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Compare all-round credit cards

Demand a little more from your card issuer with a versatile all-rounder.

All-round credit cards aim to meet multiple needs. Typically that means you’ll get the best of both worlds when it comes to 0% interest deals – with interest-free periods on both purchases and balance transfers, and potentially other useful features like the chance to earn rewards or 0% fees on overseas spending.

There are plenty of all-round credit cards currently available to apply for in the UK. If used correctly, these cards can save you a significant chunk of money.

Here’s how to compare all-round credit cards, find the best deal for you and use it in a way that doesn’t cost you loads of money in the long run.

All-round credit card comparison

Comparison ordered by representative APR with affiliated products shown first.
Updated May 25th, 2019
Name Product Purchases Balance transfers Annual/monthly fees Rep. APR Incentive Representative example
0% for 27 months reverting to 19.9%
0% for 27 months reverting to 19.9%
£0
19.9% p.a. (variable)
Buy tickets for up to 3500 selected live events through Barclaycard entertainment and get 5% off tickets per year and exclusive pre-sale tickets on selected festivals with 10% off ticket prices.
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).
0% for 20 months reverting to 19.9%
0% for 20 months reverting to 19.9%
£0
19.9% p.a. (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 19.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
0% for 12 months reverting to 15.9%
0% for 12 months reverting to 15.9%
£0
15.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 15.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 15.9% APR (variable).
0% for 12 months reverting to 17.9%
0% for 12 months reverting to 17.9%
£0
17.9% p.a. (variable)
Customers will be able to earn commission-free purchases abroad by using their Credit Card each time they make a purchase in Sterling. The calculation will be based on a 5:1 ratio - for example, £5 spent in Sterling will earn an allowance of £1 commission free-purchases abroad. Purchases abroad beyond the earned amount will be charged 2% commission.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 17.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 17.9% APR (variable).
0% for 26 months reverting to 18.9%
0% for 12 months reverting to 11.9%
£0
18.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 18.9% APR (variable).
0% for 20 months reverting to 18.9%
0% for 20 months reverting to 18.9%
£0
18.9% p.a. (variable)
Receive regular offers and discounts from top brands.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 18.9% APR (variable).
0% for 26 months reverting to 18.9%
0% for 12 months reverting to 11.9%
£0
18.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 18.9% APR (variable).
0% for 20 months reverting to 19.95%
0% for 20 months reverting to 19.95%
£0
19.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
0% for 12 months reverting to 19.94%
0% for 24 months reverting to 19.94%
£0
19.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.94% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
0% for 20 months reverting to 19.95%
0% for 20 months reverting to 19.95%
£0
19.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).

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What is an all-round credit card?

“All-round” isn’t a standard credit card term, and can be used to label many credit cards with a different combination of promotional rates, rewards, offers and perks.

Most commonly, all-round cards usually offer 0% interest periods on both balances transferred from an old credit card (or cards) and future purchases. The interest-free period doesn’t last forever though, and when it ends any outstanding balance starts to accrue interest at the card’s standard rate.

Introductory 0% interest deals on purchases are commonplace in today’s credit card market, as are 0% introductory deals on balance transfers. These are the two main sweeteners used by credit card companies to attract new customers, which is why the term “all-round” is commonly used to define cards that have both of these – and potentially further – significant benefits.

If the same 0% deal applies to both balance transfers and purchases, card issuers might alternatively refer to the card as a “balanced” or “matched” credit card.

All-rounders can offer other features and benefits as well, like the opportunity to earn rewards while you spend or fee-free spending overseas.

Perhaps the greatest appeal of these cards is their flexibility. Nobody knows what the future holds, but a flexible card could stand you in good stead for a variety of scenarios.

What are dual credit cards?

It’s important to be aware the term “dual” could describe two different types of cards. Some credit card providers refer to their version of “balanced” or “matched” credit cards as “dual” because it offers a dual interest-free period on both balance transfers and purchases.

Rather confusingly, there are other providers who use “dual” to describe a totally different type of card. You will have one credit account with two cards tied to it operating on different networks (eg Mastercard and American Express). These cards are usually reward or frequent flyer cards which may offer different perks or reward rates depending on the network (eg more points per £1 spent), but the cardholder is issued just one bill.

