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Visa credit cards

Compare Visa credit cards

Visa provides credit cards and debit cards for hundreds of banks and credit card issuers worldwide.
Visa credit cards
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Last updated
January 31, 2023
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What is a Visa card?

Visa is a payment system that is recognised all around the world. Card providers, including banks, can choose to issue their credit cards and debit cards using Visa’s payment system.

If you look at the bottom right-hand corner of a credit or debit card in the UK you will see the logo Visa, Mastercard or American Express.

Visa and Mastercard are two of the biggest payment systems and your credit or debit card is likely to be linked to one of them.

Visa has partnerships with a lot of big banks and financial service companies including Barclays and HSBC in the UK.

Number of Visa cards in circulation worldwide[1]
1.1bn

Pros and cons of Visa credit cards

Pros
Accepted at almost all ATMs and the vast majority of shops online and in store
Visa has its own security protection - Verified by Visa - to make sure the real owner is who's using the card online
You can get perks like cashback and other rewards with some Visa credit cards
Cons
Credit cards can be an expensive way to borrow money if you fall behind on bills
To get the best Visa credit cards you'll need an excellent credit score
Missing or being late with payments could damage your credit score

How are Visa credit cards different from other cards?

For the owner, a Visa credit card or debit card works in almost exactly the same way as a Mastercard or American Express card.

You can use it to buy items in store, online, or via the contactless payment scheme or take money out of an ATM.

If it is a Visa credit card, then you will receive a monthly statement from your bank or financial services provider detailing all the purchases you have made in that month.

The only small difference is that, if used abroad, Visa sets its own exchange rates. These are generally very similar to those set by Mastercard or American Express, but not identical.

But there is a difference between Visa, Mastercard and American Express cards for shops.

The first is the fee charged to the shop for you using the card there - known as the interchange fee.

Different card providers can charge different amounts to shops, which is why not all cards are accepted everywhere.

Charging a high fee means cards can offer better rewards, but shops are less likely to accept them.

You can see Visa's current interchange fees here.

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

What is the best Visa credit card in the UK I should get?

The best Visa credit card is the one that offers the benefits that are most suitable for your lifestyle.

For example, you might want a rewards credit card that gives you points, cashback or frequent flyer miles.

Or you might want to find a Visa credit card that offers the best deal on balance transfers, or the lowest interest rate.

You can use our comparison tool below to find the best Visa credit card for you.

Compare Visa credit cards
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How to apply for a Visa credit card

You can use our comparison tool to find out which of the Visa credit cards on offer might be the best credit card for you. You can choose to list the cards by:

  • Popularity – how popular they are

  • Lowest APR – the cards with the lowest interest rates

  • Longest balance transfer period – how long you can have money owing on your credit card that you have moved from another card, before you have to start paying interest on it

  • Longest purchase period – how long you have once you've made a purchase before you have to pay interest on it.

Before you make a formal application you can use our credit card eligibility checker. This will reduce the chances of you being rejected for credit cards and potentially damaging your credit score.

Once you have used our eligibility checker, or if you're ready to apply for a Visa credit card, you will need to put in a few personal details and then wait to see if your application has been successful.

With most cards, you should get an initial response in a couple of minutes. If the Visa credit card issuer needs to talk to you in more detail, they might ring you.

If your application is successful, you should receive your new card in a few days, after the card issuer has made some background checks.

If you make a lot of applications for credit it can affect your credit rating, which is a score that banks and financial companies use to decide whether they will give you a credit card."

About Visa

Visa has provided credit and debit cards to banks and card issuers since 1958, pioneering the idea of electronic payment by card.

The company was founded in California, but has expanded to provide card payment services for many banks, merchants and issuers around the world.

Visa credit cards now are accepted in 44 million merchant locations across the globe and there are more than 1.8 million Visa ATMs worldwide.

Visa transactions in 2020[1]
188billion

Visa credit card FAQs

How do I use a Visa credit card?

You use a Visa credit card just like any other credit card. You pay for goods and services and then will receive a monthly statement showing your transactions.

You will need to pay off some balance each month.

How to pay with a Visa credit card

If you are buying online, you will need to put in your card details and the security number on the back of your card.

Visa has introduced an extra level of security for online payments, called Visa Secure, which helps to prevent fraud.

If you are paying in person you will need to put in your PIN number, use contactless (if the amount is under £100) or sign for your purchase.

Why should I choose a Visa credit card?

Visa credit and debit cards are usually accepted at all electronic payment locations and ATMs, as are Mastercards, so you don’t need to worry about selecting a card based on how widely it will be accepted.

The ‘Visa Secure’ scheme helps to protect you from card fraud when using your Visa card to make online purchases. Visa, like Mastercard and other card providers, offers a guarantee to repay your money if you fall victim to card fraud.

Visa cards are protected by Chip and PIN and many recently issued cards have contactless payment for sums up to £100.

What's the difference between Visa and Mastercard?

Mastercard and Visa are rival payment systems - it's up to banks and other card providers to choose which one to use with their cards.

However, both are accepted around the world at most retailers online and in store.

It's possible some shops will accept one and not the other, but it's incredibly rare. Amazon threatened to stop accepting Visa in early 2022, but quickly backtracked on the decision.

From a user perspective, the only real difference is the exchange rate charged on foreign purchases. Traditionally, these have been very close to each other, but Mastercard has offered a very slightly better rate a little more often than Visa has.

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 'most popular and ‘popularity’ 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
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What are the differences between credit and debit card?
What are the differences between credit and debit card?

About the author

James Andrews
James has spent the past 20 years writing about and editing personal finance articles and guides in the UK. His driving mission has been to help people make better decisions with their money.

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References
1. Credit card statistics 2022 Money.co.yk