Find a UK credit card that suits your borrowing needs
Credit cards in the UK provide one of the most flexible ways of borrowing, but if you’re new to the UK getting a credit card might prove difficult until you’ve built up a credit score and a record of payments from bills.
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UK credit card providers are reluctant to provide credit to people who have no history of borrowing and repaying debt in the UK, and often they will also want to see a UK address history going back at least one year.
About UK credit cards
In the UK credit cards are a way to borrow in the short term. They tend to offer credit rather than cash loans, which means they are suitable for spending and making purchases, but not for getting cash or money.
You will typically be charged an interest rate on the amount of credit you have borrowed, unless you repay the sum you owe in full at the end of each month.
If you can’t repay the balance in full you will need to at least meet the minimum monthly repayments as well or additional fees and charges will apply.
Credit scoring in the UK
Before you apply for any credit products in the UK you should check your credit report with one of the big three agencies – Experian, Equifax or CallCredit.
Your credit report (and credit score), is your financial CV, it is what banks, lenders and credit card companies will use to consider whether or not to lend to you. Amongst other factors, it is based on:
- Whether you are registered to vote
- Whether you have any credit cards you’re not using
- If you’ve made a high number of credit applications in a short space of time
- If you move house frequently
- If you have existing joint accounts open
- Substantial fluctuations in your income
Consequentially, if you’ve recently arrived to the UK or are planning to move here your credit score is likely to be poor due to the lack of your records.
What deals can I get on a UK credit card?
The best deal for you depends on how you use your card. There are a few basic features to take note of when making your decision:
- Standard interest rate: Interest rates on purchases which are called an Annual Percentage Rate (APR) can vary significantly. If you have a constant overdraft, then you would benefit from a low standard APR.
- Interest free introductory period: Some financial providers seduce customers with a 0% interest rate for an initial period. This is ideal for transferring an existing balance.
- Cashback or loyalty points: There are numerous loyalty schemes that offer rewards for your credit card spending. If you pay your balance off in full before the interest kicks in, you might want a card that gives you a percentage of your expenditure back, or points/rewards like AirMiles or Nectar.
Start saving on your UK credit card today
Finding the best UK credit card for your needs is simple when you use our comparison service. Save hours of research by letting us work it out for you. And, if you find a UK credit card you want, we can often help you apply.