Compare credit cards

Feast your eyes on these fantastic plastic balance transfer rates, cashback offers, travel perks and rewards in our UK credit card comparison.

Not sure what card you need?
This quick 3-question quiz will help you narrow down your shortlist. If you already know what you're after, check out the table below!
American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday Card

American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday Card

  • Earn 5% cashback for the first 3 months
  • Earn 0.5% ongoing cashback
  • No annual fee and no annual cap on cashback

Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.2% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.2% APR (variable).

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Table: sorted by availability to new customers and APR, promoted deals first
Name Product Purchases Balance transfers Annual/monthly fees Representative APR Incentive Link
M&S Bank Rewards Offer Mastercard
0% for 12 months reverting to 19.9%
0% for 12 months
(2.9% fee)
£0
19.9% APR (variable)
Double points on spend in M&S for first 12 months (2 points per £1). Then earn 1 point for every £1 spent at Marks and Spencer's and 1 point for every £5 spent elsewhere. 100 points = £1 reward voucher. Points will be converted into reward vouchers 4 times a year.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
Santander Everyday Credit Card
0% for 3 months reverting to 20.9%
0% for 18 months
(0% fee)
£0
20.9% APR (variable)
Earn up to 15% cashback with your selected Retailer Offers at selected major retailers.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 20.9% p.a. (variable), your representative rate is 20.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
M&S Bank Transfer Plus Mastercard
0% for 3 months reverting to 21.9%
0% for 29 months
(2.75% fee)
£0
21.9% APR (variable)
Earn 1 point for every £1 spent at Marks and Spencer's and 1 point for every £5 spent elsewhere. 100 points = £1 reward voucher. Points will be converted into reward vouchers 4 times a year.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
M&S Bank Shopping Plus Credit Card
0% for 20 months reverting to 21.9%
0% for 20 months
(2.9% fee)
£0
21.9% APR (variable)
Earn 1 point for every £1 spent at Marks and Spencer's and 1 point for every £5 spent elsewhere. 100 points = £1 reward voucher. Points will be converted into reward vouchers 4 times a year.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
HSBC Balance Transfer Credit Card
0% for 3 months reverting to 21.9%
0% for 29 months
(2.85% fee)
£0
21.9% APR (variable)
Discounts and exclusive offers for dining experiences, leisure activities and shopping available through HSBC Home and Away.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
American Express Rewards Credit Card
22.2%
N/A
£0
22.2% APR (variable)
As a new Cardmember, earn 5,000 Membership Rewards® points when you spend £2,000 in your first 3 months of Cardmembership.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.2% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.2% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
British Airways American Express Card
22.2%
N/A
£0
22.2% APR (variable)
New Cardmember offer: Earn 5,000 bonus Avios when you spend £1,000 in your first 3 months of Cardmembership.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.2% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.2% APR (variable).
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American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday Card
22.2%
N/A
£0
22.2% APR (variable)
New Cardmember offer: Get 5% cashback on your purchases (up to £100) for the first 3 months of Cardmembership. Cashback earn rates will change from the 4 August.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.2% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.2% APR (variable).
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HSBC Purchase Plus Credit Card Visa
0% for 18 months reverting to 22.9%
0% for 18 months
(2.9% fee)
£0
22.9% APR (variable)
Discounts and exclusive offers for dining experiences, leisure activities and shopping available through HSBC Home and Away.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
Santander All in One Credit Card
0% for 20 months reverting to 17.9%
0% for 26 months
(0% fee)
£3 per month
23.7% APR (variable)
0.5% cashback after £1 of monthly spend. Cashback paid monthly into card account. Maximum spend for cashback purposes is limited to credit limit.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 17.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £3 per month, your representative rate is 23.7% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
The American Express Nectar Credit Card
22.2%
N/A
Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £25 per annum
27.3% APR (variable)
As a new Cardmember, earn 20,000 bonus Nectar points when you spend £2,000 in your first 3 months of Cardmembership.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.2% (variable) p.a. with a fee of Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £25 per annum, your representative rate is 27.3% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
American Express Platinum Cashback Card
22.2%
N/A
£25 per annum
27.3% APR (variable)
As a new Cardmember, get 5% cashback on your purchases (up to £125) for the first 3 months of Cardmembership. Cashback earn rates will change from the 4 August.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.2% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £25 per annum, your representative rate is 27.3% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
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Approval for any credit card will depend on your status. The representative APRs shown represent the interest rate offered to most successful applicants. Depending on your personal circumstances the APR you're offered may be higher, or you may not be offered credit at all. Fees and rates are subject to change without notice. It's always wise to check the terms of any deal before you borrow.

