Best credit cards of 2022

We compare the whole UK market daily so you can bag the best credit card for you, be that the biggest rewards, longest 0% interest offers or lowest fees available.

As interest rates and the cost of living continue to rise, it pays to make sure you’re using the right type of credit card. If you’re struggling to pay off existing card debt, there’s a new top contender in the 0% balance transfer market. The Sainsbury’s Bank 34 Month Balance Transfer credit card charges no interest on balances transfers for up to 34 months. The downside is that you’ll need an excellent credit rating to get this offer, otherwise you might only be offered 26 months at 0%. You’ll also have to pay a transfer fee of 2.88% or 3.88%, depending on your circumstances.

Whatever type of credit card you’re looking for, we’ve listed the main categories with step-by-step advice on how to choose the best credit card for you, plus our “top pick” recommendation (find out how we choose our top picks). Learn what customers think about their card issuer in our league table of customer ratings. You can find out your chances of approval for a range of cards using our free eligibility checker and you can also get to know your credit score and report for free too.

Top 10 UK Credit Cards for July

Best rewards credit card

  • Finder rating: ★★★★★
  • Benefits: 2 complimentary airport lounge visits every year, 30,000 Membership Rewards Points welcome bonus (provided you spend £3,000 in your first 3 months) plus an ongoing earn-rate of 1 point per £1 spent.
  • Account fee: Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £140 per annum.
  • Why we like it: Amex is working super-hard to entice and retain new customers, coming top in our latest customer satisfaction survey. This statement rewards card offers points by the bucketload – both when you join, as you spend, when you refer friends or add an additional cardholder, and also on the anniversaries of your being a cardholder. Plus there are more perks to unlock through the app. Did we mention travel inconvenience and travel accident insurance (subject to enrolment)?
  • Need to know: While accepting Amex is increasingly becoming the norm, some places still only take Visa or Mastercard.
  • Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 25.3% (variable) p.a. with a fee of Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £140 per annum, your representative rate is 61% APR (variable).

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Don’t want an annual fee?

  • Benefits: Earn Membership Rewards points on all your day-to-day spending without an annual fee.
  • Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 25.3% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 25.3% APR (variable).

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Don’t want an Amex?

  • Benefits: Earn M&S points on all your day-to-day spending without an annual fee.
  • 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).

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Compare rewards cards

Best balance transfer credit card

  • Finder rating: ★★★★★
  • Interest-free periods: 0% interest on balance transfers for 21 months. 0% interest on purchases for 3 months.
  • Benefits: Earn 1% cashback on purchases made between 13 June and 18 September 2022 when using your card abroad.
  • Account fee: £0.
  • Why we like it: Yes, you could easily find a longer 0% deal on the market, but this is the longest deal with no transfer fee and where you don't have to be an existing customer. So if 21 months gives you long enough to clear your balance, this could be the card for you.
  • Need to know: If you think you'll need longer than 21 months to clear your balance, then a balance transfer fee could be worth shouldering.
  • 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).

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Need a longer 0% balance transfer period?

  • Benefits: Up to 33 months interest-free for balance transfers.
  • Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.94% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).

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Don’t want to pay a balance transfer fee?

  • Benefits: Up to 20 months interest-fee and no balance transfer fee.
  • 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).

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About balance transfer credit cards

Balance transfer credit cards let you move existing credit card debt to a new card, where you’ll enjoy 0% interest on the balance for a set period. At the end of this introductory 0% period, the card’s standard rate kicks in – which is typically much higher. Provided you don’t use them for additional spending, these cards allow you to clear debt faster, because all of your monthly repayment goes towards the outstanding balance. The catch? There’s generally a “balance transfer fee” to pay – which is a percentage of the balance you’re transferring.

Best balance transfer cards

Best 0% purchase credit card

  • Finder rating: ★★★★★
  • Interest-free periods: 0% interest on balance transfers for 24 months with a fee of 2.9%. 0% interest on purchases for 24 months.
  • Benefits: 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.
  • Account fee: £0.
  • Why we like it: This versatile all-rounder from M&S gives you a lengthy break from interest on both purchases and balance transfers, and even earns rewards on your spending. With no annual fee and a low reverting purchase rate, it can help keep the cost of your purchases down.
  • Need to know: M&S devotees will get the most out of this card.
  • 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 if you're eligible for this card

About 0% purchase credit cards

0% purchase credit cards let you make purchases up to your credit limit and then pay 0% interest on them for a promotional, introductory period. At the end of this period, any outstanding balance will start to accrue interest at the card’s standard purchase rate, which will be much higher.

