Compare first direct credit cards

Find out more about this no-branch provider's two credit card products: the "Standard" and "Gold" cards – available to holders of a first direct current account. Rates starting from 24.9%.

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First Direct

Compare first direct credit cards

Table: sorted by representative APR, promoted deals first
1 - 2 of 2
Name Product Finder Score Purchases Balance transfers Annual/monthly fees Representative APR Incentive Link
first direct Credit Card
3.8
★★★★★
24.9%
0% for 20 months
(2.99% fee)
£0
24.9% APR (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 24.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 24.9% APR (variable).
first direct Gold Credit Card
3.3
★★★★★
0% for 12 months reverting to 24.9%
24.9%
(0% fee)
£0
24.9% APR (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 24.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 24.9% APR (variable).
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Approval for any credit card depends 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. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables is provided by Moneyfacts.

What is first direct?

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. Despite having no branches – operating purely online and over the phone – first direct regularly tops customer satisfaction polls.

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 from 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.
  • 0% purchases. 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 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?

Table: sorted by representative APR, promoted deals first

Here are some popular cards offering 0% on balance transfers and purchases.

The cards below are sorted by their representative APRs, and the length of their 0% on balance transfers offer period, but if you’re interested in comparing the cards by a different feature, you can re-order the table.
1 - 4 of 51
Name Product Finder Score Finder score Balance transfers Balance transfer fee Purchases Annual/monthly fees Representative APR Incentive Link
Santander Everyday Long Term Balance Transfer Credit Card
4.3
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
0% for 26 months reverting to 23.9%
3% (min. £5)
0% for 3 months reverting to 23.9%
£0
23.9% APR (variable)
Sign up for Santander Boosts to receive cashback, vouchers, offers and prize draws from selected retailers.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 23.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 23.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
Santander Everyday No Balance Transfer Fee Credit Card
3.5
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
0% for 12 months reverting to 23.9%
0% for 12 months reverting to 3% (min. £5)
0% for 3 months reverting to 23.9%
£0
23.9% APR (variable)
Sign up for Santander Boosts to receive cashback, vouchers, offers and prize draws from selected retailers.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 23.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 23.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
HSBC Purchase Plus Credit Card
3.8
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
0% for 16 months reverting to 24.9%
3.49%, min £5
0% for 18 months reverting to 24.9%
£0
24.9% 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 24.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 24.9% APR (variable). You might get different interest rates and promotional periods to those shown here, because these depend on your circumstances.
Check eligibility
HSBC Balance Transfer Credit Card
4.0
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
0% for 27 months reverting to 24.9%
3.49% fee, min £5
0% for 3 months reverting to 24.9%
£0
24.9% APR (variable)
Discounts and exclusive offers for dining experiences, leisure activities and shopping available through HSBC Home and Away.
When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 24.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 24.9% APR (variable). You might get different interest rates and promotional periods to those shown here, because these depend on your circumstances.
Check eligibility
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The cards below are sorted by their representative APRs, and the length of their 0% on purchases offer period, but if you’re interested in comparing the cards by a different feature, you can re-order the table.
1 - 4 of 30
Name Product Finder Score Purchases Balance transfers Annual/monthly fees Representative APR Incentive Link
M&S Bank Credit Card Purchase Plus Offer Mastercard
4.1
★★★★★
0% for 20 months reverting to 24.9%
0% for 12 months
(0% fee)
£0
24.9% APR (variable)
1 point per £1 spent with M&S and 1 point per £5 spent elsewhere. Enjoy 55 days interest free, preferential rates plus no cash advance fee when buying M&S travel money with the card.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 24.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 24.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
HSBC Purchase Plus Credit Card
3.8
★★★★★
0% for 18 months reverting to 24.9%
0% for 16 months
(3.49%, min £5 fee)
£0
24.9% 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 24.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 24.9% APR (variable). You might get different interest rates and promotional periods to those shown here, because these depend on your circumstances.
Check eligibility
Santander All in One Credit Card
4.5
★★★★★
0% for 15 months reverting to 23.9%
0% for 15 months
(0% fee)
£3 per month
29.8% APR (variable)
0.5% after £1 of monthly spend. Maximum of £10 cashback paid per month. 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 23.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £3 per month, your representative rate is 29.8% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
Tesco Bank Clubcard Plus Credit Card Mastercard
4.6
★★★★★
0% for 24 months reverting to 19.94%
21.81%
(3.99% fee)
£7.99 per month
37.7% APR (variable)
5 points per £4 spent (£4 minimum) in Tesco and 1 point per £8 spent (£8 minimum) outside Tesco. Must have available credit to earn points. Points are converted to Tesco vouchers or can be exchanged for Partner rewards to receive money off a variety of restaurants, entertainment or Avios points.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.94% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £7.99 per month, your representative rate is 37.7% APR (variable).
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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.

Eligibility requirements

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.

first direct customer reviews

first direct has received mostly positive reviews from customers, according to review site Trustpilot. It has a rating of 4.4 out of 5, based on more than 19,600 reviews (updated October 2023). Some customers highlighted the quick customer service and liked their “easy-to-use” app.

Overview of First Direct credit cards

Representative APR 24.9%
0% balance transfer offer Up to 20 months
0% purchases offer Up to 12 months
0% money transfer offer No money transfer offer available
Cashback with brand Cashback not available
Cashback elsewhere Cashback not available
Cash advance From 29.9%
Introductory bonus offer No introductory bonus offers available

Frequently-asked questions about first direct credit cards

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. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables has the source: Moneyfacts Group PLC. In other cases, Finder has sourced data directly from providers.

More guides on Finder

  • first direct Gold Credit Card review

    Existing first direct current account holders can spread the cost of an upcoming expenditure with this 0% interest on purchases deal.

  • first direct Balance Transfers Credit Card review 2024

    Everything you need to know about the First Direct Balance Transfers Credit Card. Fast and simple overview of rates, fees, credit limits and eligibility requirements. Compare this card against similar products from a range of lenders.

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