Conventional wisdom suggests that it’s a good idea for most people to have at least two credit cards. One for everyday spending that helps earn rewards or cashback, which you’d preferably pay off in full every month. Another which you keep for emergencies, to pay for unexpected expenses such as car repairs, or having to travel at short notice. 


How do you cancel credit cards?

To cancel a credit card you no longer wish to have, you’ll first have to make sure you pay off any remaining balance on the card. Once you've done that you can contact your credit card provider and ask them to cancel the card. 

Once the card has been cancelled make sure to check your credit report to make sure it’s been reflected on your credit record. This won’t happen right away, so wait a few weeks after you cancel your card to check your credit report. 

Cancelling a credit card can hurt your credit score as it’ll affect your credit utilisation, which is the percentage of overall borrowing against your total available credit. A high credit utilisation ratio can lead lenders to think your finances are a bit tight. 


What does 'most popular' mean?

When we use the term ‘most popular or ‘popularity’ on Uswitch in reference to credit cards, these cards are ranked by the number of clicks they have received on the site in the past 48 hours.

The most clicked on cards are at the top, with the least at the bottom. This reflects how popular they are with visitors to Uswitch.com. Consequently, this is a good table to look at if you’re interested in seeing which cards most people think are worth getting.


Credit card guides

Find out more about how credit cards work with our in-depth guides
How many credit cards can you have?
How many credit cards can you have?
How to use a credit card
How to use a credit card
What are the differences between credit and debit card?
What are the differences between credit and debit card?

About the author

Salman Haqqi
Salman Haqqi has over a decade of experience as a journalist in several countries around the world. In recent years, he has turned his focus to helping people make confident financial decisions and regularly comments in the media about personal finance.

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