Best 0% purchase credit cards

Best cashback credit card

  • Finder rating: ★★★★★
  • Benefits: Get 5% cashback on your purchases (up to £100) for the first 3 months of Cardmembership, and 1% thereafter.
  • Account fee: £0.
  • Why we like it: An accessible and easy-to-use card that rewards your everyday spending with cashback. With no annual fee, you can also keep your costs low, provided you pay off your balance in full each month.
  • Need to know: If you don't pay off your balance in full every month, you're likely to pay more in interest than you'd earn in cashback, and a 0% purchase or low rate card might be more suitable for you.
  • Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 25.3% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 25.3% APR (variable).

Check if you're eligible for this card

About cashback credit cards

Cashback credit cards reward you for spending in the form of pounds or credit on your account. How much you can earn will depend on the card’s “earn-rate”, plus any “earnings caps”. Cards that are affiliated with a brand may offer a better earn-rate when you spend with that brand, and in some cases cards come with an introductory enhanced earn-rate for a specified period or an enhanced earn-rate once your spending has exceeded a specified threshold.

Best cashback cards

Best travel credit card

  • Finder rating: ★★★★★
  • Benefits: 0.25% cashback on everyday spending, fee-free currency conversion on non-sterling transactions and cash withdrawals.
  • Account fee: £0.
  • Why we like it: The Barclaycard Rewards Visa card has replaced Halifax Clarity as our top credit card pick for travel. It's one of a few cards offering commission-free non-sterling cash withdrawals in addition to the more common commission-free card spend, all with no account fee and some cashback.
  • Need to know: If you do use it to withdraw cash overseas, this part of your balance will benefit from the usual 0% interest grace period. Additionally, multiple credit card cash withdrawals could start to hurt your credit score.
  • 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).

Want a Mastercard?

  • Benefits: Enjoy a 0% balance transfer fee, plus no foreign transaction fees on purchases or cash withdrawals.
  • 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).

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Looking for hotel perks?

  • Benefits: Generous introductory bonus and nice ongoing rewards.
  • Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 25.3% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £75 per annum, your representative rate is 42.6% APR (variable).

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About travel credit cards

These credit cards are designed to make it more affordable to spend money overseas or online with international retailers. Unlike most debit and credit cards, they don’t charge a foreign transaction fee when you use your card to spend in an international currency. Currencies will usually be converted using the standard Mastercard rate or Visa rate. Just remember that “fee-free” does not mean “interest-free”.

When you’re using one of these cards, don’t forget that if a merchant/bank abroad offers to take payment in sterling (this is called dynamic currency conversion), you should decline and choose to pay in the local currency. Otherwise it will be the local bank or merchant whose currency conversion fee structure will apply, rather than your card issuer’s.

Best travel credit cards

Best credit builder credit card

  • Finder rating: ★★★★★
  • Benefits: Designed for customers with a less than perfect credit record, or simply not much in the way of credit history, Capital One offers a popular card to help you build your credit.
  • Account fee: £0.
  • Why we like it: If you use your Capital One Classic card responsibly and repay your balance each month, you could be rewarded with two optional credit limit increases a year.
  • Need to know: The card's standard interest rate is high, making it an expensive option if you don't clear your balance in full each month.
  • Representative example: Assumed credit limit £1,200, representative 34.9% APR (variable), purchase rate 34.94% p.a. (variable).

About credit builder credit cards

Credit builders are simple credit cards designed to improve credit scores, for people with bad or no credit history. Expect low starting credit limits which can be quickly reviewed provided the card is used responsibly. This type of card will often be a “stepping stone” product to credit products with a better interest rate.

Best credit builder cards

Best frequent flyer credit card

  • Finder rating: ★★★★★
  • Benefits: Collect 1 Avios for every £1 you spend plus a 5,000 Avios welcome bonus if you spend £1,000 in your first 3 months.
  • Account fee: £0.
  • Why we like it: With no annual fee this is a great introduction to collecting air miles. You can also opt for the Premium Plus version to get an even better earn rate and heftier intro bonus in return for an annual fee. If what you'll earn in rewards outweighs the annual fee, then that could be a smart choice.
  • Need to know: If you're not going to pay off your balance in full each month, chances are you'll pay more in interest than you'll earn in air miles. If that sounds like you, you could consider a 0% purchase or low rate deal instead.
  • Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 25.3% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 25.3% APR (variable).