How do credit cards work?

A credit card allows you to charge purchases to your card which you’ll then pay for later. Each month you’ll get a statement showing what you spent over the previous month, and you can either pay off your balance in full, or you can just pay the minimum monthly payment (typically 2-3% of your outstanding balance).

Unlike a loan with a rigid repayment schedule and a fixed end-date, credit cards give you lots of flexibility and are open-ended. The credit’s there when you need it, and you can pay off your debt as fast or as slowly (within reason) as you like.

High-street banks and building societies tend to be the first place people consider for a credit card, but they’re also available from supermarkets (including Tesco and Sainsbury’s) airlines (like British Airways and Virgin Atlantic) and dedicated credit card issuers (like Aqua or mbna.

Credit card jargon explained

  • APR. The annual percentage rate (APR) is designed to be a benchmark for consumers, providing an annual summary of the cost of your card. As well as the interest, the APR also takes into account any compulsory charges – like an account fee (if there is one). However, crucially, providers only have to award the advertised APR to 51% of those who take out the credit card – the other 49% could be offered a different (higher) rate, at the provider’s discretion. That’s why it’s often referred to as the representative APR.
  • Eligibility criteria. A list of conditions that a borrower must meet in order to be considered for a loan. These vary from lender to lender.
  • Fixed rate. A fixed rate will not change for an agreed amount of time, even if market conditions mean that bank interest rates generally are increasing or decreasing. A fixed rate can be a popular option for some borrowers, and it allows them to budget with more certainty.
  • Credit card balance. This refers to the amount of credit you have currently used, and need to repay. Most credit cards have a monthly balance cycle, which means you’ll be charged interest if you don’t pay off your balance each month.
  • Variable rate. A variable rate is the opposite of a fixed rate, and can increase or decrease over time at the lender’s discretion. Typically, variations occur as market conditions generally shift – for example in increase or decrease in the Bank of England base rate.

Why should I get a credit card?

There are plenty of situations when a credit card could be a smart choice. For starters, used carefully, they can be a cheap – or even free – way to borrow. But even if you don’t need to borrow money, there are other benefits you may want to consider.

Crucially, card issuers are jointly liable with the retailer if you don’t get what you paid for – so if your purchase (up to the tune of £30,000) isn’t as described, or if the retailer goes bust and takes your money with it, you may be able to get a refund through your card issuer.

If you’re young or new to credit, then you probably won’t have much of a credit record. If you’re planning to get a mortgage or perhaps car finance sometime in the future, then to get a decent rate, you’ll need to show that you’re capable of borrowing money and repaying it on time. A credit card is one way to demonstrate this.

But even if you have excellent credit and you don’t need to borrow, a credit card could still work for you. Plenty of cards come with perks or rewards – from loyalty points or cashback through to airport lounge access or travel insurance.

How to choose the right credit card

  1. Work out what you want to get out of your credit card. Do you want rewards, cashback, interest-free periods on purchases or to transfer an existing balance?
  2. Find the providers that offer that type of credit card. Some credit card providers specialise in certain types of card, and may not offer other types.
  3. Compare credit cards to find the one that best meets your needs. You should consider things like rate, fees and features.
  4. Check your eligibility to make sure you qualify for the card.

What type of credit card should I get?

Here are some of the main types of credit card available in the UK, along with the key benefits they offer.

Who can get a credit card?

There are credit cards to suit almost anybody, but you’ll need to be 18 or older and a UK resident.

Credit cards are offered at the issuer’s discretion – in other words, when you apply for one, the card issuer will weigh up your application, and if it thinks you’re a safe bet, it’ll offer you a card. Card issuers normally state their minimum criteria (which could include a minimum income or being an existing customer) but meeting these criteria isn’t a guarantee of approval.

For really premium cards, you’re likely to need a decent income and a good track record of borrowing responsibly (a high credit score), but credit builder credit cards and student credit cards are much easier to get approved for.

Image of a person using a laptop alongside the stat: 2 in 5 credit card holders used their card more in lockdown than they did before March 2020.

How much will I be able to spend on a credit card?

If you apply for a card and your application is approved, your specific circumstances will determine what credit limit (that’s the maximum debt you can build up on the card) the issuer will offer you. Your personalised limit will depend on factors like your credit score, and your income and outgoings.

