What are major credit cards?
Major credit cards are the most popular credit cards that are accepted around the world.
The cards are provided by either Visa, MasterCard or American Express, who are the world’s biggest payment services providers.
The credit is issued by a mixture of big banks, high-street retailers and credit providers, giving these major cards recognisable names like Barclaycard or MBNA.
Why are they popular?
Major credit cards offer a wide range of benefits. They are popular often because they offer the best benefit for each category.
They may have the longest balance transfer period, or the longest 0% period for purchases. But many are popular because they are open to people with poor credit scores.
What are the benefits of a major credit card?
There are no specific benefits beyond having a recognisable name on your card and large reputable company to deal with.
Having Visa or MasterCard provision is almost a guarantee that you will be able to use your card with any merchant that accepts major credit cards, wherever you are in the world.
It’s more important to look at the benefits of a specific card
You could take comfort knowing you are dealing with a big recognised company, that is compliant with all consumer rules and regulations, both on an international and UK specific level.
What types of major credit card are there?
Major credit cards tend to be balance transfer, 0% purchase credit cards and ‘bad-credit’ credit cards, reflecting their popularity. This is due to the useful benefits they offer.
Balance transfer cards can be used to clear existing credit debts and the majority of the leading ones don’t charge any interest for at least a year, provided you meet the minimum monthly repayments.
0% purchase credit cards offer free short term credit, typically offering no interest on card purchases for at least one year, but some offer this benefit for longer. Provided you can pay back your balance before the 0% interest period expires you could effectively borrow for free.
Bad-credit credit cards offer a way for those who have a poor credit history to borrow and improve their credit score. If you are applying for one of these remember to use it responsibility to avoid sliding into further debt.
If these types of credit cards don’t suit your needs, there are many other major credit card types – from low APR cards (one of the more sensible choices for sustained borrowing) to reward cards, that give you cash or loyalty points (such as frequent flyer miles) back as you spend.
Should I get a major credit card?
While major credit cards often offer the most competitive benefits, you should always closely examine any credit beyond the headline offers and think about what you need from a card.
Shop around thoroughly as it’s possible that less well known credit cards might well offer the best benefits for your personal financial situation.
What does 'popularity' mean?
Cards are ranked by the number of clicks they get on the site in the past 48 hours.
The most clicked on cards are at the top, the least at the bottom. This reflects how popular they are with visitors to uSwitch.com.
Does uSwitch compare all the credit cards on the market?
We compare credit over 100 credit cards from all of the major banks and credit card providers.
However, we do not compare all the credit cards that are available in the UK.
This is because some credit card providers have offers that are only available exclusively through their own website or branch, or through other comparison websites - in the same way some credit cards are exclusively available through uSwitch.
There are also many credit cards that are only available to people in member organisations and clubs.
What does it mean if a card is listed as an “advertisement” or “promotion”?
We sometimes receive payment from card providers to display their cards in prominent locations.
These are adverts and are designed to be distinct and separate from the other cards on our comparison tables. We hope this makes it clear which cards are top-of-table deals and which cards are paid for promotions.