Who is an all-round credit card suitable for (and not suitable for)?

If you’re an individual with existing credit card debt who is also looking to make a sizeable purchase in the future, an all-round credit card is likely to save you money, or at least save you from being hit with interest payments (for a limited period).

You could use the balance transfer deal to take a break from paying interest on your existing debt, and the purchases deal to spread the cost of your upcoming expenditure – without paying interest.

An all-round credit card might not be the answer if you’ll spend more on the card than you pay off before the end of the 0% deal. In this situation, you’ll end up in a worse situation than you were in to begin with.

If you only plan on using one of the available 0% deals – for example if you don’t already have card debt and wouldn’t transfer a balance – then there are likely to be more competitive deals on the market. The longest 0% deals on purchases tend to be available on the most specialised cards, without balance transfer deals (and vice-versa on the longest balance transfer deals).

Cards with long 0% deals on balance transfers and purchases are likely to be available only to those who have good credit scores. However, almost every card issuer now has an “eligibility checker” which runs a “soft search” of your credit file, to tell you your likelihood of approval without affecting your credit score.

How can I find the right all-round credit card for me?

There are lots of all-round credit cards around, so how do you find the best one? These are some of the most important features to look for when deciding what all-round credit card to apply for.

  • Balance transfer offer. This could be your primary focus if you’re planning to bring a large card debt across to the new card. Consider how long you will need to clear the balance: by dividing the amount of the debt by the number of months in the introductory 0% period, you can get an idea of what you’ll need to be paying each month. However, bear in mind that this won’t take into account any additional purchases you make on the card.
  • Balance transfer fee. This is a one-time fee, charged as a fixed percentage of the debt you transfer to your new card. Typically it ranges from 1% to 3%. Longer balance transfer deals can come with larger balance transfer fees, so it’s worth considering how long you’ll realistically need in order to pay off a transferred balance. An 18-month balance transfer deal with a 1% fee will work out cheaper than a 24-month deal with a 2% fee (provided you pay both off on time).
  • Purchases offer. If you’re anticipating a forthcoming expenditure that’s going to outweigh any existing card debt, this is likely to be your primary focus. Ideally, you’ll want to be confident that the duration of any 0% purchases offer gives you long enough to clear your balance.
  • Standard rate. After the promotional period ends, the remaining debt will be charged interest at a higher standard variable rate. At this point you could potentially switch to a new credit card, if you remember, but there’s no guarantee of approval, and it’s hard to be certain about what the future holds. So, if you don’t think you’ll be able to clear your balance before the promotional period ends, you might want to look for a card with a lower standard rate.
  • Annual/monthly fee. A few cards charge an annual or monthly account fee. This will normally be offset by rewards, premium features or superior rates. Generally it’s best to avoid cards with an account fee, unless you’re confident that the perks of the card will save you more than the fees will cost you.
  • Other benefits. Look at the other features of the cards you’re considering, such as reward points, free airport lounge access or free travel insurance. Are they quantifiable? How much would those benefits realistically save or earn you?

Pros and cons of all-round credit cards

Pros

  • If you already have card debt, an all-rounder could give you a break from interest and an opportunity to focus on reducing your debt.
  • If you have some large expenditures coming up, an all-rounder could let you spread the cost, without incurring interest.
  • As perhaps the most versatile type of card around, a good all-rounder could future-proof you for a variety of scenarios.
  • A true all-rounder should have additional features and benefits – not just an introductory deal on balance transfers and purchases.

Cons

  • The very longest 0% deals aren’t typically available on all-round credit cards – they’ll tend to be found on the more focused cards.
  • After any introductory offers expire, outstanding debt will start to be charged interest (usually at a rate that’s not competitive).
  • You’ll normally have to pay a transfer fee to bring your balance across from an old card. This is typically equivalent to around 3% of the balance, so for larger sums it can get painful.
  • Any low or 0% interest period won’t usually apply to cash advances (withdrawing cash on the card). Cash advances on a credit card are invariably an expensive option regardless of card type and best avoided.

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Frequently asked questions

*Disclaimer: The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products finder has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Unless indicated otherwise, products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms "Best", "Top", "Cheap" including variations, are not product ratings and are subject to our terms of use. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your personal financial circumstances when comparing products.

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