Man paying for a coffee using contactless credit card payment

Compare the UK’s best credit cards of 2019

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

Looking for the best credit card available? The reality is that it’s different for different people, and the right credit card for you will depend on your spending habits, the features you’re looking for and your financial circumstances. Here are some of the main types of credit card available. For each type you’ll find step-by-step advice on how to choose the best credit cards of that type and our “top pick” recommendation (find out how we choose our top picks).

Rewards credit cards: Spend big and enjoy perks

Rewards credit cards offer points or cash based on the amount you spend. This “earn-rate” may vary according to where you use the card. A Tesco reward card is likely to earn you points at a higher rate when you use it in Tesco, for example. You can typically redeem your points for shopping, travel, gift vouchers etc.

Understand and compare rewards cards

Our top pick for earning rewards:

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Card

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card
  • 10,000-point welcome bonus
  • Earn 1 point per £1 spent
  • No fee in year 1
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★★★★★
Potential costs:
2.5/5
Doing its job:
5/5
Extras:
4.5/5

Verdict: As well as earning Membership Reward points as you spend, with this card you'll enjoy an introductory bonus of 10,000 points – provided you spend £3,000 in your first three months. You'll also be able to benefit from up to 56 days of 0% interest on purchases each billing cycle, as long as you clear your balance in full each month. After the first year, you'll want to weigh up whether the annual fee is still worth paying.

Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £140 per annum, your representative rate is 57.6% APR (variable).
Promoted

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card

Finder's pick: American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Card

  • 10,000-point welcome bonus
  • Earn 1 point per £1 spent
  • No fee in year 1

Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £140 per annum, your representative rate is 57.6% APR (variable).

Promoted

Cashback credit cards: Earn cash not points on your day-to-day spending

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.

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Our top pick for earning cashback:

American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday Card

American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday Card
  • 5% cashback for 3 months
  • 0.5% ongoing cashback
  • No annual fee
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★★★★★
Potential costs:
4.5/5
Doing its job:
4.5/5
Extras:
3.5/5

Verdict: With no annual fee, provided you don't carry a balance from month to month, this card offers the chance to earn cashback at a respectable rate. If you do expect to carry a balance, you'll likely spend more on interest than you earn in cashback, however. For big-spenders, Amex also offers a second platinum cashback card with a better earn-rate offset by a small annual fee.

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).
Promoted

American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday Card

Finder's pick: American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday Card

  • 5% cashback for 3 months
  • 0.5% ongoing cashback
  • No annual fee

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).

Promoted

Frequent flyer credit cards: Earn travel rewards as you spend

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.

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Our top pick for frequent flyers:

British Airways American Express Card

British Airways American Express Card
  • Earn 1 Avios per £1 spent
  • 5,000-Avios welcome bonus
  • Refer a friend bonus
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★★★★★
Potential costs:
4.5/5
Doing its job:
5/5
Extras:
3.5/5

Verdict: Perfect for fans of Avios – one of the biggest names in frequent flyer schemes – with this card you'll earn points whenever you use it, to redeem with BA or a number of other airlines, for flights, flight upgrades, hotel stays and more. You'll also be able to benefit from up to 56 days of 0% interest on purchases each billing cycle, provided you clear your balance in full each month. With no annual fee, used carefully, this card could pay dividends.

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).
Promoted

British Airways American Express Card

Finder's pick: British Airways American Express Card

  • Earn 1 Avios per £1 spent
  • 5,000-Avios welcome bonus
  • Refer a friend bonus

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).

Promoted

Credit builder credit cards: Kick-start a positive credit history

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.

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Our top pick for bad credit:

Tesco Bank Foundation Clubcard Credit Card

Tesco Bank Foundation Clubcard Credit Card Mastercard
  • 1 point per £4 spent in Tesco
  • 1 point per £8 spent elsewhere
  • Regular optional credit increases
Go to site
★★★★★
Potential costs:
4.5/5
Doing its job:
5/5
Extras:
4.5/5

Verdict: Designed to help improve and rebuild your credit rating, this card additionally offers the chance to boost your Clubcard earn-rate. As you'd expect, it's frequent Tesco shoppers who don't carry a balance month to month that stand to benefit most. Collect 1 Tesco Clubcard point per £4 spent (£4 minimum) in Tesco and 1 Clubcard point per £8 spent (£8 minimum) outside Tesco in each purchase transaction.  Must have available credit to collect Clubcard points. Clubcard points are turned into Clubcard vouchers every 3 months or sooner using Faster Vouchers. Clubcard vouchers can be used in Tesco or with Clubcard Reward Partners to get even more value on dining out, hotel stays and travel.

Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 27.542% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 27.5% APR (variable).
Promoted

Tesco Bank Foundation Clubcard Credit Card Mastercard

Finder's pick: Tesco Bank Foundation Clubcard Credit Card Mastercard

  • 1 point per £4 spent in Tesco
  • 1 point per £8 spent elsewhere
  • Regular optional credit increases

Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 27.542% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 27.5% APR (variable).

Promoted

0% purchase credit cards: Spread the cost of large purchases

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.

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Our top pick for purchases:

M&S Bank Shopping Plus Mastercard

M&S Bank Shopping Plus Mastercard
  • Purchases 0% for 20 months
  • 1 point per £1 spent at M&S
  • 1 point per £5 spent elsewhere
  • 500-point welcome bonus
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★★★★★
Potential costs:
4.5/5
Doing its job:
4/5
Extras:
5/5

Verdict: Repaying debt doesn't have to be all bad. Provided you expect to be able to pay off purchases within the 20-month interest-free period (if not, then there are longer 0% periods out there), this card could make your spending go a little further. 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).
Promoted

M&S Bank Shopping Plus Mastercard

Finder's pick: M&S Bank Shopping Plus Mastercard

  • Purchases 0% for 20 months
  • 1 point per £1 spent at M&S
  • 1 point per £5 spent elsewhere
  • 500-point welcome bonus

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).

