Compare Smile credit cards for May 2021

Smile, an online-only bank, prides itself on having "no queues, no jargon, no nonsense." It keeps things simple with its credit card offering too, with two clear options for its customers.


Compare Smile credit cards

Name Product Purchases Annual/monthly fees Initial credit limits Rep. APR Link Incentive Representative example
smile Gold Credit Card
Min. limit £300, max. limit not specified.
15.8% (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 15.8% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 15.8% APR (variable).
smile Classic Credit Card
Min. limit £200, max. limit not specified.
19.9% (variable)
0.25% after £1 of monthly spend. Cashback paid Monthly into Card Account.
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).

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What is Smile?

Founded by the Co-operative Bank in 1999, Smile was the UK’s first fully digital bank. Its aim was to make banking accessible, direct and fuss-free. Smile frequently comes out top in industry awards for its customer service.

Smile’s credit cards are part of the Visa network, so they are accepted at tens of millions of merchants and ATMs in more than 200 countries.

What types of card does Smile offer?

Smile takes an uncomplicated approach to the credit card market, offering its customers two distinct choices.

  • Cashback cards

    With its Classic credit card, Smile avoids headline-grabbing interest free periods for purchases and balance transfers to entice its customers, and instead focuses on an ongoing low interest rate. With this card you can also earn cashback on your purchases (with the normal exceptions, like cash withdrawals, currency and travellers cheques), allowing you to make your money work harder. This card also has the benefit of no annual fee and no balance transfer fee.
    Learn more about cashback credit cards

  • Low-rate cards

    Smile’s Gold card offers an even lower ongoing interest rate than the cashback card. Eligibility remains the same, but this card comes with no cashback incentive. Like the cashback card, it has the benefit of no annual fee and no balance transfer fee, so you know exactly what to expect.
    Learn more about low-rate cards

What benefits can I get with a Smile credit card?

  • Online account management. Smile is dedicated to providing a user-friendly, hassle-free online experience, meaning you can manage all your banking on its website and through the Smile app.
  • App. With the Smile mobile banking app, you can keep an eye on your recent payments, pay bills from anywhere at any time, set up and manage text alerts and receive personalised content if you wish.
  • Global usage. Smile credit cards are part of the Visa network, so they are accepted at tens of millions of merchants and ATMs in more than 200 countries.
  • Card reader. A card reader adds an extra layer of protection when you use online banking and pay people online. It’s a free tool, which helps Smile confirm that it’s you using the account.
  • Get the advertised rate. If your application is accepted, you’ll receive the exact rate and offer advertised, so there are no nasty surprises.

Applying for a Smile credit card

You can apply for a Smile credit card online in around 10 minutes. Simply fill out the online form providing your personal information such as name, address, bank details, income, outgoings and work status.

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible for a Smile credit card, you must:

  • Reside in the UK.
  • Be 18 or over.
  • Earn over £10,000 a year.
  • Be an existing customer having held a Co-operative Bank or Smile current account for at least 7 months (Cashminder, Student and Pathfinder accounts are not eligible).
  • Not be currently declared bankrupt, or have had county court judgements or decrees in the last six years.
  • Not be in arrears or have not missed more than two payments on any credit agreement in the last six months.
  • Be employed full time, part time, self-employed or retired.

Why might you not be approved?

On the whole, if you meet the eligibility requirements but have a history of bad debt or no credit history at all, you may be rejected. Equally if you are in an IVA or have had a CCJ you may not be accepted. If you have ever declared bankruptcy you are also unlikely to receive a card.

Smile customer reviews

Smile has received poor reviews overall from customers, according to review platform Trustpilot. It currently has a rating of 1.5 out of 5, based on more than 450 reviews (updated 17 March 2021). Some customers reported problems with their cards being locked or having transactions declined unexpectedly.

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.

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