smile Classic Credit Card review 2021

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A cashback card for existing Smile or Co-operative Bank customers.

Finder rating: ★★★★★

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).

Earn 1p

per £4 spent


Representative APR


Balance transfer fee


Account fee


IssuerThe Co-operative Bank
Rep. APR19.9% (variable)
Annual/monthly fees£0
Loyalty schemeCashback
Cashback details0.25% after £1 of monthly spend. Cashback paid Monthly into Card Account.
Purchases interest-free period (days)56
Balance transfers19.9%

Review by

Chris Lilly is a publisher at 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

The Smile Classic Credit Card offers cashback on all spending with no annual fee. It’s not the biggest cashback percentage in the market, but if you use the card regularly, you’ll still make enough to treat yourself to dinner once a year or so. The cashback will be credited directly into your credit card account, so the whole process is totally hassle-free.

When it comes to financial features, this is a fairly standard credit card that can add some extra flexibility to your monthly budget. Provided you clear your balance in full each month you’ll be able to take advantage of up to 56 days of 0% interest on your purchases.

The interest rate is fairly average, but the good news is, if you qualify for the card, it’s exactly the one you’ll get. Unlike most credit card providers, that are only required to grant the advertised rate to 51% of their customers, smile guarantees it to all applicants that are approved.

Finally, if you’re a bit of a globetrotter, keep in mind that this is not the right card for your travels, because it will charge a 2.75% fee on all non-sterling transactions.

The smile Classic 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


  • Earn cashback on day-to-day spending
  • No annual fee


  • Minimum annual income requirement of £10,000
  • Applicants with low credit scores are unlikely to be eligible
  • Only available to existing customers

How does it compare with other cashback deals?

Table: sorted by representative APR, promoted deals first
Name Product Rewards earn rate Max. intro bonus Purchases Rep. APR Link Incentive Representative example
American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday Card
1% cashback
22.2% (variable)
Check eligibility
New Cardmember offer: Get 5% cashback on your purchases (up to £100) for the first 3 months of Cardmembership. Cashback earn rates will change from the 4 August.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.2% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.2% APR (variable).
Santander All in One Credit Card
0.5% cashback
0% for 20 months reverting to 17.9%
23.7% (variable)
Check eligibility
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).
American Express Platinum Cashback Card
1.25% cashback
27.3% (variable)
Check eligibility
As a new Cardmember, get 5% cashback on your purchases (up to £125) for the first 3 months of Cardmembership. Cashback earn rates will change from the 4 August.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.2% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £25 per annum, your representative rate is 27.3% APR (variable).
AIB Options 1 Credit Card
0.5% cashback
18.9% (variable)
0.5% after £5000 of yearly spend. Minimum of 12 transactions per year required. Maximum of £250 cashback paid per year. Cashback paid Anniversary into Card Account. For initial £5K a £25 cashback is paid, plus an additional £1 for every further £200 spent.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 18.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 18.9% APR (variable).
smile Classic Credit Card
0.25% cashback
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).

Compare up to 4 providers

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 Smile's app, by logging in to your online banking or over the phone (0345 600 6000). Alternatively, you may wish to set up a direct debit.

A direct debit protects you from forgetting to make a repayment and either damaging your credit score, getting hit with a penalty fee (£10) or losing any promotional rates as a result.

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 Smile customer and you've compared cards and settled on the smile Classic 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 smile Classic Credit Card?

If Smile is able to offer you this deal, the offer will specify a personalised credit limit based on Smile's assessment of your situation. The minimum limit offered on this card is £200 and Smile does not specify a maximum. Once you've had the card for a while and shown Smile that you're reliable, you may wish to apply for a credit limit increase.

Can I withdraw cash using the smile Classic 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 smile Classic Credit Card is 3% (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 £7.50.

The interest rate on this part of your balance will be 27.9%, which is 40% 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 smile Classic Credit Card abroad?

Non-sterling transactions are subject to a 2.75% charge. For example, if you spend 200 euros (£172.22), it'll cost you around £4.74.

What is the minimum payment on the smile Classic Credit Card?

Each month you must pay at least 2% of your balance at that point or £5.00 – whichever of the two figures is greater. So if you had, say, £225.00 outstanding, you'd pay £5.00, and if you had £1,000.00 outstanding, you'd pay £20.00.

Paying only the minimum required amount each month is generally not advisable as it tends to be a very expensive way to borrow money which can lead to persistent debt.

Can I request an additional smile Classic Credit Card?

Yes, you can request one more. There's no fee for additional cards. Plus, with additional cards, you could earn cashback at a faster rate. Bear in mind that card debt accrued by additional cardholders is the sole responsibility of the account holder – not the additional cardholder.

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Our experts score cashback credit cards to determine their value against similar products on the market. We look at a number of important factors, like welcome bonuses, introductory and ongoing earn-rates, any limits or restrictions to earning cashback, 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.

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