Check if you're eligible for this card

About frequent flyer credit cards

Frequent flyer credit cards let you earn frequent flyer points or air miles on everyday purchases, either directly or by transferring card reward points to your chosen airline loyalty programme. These cards tend to be more premium options, so there’s often an annual fee to consider, but chances are it’ll be offset by some tasty perks.

Compare frequent flyer cards

Best money transfer credit card

  • Finder rating: ★★★★★
  • Interest-free periods: 0% interest on money transfers for 18 months with a fee of 2.99%. 0% interest on balance transfers for 12 months with a fee of 4%.
  • Account fee: £0.
  • Why we like it: This specialised card lets you move funds to a different account and avoid paying interest (you'll just pay the one-off transfer fee), and this is one of the longest around. Unlike other 0% offers, money transfer deals give you much more flexibility – great if you need to pay several parties in cash, for example.
  • Need to know: The 18 months interest-free applies to money transfers you make in the first 60 days. You'll need to earn at least £14,000 p.a. to apply.
  • Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.94% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.9% APR (variable).

About money transfer credit cards

A 0% money transfer card allows you to make transfers from the credit card to your bank account, and won’t charge interest on this balance for a specified period. After the 0% period, the card’s standard rate kicks in, which is invariably much higher.

Compare money transfer cards

    The best credit card companies for customer satisfaction in 2022

    We asked cardholders to rate their satisfaction with service, and whether they’d recommend their card issuer to a friend. We’ve shown both for each brand in the table below. Our independent survey of 1,861 card customers was carried out in December 2020. The table is ordered by the percentage of customers who said they’d recommend the brand to a friend.

    Credit CardOverall satisfactionCustomers who’d recommendOverview
    American Express logo★★★★★95%American Express has been top dog for customer service two years running. It offers a range of credit cards with tempting rewards such as lounge access, and the exclusive Experiences rewards programme.View deals
    Barclaycard logo★★★★★88%An arm of the oldest bank in UK, Barclaycard has some of the longest balance transfer periods on the market and also offers rewards and everyday cards. However it’s range of cards is dramatically smaller now than it has been in recent years.View deals
    M&S Bank logo★★★★★84%Like other credit card retailers, M&S Bank lets you earn M&S on every credit card transaction, and preferential foreign exchange rates.View deals
    Lloyds Bank logo★★★★★83%Lloyds Bank has a wide variety of credit card products, with rewards, cashback and even specialised cards for large purchases.View deals
    NatWest logo★★★★★83%NatWest offers specialised rewards and balance transfer cards, as well as a student credit card.View deals
    Halifax logo★★★★★82%Halifax lets you combine 0% balance transfers and purchases on one card, and also issues the super-popular Clarity card with 0% currency conversion fees.View deals
    Tesco Bank logo★★★★★80%Tesco Bank has a wide range of credit card products and lets you earn Tesco Clubcard points on every transaction you make using your card.View deals
    Virgin Money logo★★★★★80%Virgin Money provides a number of bonus credit card programs, such as Virgin Red, and offers discounts across the entire Virgin Group. With a Virgin Atlantic credit card, you can also collect air miles to spend on flights and upgrades.View deals
    Santander logo★★★★★80%Spanish banking giant Santander offers generous cashback benefits and credit cards aimed at those looking to travel abroad.View deals
    Sainsbury's Bank logo★★★★★78%The UK’s second-biggest supermarket brand, Sainsbury’s lets you earn Nectar points on all credit card transactions, with bonus points for new customers.View deals
    HSBC UK logo★★★★★78%One of the world’s largest banks, HSBC has an extensive credit card product range, with 24/7 customer service and global reward systems.View deals
    aqua logo★★★★★78%Aqua credit cards are specifically designed for those looking to build their credit score. Unlike other credit-builder cards, Aqua also lets customers earn rewards for using their card.View deals
    Capital One logo★★★★★77%Capital One offers credit-builder cards for people with limited or damaged credit files, aiming to say “Yes” when other card issuers wouldn’t. The interest rates for Capital One cards are high, so not paying off balances in full each month can get expensive.View deals
    MBNA logo★★★★★71%MBNA is part of the Lloyds Group and offers a range of credit cards with extended 0% balance transfer and purchase periods.View deals

    Frequently asked questions

    Are reward point credit cards worth it?