Promoted

Balance transfer credit cards: Repay debt at 0% interest

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.

Understand and compare balance transfer cards

Our top pick for balance transfers:

Platinum 28 Month Balance Transfer Barclaycard

Barclaycard Platinum 28 Month Balance Transfer Visa
  • Balance transfers 0% for 28 months
  • Purchasess 0% for 6 months
  • Balance transfer fee 1.75% for transfers in first 60 days
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★★★★★
Potential costs:
4/5
Doing its job:
4.5/5
Extras:
3.5/5

Verdict: Barclaycard offers a range of balance transfer deals, and this lengthy offer comes with a reduced transfer fee (normally a reduced fee means a shorter 0% period). The 6-month 0% purchases deal is better than you'd get with many competing deals, and even if you don't plan to use it, it's reassuring to have the option. And, as a sweetener, you can use the Barclaycard Entertainment scheme to bag pre-sale tickets, discounted tickets and event perks at an impressive range of big-name gigs.

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).
Promoted

Barclaycard Platinum 28 Month Balance Transfer Visa

Finder's pick: Platinum 28 Month Balance Transfer Barclaycard

  • Balance transfers 0% for 28 months
  • Purchasess 0% for 6 months
  • Balance transfer fee 1.75% for transfers in first 60 days

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).

Promoted

Travel credit cards: Pay overseas without fees

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 or withdraw cash abroad (although the ATM owner may still charge a fee). Currencies will usually be converted using the standard Mastercard rate or Visa rate. Just remember that “fee-free” does not mean “interest-free”.

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Finder's pick for spending overseas

The NatWest Credit Card

The NatWest Credit Card
  • 0% fees on overseas spend
  • Low ongoing rates
Go to site
★★★★★
Potential costs:
5/5
Doing its job:
4.5/5
Extras:
3/5

Verdict: An excellent travel companion (and a very respectable option even when you're at home), this ultra-simple card converts currencies at the standard Mastercard rates, and while some card issuers start charging interest on overseas transactions from the day on which your account is debited, provided you clear your balance in full each month, you won't pay interest on purchases at home or abroad.

Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 9.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 9.9% APR (variable).
Promoted

The NatWest Credit Card

Finder's pick: The NatWest Credit Card

  • 0% fees on overseas spend
  • Low ongoing rates

Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 9.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 9.9% APR (variable).

Promoted

Money transfer credit cards: Transfer money from your card to an account

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.

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Student credit cards: Manage your expenses and buy what you need

Most student cards are tied to a student bank account – in other words you’ll usually need to hold a student account with a particular bank in order to be eligible to apply for its student credit card. Student credit cards come with no annual/monthly fees, but low credit limits and uncompetitive rates (in part due to the limited credit histories of many of the cards’ users). As such, it’s not advisable to carry a balance from month to month. However, provided you don’t, you’ll usually be able to take advantage of up to 55 or 56 days of 0% interest on your purchases each month – a handy buffer when you’re waiting for your next student loan payment.

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Business credit cards: Manage your work spending

Business credit cards give your business access to a convenient line of credit to help manage fluctuations in your cash flow. Additional cards and management/reporting tools also mean you can monitor and manage your employees’ spending. Rewards and perks are big in the business space – with premium deals (that come with hefty annual fees) offering features like complimentary travel insurance, airport lounge access and more.

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“All-rounder” credit cards: A financial Swiss Army Knife

These cards are designed to serve multiple needs. 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 even fee-free overseas spending.

Understand and compare all-round credit cards

Finder’s top credit cards of 2019

CardGreat for…Representative APR
Barclaycard Platinum 28 Month Balance Transfer VisaSavings on existing card debt19.9%
British Airways American Express CardAvios for frequent flyers22.9%
Tesco Bank Foundation Clubcard Credit CardLoyalty points even with bad credit27.5%
M&S Bank Shopping Plus MastercardSpread the cost of purchases19.9%
American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday CardCashback on day-to-day spending22.9%
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold CardPremium rewards and sign-up bonus57.6%
The NatWert Credit CardCommission-free currency conversion9.9%

What “best” means: how we choose our top credit cards

Founded in 2006, Finder has been comparing credit cards for 13 years, so yeah, we know our stuff on the topic. However, we’re not the kind of guys who just ask people to trust us “because we know what we’re doing”, so here’s an overview of the criteria we use to pick our favourite credit cards:

  • Our partners. Our “best” credit cards are chosen from among a pool of credit card providers we have partnerships with. We’re transparent on this, and it often allows 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 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.

Other types of credit card and sought-after card features

In addition to the features listed above, the best credit cards around can come with a whole host of other features and benefits.

If you’re concerned about some of the costs involved with credit card use, you can look around and find cards with no annual fee, an ongoing low interest rate or no balance transfer fees. Perhaps you do all your shopping in one place and want your rewards from your favourite shop, in which case a store-affiliated card may be the way to go.

Use the list below to browse our credit card feature/benefit guides and comparisons.

*Disclaimer: The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products whose details Finder has access to track; they don't represent all the products available in the market. Unless indicated otherwise, products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and 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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