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Who owns your credit card?

Who owns your credit card?

Find out who owns your credit card and ensure you don't miss out on the best credit card deals

Paying interest?

Transfer your balance to a balance transfer card and pay 0% interest for the introductory period

Balance transfer cards

Many banks and their various products, such as credit cards and current accounts, come under the umbrella over a wider banking group.

For example, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) group controls RBS and Natwest banks and their credit cards. This does not necessarily impact you but it might be worth knowing in the event that you want to switch your credit card.

When switching your credit card provider, especially in the case of taking out a balance transfer or transferring debt from one credit card to another, knowing your banking groups could be important.

Who owns your credit card?

Understandably there can be a lot of confusion about who owns your credit card, and what the rules are around that.

With lesser known brands and famous retailers, it can be even more confusing. Who owns aqua credit cards? Who owns Tesco credit cards?

You can see our list below to see who owns your credit card provider (or handles their lending):

Credit card brand Owned by
AA Bank of Ireland
American Express American Express
aqua NewDay (formerly Sav Credit)
British Airways American Express
Bank of Scotland Bank of Scotland
Barclaycard Barclaycard
Black Diamond Vanquis Bank
Capital One Capital One
The Co-operative Bank The Co-operative Bank
Halifax Bank of Scotland
John Lewis Financial Services HSBC
Lloyds Lloyds Bank
Luma Capital One
Nationwide Nationwide
Natwest RBS Group
Post Office Bank of Ireland
Sainsbury's Bank Sainsbury's Bank
Santander Santander
Starwood American Express
Tesco Bank Tesco Bank
Vanquis Bank Vanquis Bank
Virgin Money MBNA
Who owns your credit card?

Why you should know who your credit card provider is

There are two reasons why you may wish to know who your credit card provider is.

Firstly, balance transfer credit cards, which offer 0% interest for long periods, will never let you transfer a balance between the same credit card providers.

This means, if you have a Natwest credit card, and you apply for a new Natwest balance transfer credit card, you won’t be able to transfer debt between the cards. It always needs to be from a new provider.

The same almost always applies between banks under the same banking group, so if you have a Natwest credit card, you would not be able to transfer the balance to an RBS credit card, as they fall under the RBS group.

Secondly, some banking groups will not allow you to have more than one credit card from their range at the same time.

This might be because they want to reserve their other cards for 'new customers'.

Paying interest?

Transfer your balance to a balance transfer card and pay 0% for the introductory period

Balance transfer cards

If you have one credit card for less than six months, and then apply for another from the same provider, you may get turned down for this reason.

You may also wish to know which banking group your current provider falls under after having a bad past experience and wanting to avoid it when switching to a new current account provider, for example.

However, it’s worth noting that many banks, even under the same banking group umbrella, offer different services and can often be very different from one another.

Who provides the best balance transfer cards?

Fortunately if you are seeking to transfer your balance you have quite a few options, whoever owns your card. While the best balance transfer card depends on what you want from a card.

You can look at the cards with the longest 0% period, no upfront fee, or flexibility with long 0% periods for purchases and balance transfers.

Take a look at the best balance transfer cards in Autumn 2016

Can I have more than one card by the same provider?

Applying for a credit card by the same issuer does not just pose a restriction on balance transfers.

Some providers will not consider you eligible to apply for two versions of their cards at the same time.

For example, can you apply for a Luma credit card if you already have a Capital One credit card, and vice versa?

Capital One issues Luma credit cards as well their own credit cards, but you may not be able to have both at the same time.

As a general rule, and as mentioned, credit card providers usually want you to be a customer for longer than six months before taking out another of their products – this is the case for Luma and Capital One.

The length of time varies, so check the terms and conditions on the credit card provider’s application page if you are not sure.

In the case of some credit card providers, the issue of being a customer for a short period is not necessarily an issue, but you will likely not be eligible for any introductory offers, so you should think about why you’re applying for another credit card.

It’s also worth noting that issuers such as American Express who have licenses on other credit card providers’ brands, may also create some restrictions of their own.

For example, a Lloyds credit card with an American Express license, which gives you, say, Avios points on shopping may restrict you from getting the introductory offers on any other American Express credit card.

Applying for too many credit cards in a short space of time can also affect your credit score.

If you’re in doubt about your credit history, you can find out how to check your credit report and score here.

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