    If you carry a balance on your credit card from month to month, then you’ll usually pay more in interest than you’ll earn in rewards. If you always clear your balance in full each month, however, then with most cards on the UK market, you won’t pay interest at all, thanks to a grace period on purchases. That means that, provided you choose the right card and use it carefully, you can earn reward points without paying interest.

    Some rewards or frequent flyer cards come with annual or monthly account management charges, but thankfully, plenty don’t charge this fee. If you think you would spend a lot on a credit card but would also clear your balance in full each month, then paying an annual fee might actually be worth it. That’s because these are the cards which tend to come with the best reward point earn-rates.

    Can I get a credit card with bad credit?

    Possibly, yes. Although realistically some top cards will be off the table, there are plenty of card issuers that specialise in credit builder cards – which are specifically designed for those with a damaged or limited credit history.

    Additionally, the interest rates and credit limits of credit cards are often tailored to the applicant, which means you may find that you are offered a card, but with a relatively low opening credit limit, and potentially with a rate that’s higher than the advertised representative APR.

    Which credit card gives the best travel rewards?

    Virgin Atlantic and American Express are frequently to be found battling it out at the top of frequent flyer comparison tables.

    If you can make your peace with an annual fee, the British Airways Premium Plus Card offers the highest Avios earn-rate, while Amex’s Preferred Rewards Gold Card comes with two complimentary airport lounge visits annually.

    How we choose our top credit cards

    Founded in 2006, Finder has been comparing credit cards for more than 15 years. However, we’re not the type to ask you to trust us because of that. Here’s an overview of the criteria we use to pick our favourite credit cards:

    • Our partners. Our “best” credit cards are generally chosen from among a pool of credit card providers we have partnerships with. We’re transparent on this, and it can allow us to offer you exclusive deals you won’t find anywhere else.
    • The best at doing the job they’re meant to. There is no absolute “best credit card” for everyone, so what we try to do here at Finder is help you find a card that works for you and your needs. That’s why we picked a card for each of the main types.
    • Quality and price. Zero annual fees and low APRs sometimes don’t tell the whole story – we take them into account, but also look at what you get in return.
    • Going the extra mile with rewards. Some credit cards do the job just fine, but don’t give you anything else and turn out a bit depressing in the long run. We like credit cards that go the extra mile and treat you with nice little ongoing rewards, be it tickets for your favourite concert or extra supermarket loyalty points.

    Finally, we check whole-market rates, fees and terms every single day in order to make sure that the features on our credit card tables are accurate – you won’t get any nasty surprises once you move from our website to the card issuer’s.

    Customer satisfaction ratings methodology

    In December 2020, we ran a customer satisfaction survey on credit cards. 1,861 people responded and gave us their opinion on their current credit card provider.

    The survey asked respondents how satisfied they are with their credit card (using a 1-5 rating) and whether they would recommend the brand to a friend. We converted the responses into star ratings and produced a shortlist of the top-performing companies based on customer satisfaction. When there was a draw, we used the recommendation score (that is, the percentage of customers who said they would recommend the brand to a friend) as a tie-breaker.

    You can get a full breakdown of our ratings methodology for credit cards here.

    Credit card ratings

    ★★★★★ — Excellent
    ★★★★★ — Good
    ★★★★★ — Average
    ★★★★★ — Subpar
    ★★★★★ — Poor

    The customer satisfaction score (“You say”) is based on a survey of 1,861 customers carried out in December 2020.

    Learn the details of our methodology and scoring.

    Finder whitepaper cover

    Plastic surgery: Are credit cards being reinvented?

    Finder published a report in June 2022 exploring current trends, innovations and challenges in the credit card industry. It features the findings of our survey of consumers about their attitudes to physical credit cards and other ways to pay, and insights from 6 experts: Daniel Dawson of RBR, David Parker of Polymath Consulting, Hannah Elderfield of Canvas8, James Shepherd of Cashplus Bank, Martin Magnone of Tymit, and Richard Whatmough of Lloyds Banking Group.
    Download your free copy

    All the content may be republished with a link to this page
    Press enquiries

    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.

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