Once you’ve held a credit card for a few months or years, you might want to request a credit limit increase. Any increase will be at the card issuer’s discretion, but if you’ve been using your card sensibly (making repayments on time and not going over your credit limit) and your circumstances haven’t changed for the worse, there’s a reasonable chance your request will be approved. Some card issuers will even pro-actively suggest a credit limit increase after a while.

What will a credit card cost me?

One of the downsides of credit cards is that the fee structure can be a bit fiddly. But do your homework and use them correctly, and credit cards can be the cheapest form of borrowing going (or can even earn you benefits while not costing you a penny).

  • Monthly repayments. You’re free to repay as much as you like as often as you like, subject to a small monthly minimum that’ll be outlined when your statement is issued – usually about 2% of your outstanding balance. You’ll pay a late payment fee (and damage your credit score) if you don’t make the minimum repayment by the statement due date. If you clear your full balance each month, your purchases generally won’t incur any interest – it’s when you carry a balance from month to month that the interest kicks in.
  • Annual/monthly account fee. Most cards don’t come with an account fee attached, but more premium options (generally high-paying rewards cards) can do. The credit card annual fee is deducted from your available credit and accrues interest at the purchase rate if it isn’t paid in the first statement period.
  • Interest rates. Interest is the price you pay to borrow money, but confusingly with credit cards, different parts of your balance can incur different interest rates. Most commonly, non-sterling transactions and cash advances (withdrawing cash using the card) may have a designated interest rate that’s higher than your card’s standard purchases rate.
  • Cash advance fees. Withdrawing cash on a credit card is usually a bad idea. There’s normally a one-off fee and a higher rate of interest. These extra fees can also apply to “cash-like” transactions – for example any spending at a casino, or buying foreign currency.
  • Non-sterling transaction fees. Any spending in currencies other than Sterling will usually involve a currency conversion fee (unless you’ve opted for a designated overseas-spending card). Plus, this part of your balance could be charged interest at a different (higher) rate.
  • Other fees. There are a few other fees that issuers can charge – for example, additional card fees (when you request an additional card for a partner or family member), balance transfer fees (when you move existing debt across to your new card), money transfer fees (when you transfer money from your card to your current account) or fees for misuse, like going over your credit limit or failing to make a repayment by the scheduled date.

Credit card cost comparison

Credit card limit: £1,000

  • Outstanding balance: £800
  • Interest rate: 19.9%
  • Monthly repayment: £25
  • Total interest: £305

Credit card limit: £1,000

  • Outstanding balance: £800
  • Interest rate: 29.3%
  • Monthly repayment: £25
  • Total interest: £577

MUST READ: Credit card grace periods

Almost all credit cards come with up to 55 or 56 interest-free days each billing period. In order to take advantage of this facility though, you’ll need to clear your balance in full each month. It’s only applicable on new purchases and, in most cases, not available on cash advances or balance transfers.

Here’s how it works: Let’s say you make a £100 purchase on the first day of the month, then at the end of the month you’re sent a bill and asked to pay by the 25th of the next month. Provided you clear your full balance, you could have enjoyed 55 or 56 days of interest-free credit on that purchase. However, if you only pay the minimum required payment, you’ll be charged interest on the purchase from the day you made it.

If you set up a direct debit to clear your full balance each month (yep, this is possible – and very normal) then you can relax in the knowledge that you should avoid interest altogether. Just make sure you have the necessary funds in your nominated account to cover the direct debit.

What do I need to know before I apply?

Once you’ve established what type of card you need, you can use Finder comparison tables to see the deals available.

The representative APR can be a helpful figure to use when comparing cards from different issuers – it’s a standardised figure that’s designed to illustrate the annual cost of using a card. However, the vast majority of card issuers tailor rates to the individual. They have to give their advertised “representative APR” to at least 51% of their customers, but the other 49% could be offered a higher rate. Typically, it’s the applicants that the issuer deems to be the safest bets that’ll be awarded the representative APR – based on factors like credit scores and affordability.

You can get a better idea of the rates that you’d be offered by using a soft-search facility. These involve a short form that banks or brokers use in order to be able to check your credit file without affecting your score. In return you get a more accurate idea of whether or not you’ll get approved for a card plus the rate that you could be offered.

Learn more about specific card features

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.
  1. Finder survey November 2020

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