Approval for any credit card will depend on your status. The APR shown represents 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.
Compare first direct credit cards for January 2020
Despite having no branches – operating purely online and over the phone – first direct regularly tops customer satisfaction polls. It offers two credit card products: the "Standard" and "Gold" cards – available to holders of a first direct current account.
Part of the HSBC banking group, first direct was set up in 1989, and claims to be the only UK bank which has enjoyed such a long period of providing service to its customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It offers the full range of financial products – savings, mortgages and insurance – that you’d find at a high street bank, but without the overheads.
first direct’s outlook is decidedly unstuffy and forward-thinking, with its marketing and publicity aimed squarely at a younger audience, and security measures that include voice recognition.
Compare first direct credit cards
What types of credit card does first direct offer?
first direct’s card range is small but perfectly-formed, with just two cards. Both are exclusively available to first direct current account holders.
0% balance transfers
Got an outstanding balance with another bank? That needn’t stop you switching. This type of card allows you to transfer a balance (as the name suggests) to first direct, and enjoy a lengthy period of 0% interest on it. If you do this, you should aim to clear the balance before the end of the 0% period, otherwise a much higher rate kicks in. Work out what you should pay each month by dividing the outstanding sum by the number of months at a 0% rate, and aim not to use the card for spending.
Learn more about 0% balance transfer cards
If you’re planning to make major purchases on your card, a 0% interest on purchases card effectively lets you spread the cost over a number of months (providing the purchase is within the credit limit that first direct gives you). Remember that if you only make the minimum required payments each month, you’ll have an outstanding balance when the 0% period ends, and a much higher rate will kick in.
Learn more about 0% purchase cards
Both cards have no annual fee attached, and offer the chance to earn cashback on specific purchases through the separately-administered Visa Offers programme. The cards are Apple Pay and Google Pay-compatible.
How do first direct cards compare against others on the market?
Here are some popular cards offering 0% on balance transfers and purchases.
What benefits can I expect from a first direct credit card?
- Strong customer support. first direct is the original telephone bank, and 24-hour banking service is available to help you make one-off payments, or set up regular payments, or to answer any questions about your credit card account.
- Online account management. first direct’s online banking portal is the place to access a range of options and services attached to your card.
- Additional cards. Additional cards can be issued on a single account, but if you apply, you must also hold a first direct current account. With multiple users, it’s normally possible to earn cashback rewards faster.
- first direct app. If you’re registered for online banking with first direct, you can find the app in Google Play or Apple’s App Store. Use this to do lots of clever things on your first direct credit card account, including setting up one-off or regular payments.
Applying for a first direct credit card
Applying online for a first direct credit card is quick, easy and secure, and takes about 15 minutes.
To qualify for a first direct credit card, you need to:
- Be a UK resident.
- Be over 18 years old.
- Hold a first direct current account, which you need to credit with at least £1,000 per calendar month (after the first six months of holding the account).
- Not have any outstanding County Court Judgments.
- Ensure that you can meet the monthly repayments, as missed payments incur a charge and could have severe consequences on your ability to obtain future credit.
Why might your application not be approved?
If you meet the broad criteria outlined above, but have a history of bad debt or no credit history, you could be rejected. Also, if you have been made the subject of a CCJ you may not be accepted, and you are unlikely to be given a card if you have ever declared bankruptcy.
Frequently-asked questions about first direct credit cards