Compare low interest rate credit cards for November 2019

Keep interest costs down and enjoy flexibility with a card that offers an ongoing low rate.

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A low rate credit card is designed to help you save money on purchases and existing card debt by charging less interest than other credit cards. If you don’t pay your card off in full each month, a low rate card helps keep your interest charges to a minimum. Switching to a card with a lower interest rate can also help you pay off your debt faster. Use this guide to learn how low interest rate cards work and compare the features and offers available to find the right low rate card for your needs.

Before diving in, it’s worth noting that there are plenty of 0% deals available on the market – on balance transfers or forthcoming purchases, or even both. Those cards offer a rate of 0% for a set period, after which a much less competitive “revert rate” kicks in. So if you’re after a credit card to spread the cost of an upcoming expenditure or to help you clear existing card debt – rather than for longer-term ongoing use, a 0% deal will usually work out cheapest (and when it’s served its purpose you can just cancel it). Use the links below to compare these types of card, or carry on to compare cards with low ongoing rates using the table below.

Compare low rate credit cards

Table: sorted by representative APR, promoted deals first
Updated November 13th, 2019
Name Product Purchases Balance transfers Annual/monthly fees Rep. APR Incentive Representative example
0% for 1 months reverting to 5.94%
0% for 1 months reverting to 6.054%
£0
5.9% p.a. (variable)
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. Exclusions apply. Clubcard points collection rates are subject to change. Must have available credit. Clubcard points are converted to Clubcard vouchers which can be used on your shopping in Tesco, or get even more value through Clubcard Rewards Partners.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 5.94% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 5.9% APR (variable).
9.9%
6.9%
£0
9.9% p.a. (variable)
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).
9.9%
6.9%
£0
9.9% p.a. (variable)
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).
6.9%
6.9%
£0
6.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 6.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 6.9% APR (variable).
4.9% for 48 months reverting to 8.9%
4.9% for 48 months reverting to 8.9%
£0
8.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 8.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 8.9% APR (variable).
9.95%
9.95%
£0
9.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 9.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 9.9% APR (variable).
9.9%
9.9%
£0
9.9% p.a. (variable)
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).
9.9%
9.9%
£0
9.9% p.a. (variable)
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).
9.94%
9.94%
£0
9.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 9.94% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 9.9% APR (variable).
9.95%
9.95%
£0
9.9% p.a. (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 9.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 9.9% APR (variable).

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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.

More about low interest rate credit cards

Low interest rate cards offer a much lower interest rate for purchases than standard credit cards. While credit cards in the UK typically have interest rates that range from 12% to 30% per annum, low rate cards offer standard variable rates as low as 6% p.a.

This low rate will usually be “variable” – meaning that the card issuer may decide to increase or decrease it at any point (for example if the Bank of England’s base rate goes up or down).

A low rate credit card can make good sense if you regularly pay with plastic and know you won’t always pay off the balance in full each month. It gives you the flexibility to pay off your balance over time, without the punishing high interest charges of some other cards.

If you do always clear your balance in full each month, then the card’s interest rate doesn’t actually matter. That’s because you’ll almost always avoid paying any interest at all thanks to the grace period that almost all cards offer.

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How much money could I save with a low rate credit card?

That’ll depend on how you use your card. Even a small difference in credit card interest rates can save you a lot of money.

Let’s say you spend £2,000 on your credit card and take six months to pay it off. If you had a low rate card that charged 6% p.a., you’d pay around £35 in interest while clearing your balance. But with an interest rate of 20% p.a. you’d pay close to £120 in interest over the same time period. In that example, a low rate card could save you around £95, but the bigger your expenditure, or the longer you take to repay it, the bigger the saving gets.

However, if you already have a large existing credit card debt and want to pay it off as quickly and cheaply as possible, you should consider a 0% balance transfer card instead. Similarly, if don’t have existing card debt but you always pay your balance in full, then a card with benefits such as reward points or cashback might have more to offer you.

What is APR?

Credit card promotions must include a representative APR (annual percentage rate), which all card issuers must calculate in the same way. It’s designed to help consumers to compare the yearly cost of borrowing across multiple cards.

The APR takes into account a card’s default interest rate (not any promotional introductory rate) on purchases, plus any mandatory fees. If the card you’re looking at doesn’t come with an annual/monthly account fee, then chances are the purchase rate and the APR will be the same figure.

There’s a BIG catch, however. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) states that this rate must be what 51% (or more) of people accepted for a card receive. The other 49% could be offered a higher rate (and for the best deals out there, chances are they will be). That’s why it’s often called the “typical” or “representative” APR. That’s especially important with low interest rate credit cards because they usually require a pretty good credit score. If yours is less than perfect, you’ll likely be offered a higher rate.

