Compare low APR credit cards

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

Low rate credit cards can help keep your interest costs low if you ever carry a balance on your card. Use the table below to compare credit cards with low rates.

Table: sorted by representative APR, promoted deals first
1 - 10 of 10
Name Product Finder score Finder score Purchases Balance transfers Annual/monthly fees Representative APR Incentive Link
The Royal Bank Credit Card
4.7
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
12.9%
12.9%
(0% fee)
£0
12.9% APR (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 12.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 12.9% APR (variable).
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NatWest Credit Card
4.7
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
12.9%
12.9%
(0% fee)
£0
12.9% APR (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 12.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 12.9% APR (variable).
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The Co-operative Bank 3 Year Fixed Rate Credit Card
3.5
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
8.9%
8.9%
(0% fee)
£0
8.9% APR (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).
Tesco Bank Low APR Clubcard Credit Card
5.0
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
10.941%
11.457%
(3.99% fee)
£0
10.9% 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 10.941% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 10.9% APR (variable).
Lloyds Bank Platinum Low Rate Credit Card
3.5
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
10.94%
10.94%
(5% (0% fee if transfer is completed within the first 90 days) fee)
£0
10.9% APR (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 10.94% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 10.9% APR (variable).
Halifax Credit Card Mastercard
4.0
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
10.94%
10.9%
(5% (0% fee if transfer is done within the first 90 days) fee)
£0
10.9% APR (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 10.94% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 10.9% APR (variable).
Bank of Scotland Platinum Low Rate Credit Card
3.5
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
10.94%
10.94%
(5% (0% fee if transfer is completed within the first 90 days fee)
£0
10.9% APR (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 10.94% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 10.9% APR (variable).
TSB Advance Credit Card Mastercard
2.5
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
0% for 3 months reverting to 12.95%
0% for 3 months
(0% fee)
£0
12.9% APR (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 12.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 12.9% APR (variable).
The Ulster Bank Credit Card Mastercard
4.7
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
12.9%
12.9%
(0% fee)
£0
12.9% APR (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 12.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 12.9% APR (variable).
AIB Student Credit Card
4.0
★★★★★
★★★★★
Expert analysis
12.2%
N/A
£0
12.9% APR (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 12.2% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 12.9% 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 a low rate credit card?

A low rate credit card is designed to help you save money on purchases and existing card debt by charging less interest than most standard credit cards. It can be a good option if you often struggle to pay off your card balance in full each month while transferring existing balances to a card with a lower interest rate can also help you pay off your debt faster.

Before applying for a low rate credit card, keep in mind that plenty of credit cards on the market charge no interest at all for a set period on purchases and/or balance transfers. These are cheaper than borrowing with a low rate card, but you’ll need an excellent credit rating to get the best deals. Plus, if you don’t clear your balance before the 0% period ends, interest kicks in – at which point your borrowing can quickly become very expensive unless you transfer your debt to another 0% balance transfer card.

Low rate credit cards can be a good alternative if you’ve struggled to get accepted for a 0% credit card or if you’re worried you won’t pay off your balance in full before the 0% deal ends.

Use this guide to learn about low interest cards and their features and compare the latest offers.

How do low interest rate credit cards work?

Low interest rate cards work in the same way as other credit cards, but they offer a lower interest rate. According to data from Moneyfacts, the average purchase APR (which includes card fees) on credit cards has risen to an all-time high of 31.1% APR, with the average purchase rate also reaching a record high of 24.83% p.a.

In comparison, low rate cards offer standard variable rates as low as 8.9%.

Many low rate credit cards offer a low rate for the life of the debt. This means there’s no deadline by which you need to have repaid the amount borrowed before the interest rate jumps. However, this low rate is usually “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). In some cases, the low rate might only be offered for a set time, say 3 years. After that point, the interest rate rises considerably.

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 other cards.

If you always clear your balance in full each month, then the card’s interest rate doesn’t matter. That’s because you’ll almost always avoid paying any interest thanks to the grace period that nearly all cards offer. In this case, you might be better off choosing a card with benefits such as reward points or cashback.

What providers offer low rate credit cards?

Several providers offer low rate cards, including a number of high street banks. Currently, some of these providers include:

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

How much money you’ll save depends on how much you spend on your card, the interest rate available and how much you can afford to pay off each month.

Let’s say you spend £2,000 on your credit card and pay off £300 a month. If you had a low rate card that charged 8.9% p.a., you’d pay around £57 in interest, and it would take you around 7 months to pay off your balance.

