first direct Gold Credit Card review 2021

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Existing first direct current account holders can spread the cost of a large upcoming expenditure with 17 months of 0% interest on purchases.

Finder rating: ★★★★★

Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 16.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 16.9% APR (variable).

17 months

0% interest on purchases

16.9%

Representative APR

£0

Account fee

Up to 56 days

Interest-free each billing period

Details

Issuerfirst direct
NetworkVisa
Annual/monthly fees£0
Balance transfers16.9%
Balance transfer fee2.9% (min. £5)
Purchases0% for 17 months reverting to 16.9%
Purchases interest-free periodUp to 56 days
Cash advances23.9%
Min credit limit£500
Max credit limitNot specified
Additional cards available1
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Review by


Chris Lilly is a publisher at finder.com. He's a specialist in credit-based products including business and personal loans, mortgages and credit cards, and is passionate about helping UK consumers make informed decisions about their borrowing. In his spare time Chris likes forcing his kids to exercise more.

Expert review

This is a decent (although not spectacular) 0% purchase card. If you already bank with first direct, the digital-only arm of HSBC, and are anticipating a large upcoming expenditure, it could help you to spread the cost. The 0% deal isn’t super long, but it does the job.

There’s also no annual or monthly fee to worry about. However, don’t forget that after the introductory 0% period expires, any outstanding balance will start to accrue interest at the card’s standard rate. Make sure you have a plan to pay it off before that happens.

This card is only available to existing customers and you can’t get a balance transfer deal on it. If that’s what you’re looking for, you may want to check out first direct’s other credit card instead.

You don’t wanna take this card on holiday with you abroad (or maybe you do, but just to take it for a ride – you definitely don’t want to use it!) because it charges a 2.99% foreign currency transaction fee. Which means that for every £100 you spend in another currency, you’ll owe £2.99 to first direct. Not good.

On a happier note, you can score some nice rewards with this card thanks to the Visa Offers scheme. If you subscribe, you’ll get cashback when you use the card at certain retailers.

The first direct Gold Credit Card is issued on the Visa network (used by a whopping 3.3 billion cards), so you'll be able to use it at more than 46 million merchants across more than 200 countries and territories.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Over a year to spread the cost of purchases
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • Applicants with low credit scores are unlikely to be eligible
  • Only available to existing customers

How does it compare?

First Direct's card

Name Product Purchases Balance transfers Annual/monthly fees Rep. APR Incentive Link
first direct Gold Credit Card
0% for 17 months reverting to 16.9%
16.9%
(2.9% fee)
£0
16.9% (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 16.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 16.9% APR (variable).
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Other popular 0% purchases deals

Table: sorted by representative APR, promoted deals first
Name Product Purchases Balance transfers Annual/monthly fees Rep. APR Incentive Link
Santander All in One Credit Card
0% for 20 months reverting to 17.9%
0% for 26 months
(0% fee)
£3 per month
23.7% (variable)
0.5% cashback after £1 of monthly spend. 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 17.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £3 per month, your representative rate is 23.7% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
M&S Bank Shopping Plus Credit Card
0% for 20 months reverting to 21.9%
0% for 20 months
(2.9% fee)
£0
21.9% (variable)
Earn 1 point for every £1 spent at Marks and Spencer's and 1 point for every £5 spent elsewhere. 100 points = £1 reward voucher. Points will be converted into reward vouchers 4 times a year.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
HSBC Purchase Plus Credit Card Visa
0% for 18 months reverting to 22.9%
0% for 18 months
(2.9% fee)
£0
22.9% (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 22.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
M&S Bank Reward Plus Mastercard
0% for 6 months reverting to 19.9%
0% for 6 months
(2.9% fee)
£0
19.9% (variable)
Double points on spend in M&S for first 12 months (2 points per £1). Then earn 1 point for every £1 spent at Marks and Spencer's and 1 point for every £5 spent elsewhere. 100 points = £1 reward voucher. Points will be converted into reward vouchers 4 times a year.
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).
Check eligibility
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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.

Repayment options

You can make manual repayments through First Direct's app, by logging in to your online banking or over the phone (03 456 00 24 24). Alternatively, you may wish to set up a direct debit.

A direct debit protects you from forgetting to make a repayment and losing your promotional interest rate as a result (as well as damaging your credit score and incurring the late payment fee of £12). If you're planning a major expenditure, you could use a fixed-amount direct debit to ensure you've cleared the debt before the 0% period expires – simply divide your initial expenditure by 17 to see what you'll need to pay each month (this assumes you don't use the card for ongoing spending).

You can arrange a direct debit for repayments when you apply for the credit card. The table below shows the options available.

Choose from the following direct debit options for your monthly repayments:

Minimum amount Fixed amount Fixed percentage Full amount

How to apply

If you're an existing First Direct customer and you've compared cards and settled on the first direct Gold Credit Card, completing the secure online application form takes about 15 minutes. Before you apply, check that you meet the eligibility requirements and have the information and documents you'll need to make the process as straightforward as possible.

Frequently asked questions

What credit limit will I get with the first direct Gold Credit Card?

If First Direct is able to offer you this deal, the offer will specify a personalised credit limit based on First Direct's assessment of your situation. The minimum limit offered on this card is £500 and First Direct does not specify a maximum. Once you've had the card for a while and shown First Direct that you're reliable, you may wish to apply for a credit limit increase.

Can I withdraw cash using the first direct Gold Credit Card?

Although it's possible, withdrawing cash from a credit card account is generally not a good idea, as "cash-like transactions" (withdrawing cash at an ATM, getting cashback at the till, spending at a casino, buying currency, etc.) often incur steep fees and/or higher rates of interest.

The cash advance fee on the first direct Gold Credit Card is 2.99% (min. £3). For example, if you withdraw £50, you'll incur a fee of £3.00. Withdraw £250, and you'll incur a fee of £7.48.

The interest rate on this part of your balance will be 23.9%, which is 41% more than the standard purchases rate (chargeable from the day of the transaction – the card's usual "up to 56 days interest-free" grace period won't apply).

How much does it cost to use the first direct Gold Credit Card abroad?

Non-sterling transactions are subject to a 2.99% charge. For example, if you spend 200 euros (£171.78), it'll cost you around £5.14.

What is the minimum payment on the first direct Gold Credit Card?

Each month you must pay at least 3% of your balance at that point or £5.00 – whichever of the two figures is greater. So if you had, say, £150.00 outstanding, you'd pay £5.00, and if you had £666.67 outstanding, you'd pay £20.00.

Paying only the minimum required amount each month is generally not advisable as it makes it much harder to get debt-free before that introductory 0% period expires.

Finder credit card ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent
★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor

Our experts score 0% purchase credit cards to determine their value against similar products on the market. We look at a number of important factors, like the length of the 0% deal, any perks/benefits the card offers, plus the potential costs involved with running the card both in the short and longer term.

You can read more about our scoring criteria on our credit card methodology page.

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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