It’s also important to remember that although it can help, the representative APR isn’t everything. If you pay off your balance in full each month, you’ll usually avoid paying interest altogether.

How to compare low interest rate credit cards

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With a wide range of low rate credit cards on offer in the UK, comparing your options will help you find one that suits your needs. Here are the key factors you should consider:

Interest rates

If you’ve got your heart set on a low-rate card, here are some of the big questions to ask:

  • What is the purchase rate? Just how low is that low rate? Is it fixed or variable, and if it’s fixed, how long is it fixed for, and what does it revert to?
  • What other rates and fees apply? The standard purchases rate will only apply to purchases you make in sterling using the card. Non sterling transactions could have a different rate and come with a one-off fee attached. If you plan to use your credit card when you travel overseas or shop online with international retailers, a card that waives foreign transaction fees could save you more money. Cash advances (that’s withdrawing cash using the card) and balance transfers (that’s when you bring exiting debt over from an old credit card) will also usually have their own interest rate and fee structure. Finally, you should also watch out for annual fees – although they’re rare in this type of card.
  • What perks can the card offer? If you’re not carrying much in the way of ongoing debt on the card, maybe you should ask what the card can do for you. Some might offer the chance to earn rewards points, for example. Just don’t fall into the trap of chasing reward points to the extent that you spend money when you otherwise wouldn’t have. The most significant perks and rewards tend to be offset by an annual or monthly fee – in which case it’s simply a question of working out how much you’d benefit to decide if the fee is worth paying.
  • Are you eligible? Each card issuer specifies minimum eligibility criteria, which might include being a UK resident and having a specified minimum income. Beyond that, it’s down to the issuer’s assessment of your unique circumstances. Almost all issuers now offer an eligibility checker facility, so that you can find out before applying how likely you are to get approved.

Pros and cons of low rate credit cards

Pros

  • You’ll pay less interest on purchases, making it easier to manage your credit card debt.
  • Many low rate cards also have low, if not zero, annual fees.
  • Many low rate cards do not have introductory offer rates – meaning that their rates will stay low indefinitely and there’s no need to set yourself a calendar reminder to switch when the rate expires.
  • You can often combine low rate cards with other features such as balance transfers or zero foreign transaction fees.

Cons

  • You’re less likely to receive reward points and other perks.
  • You may not qualify if you have a poor credit history.
  • That low rate is usually a variable one – so while it’s likely to stay low, nothing’s guaranteed.

If you often carry a balance, a low interest credit card could help you save on additional fees and charges. Just remember to consider the other features – such as introductory offers, annual fees, and complimentary extras – to help you find a card that best suits your needs.

How to get a low interest rate credit card

After you’ve compared your options, applying for a low interest rate credit card is easy. Click the “Go to site” button from the table above and you will be taken to the bank’s secure application page. From there you’ll be asked to provide details about yourself, your employment, your financial situation and must prove your identity. In order to prove your identity you will usually need your driver’s licence or passport. Applications take about 15 minutes and most provide a response within 60 seconds.

Answers to frequently asked questions about low interest rate credit cards

What is the best low-interest credit card?
There is no one “best” low rate credit card in the UK. With so many cards on the market, the suitability of a credit card to your particular circumstances will vary depending on the features of each card. So, the card that’s right for you may not be right for someone else. Comparing low interest rate credit cards based on the features you’re looking for will help you find a card for your individual needs.
What does “low rate” refer to, and when does it apply?
With this type of credit card, the “low rate” description refers to the purchase rate for that card. This is the interest rate that’s applied to most transactions you make. It usually doesn’t apply to cash advance transactions, including cash withdrawals, gift card purchases, foreign currency purchases and gambling transactions.
How is credit card interest calculated?
Although the interest rate advertised is a yearly (per annum / p.a.) number, credit card interest is actually calculated daily based on your average daily balance. It’s then charged to your account at the end of each statement period.
Is a low rate card the cheapest credit card option?
There isn’t a single “cheapest” credit card option, because everyone uses credit cards differently. There are also other costs to consider beyond the purchase rate, such as annual fees and interest rates for other charges such as cash advances or balance transfers. On the flipside, some people might find cards with high rates and fees “cheap” because of all the complimentary extras.

Simply put, the term “cheapest credit card” is really subjective and varies from person to person. So when you’re trying to find a credit card that’s affordable, make sure you consider all of the potential costs based on how you plan to use the account. That way, you’ll be able to find one with rates and fees that are affordable for you.

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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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    PaulApril 4, 2019

    If I transfer the balance which exists on a high rate credit card to another card, will I be able to keep my existing card (i.e. with a zero or low balance)?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      johnbasanesApril 5, 2019Staff

      Hi Paul,

      Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

      Yes you have the option to keep the existing card once the balance transfer has been made. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

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