By comparison, if your card had an interest rate of 20% p.a. you’d pay £126 in interest, and it would take you around 8 months to pay off your balance. In this example, you would save £69 by using a low interest card, and you’d clear your debt a month earlier.

In another example, let’s say you’ve spent £5,000 on your card, and you pay off £300 a month. With a low rate credit card charging 8.9% p.a., you’d pay £343 in interest, and it would take you 18 months to clear the debt.

On the other hand, if your card charged 20% p.a., you’d pay £818 in interest – so £475 more – and it would take you an extra 2 months to pay off the debt.

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 and not the one advertised.

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 credit cards

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

  • What is the purchase or balance transfer 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 might only apply to purchases you make in sterling using the card. Non-sterling transactions could have a different rate, and you might pay a fee per transaction, too. 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) are usually charged at a higher interest rate, and there might be a fee to pay on top. You should also watch out for annual fees – although they’re rare in this type of card. Balance transfer fees don’t always apply on low rate cards either.
  • Does the card offer any additional perks? Low APR credit cards don’t tend to offer a huge amount in the way of rewards, but it’s still worth checking. Some cards might enable you to earn loyalty points, for example. However, avoid spending more on your card than you can afford to repay just to benefit from reward points.
  • 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 you can find out before applying how likely you are to get approved.

How to get a low interest rate credit card

Once you’ve compared your options and chosen the right card for you, start the application process. Click the “Go to site” button from the table above to take you to the bank’s secure application page. From there, you’ll be asked to provide details about yourself, your employment and your financial situation, and you must provide proof of identity. You will usually need your driver’s licence or passport to do this. Applications take about 15 minutes, and most respond within 60 seconds.

Can you get a low rate credit card with a poor credit score?

Low rate credit cards can be a good option if your credit score isn’t high enough to get accepted for a 0% credit card. However, you’ll still likely need a reasonably high credit score to get accepted for a low rate card. If your credit score is poor, you might only qualify for credit cards with high interest rates and low credit limits.

Credit builder credit cards, for example, are designed specifically for those with poor credit. If you use your card sensibly and pay off the balance in full each month, your credit rating should start to improve over time. You might then be able to apply for a more competitive credit card.

Typical eligibility criteria for a low rate credit card

To get accepted for a low rate credit card, you will typically need to:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a UK resident
  • Have a good credit score and borrowing history

Some card providers might also stipulate a minimum income requirement.

Pros and cons of low rate credit cards

Pros

  • Lower interest rate means you’ll be charged less if you don’t pay off your balance in full each month.
  • Paying less interest means you’ll be able to pay off credit card debt faster.
  • Many low rate cards offer a low rate for the life of the card, so you don’t have to worry about rates suddenly jumping.
  • Most low rate cards don’t have annual fees, and some don’t charge balance transfer fees either.

Cons

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

Bottom line

If you often carry a balance, a low interest credit card could save you money on interest payments and help you pay off your credit card debt faster. Just remember that you’ll still be paying interest, so it’s always best to pay off as much as you can each month to minimise the amount of interest you pay overall. If eligible, you might benefit from a 0% purchase or balance transfer card instead.

Common 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 best card for you depends on your particular circumstances and what features are on offer. Comparing low interest rate credit cards based on the features you’re looking for will help you find a card for your individual needs.

How has the Bank of England base rate affected low rate credit cards?

The recent rises in the Bank of England base rate mean that the cost of borrowing has become more expensive. Because interest rates on low rate credit cards are usually variable, banks have been able to increase their rates in response to the rising base rate.

What does “low rate” refer to, and when does it apply?

The “low rate” description typically refers to the purchase rate for that card, but it can also refer to the balance transfer rate. Depending on the card, the low rate might apply to both your spending and any balance transfers you carry out.

In some cases, the low rate might also apply to cash advances, including cash withdrawals, and money transfers that enable you to move money from your credit card into your bank account. However, this won’t always be the case, so check carefully.

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 credit card the cheapest credit card option?

Not necessarily. If you qualify for a 0% credit card and can pay off your debt before the interest-free offer expires, this will be the cheapest credit card option. However, if you’re unable to pay off your balance before the 0% deal ends and interest kicks in, or if you simply don’t qualify for a 0% offer, a low rate credit card can be the next best thing. Just remember to check whether there are any additional fees you might not be aware of.

Other frequently asked questions

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.

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2 Responses

    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
      johnbasanesApril 5, 2019Finder

      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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