smile Gold Credit Card review 2021

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An everyday credit card for existing Smile or Co-operative Bank customers.

Finder rating: ★★★★★

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).

15.8%

Representative APR

0%

Balance transfer fee

£0

Account fee

Up to 56 days

Interest-free each billing period

Details

IssuerThe Co-operative Bank
NetworkVisa
Annual/monthly fees£0
Balance transfers15.8%
Balance transfer fee0%
Purchases15.8%
Purchases interest-free periodUp to 56 days
Cash advances27.9%
Min credit limit£300
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

There isn’t a lot to say about this no-frills credit card. If you already have a Co-operative Bank or a smile current account and you don’t want to waste your time looking for alternative deals, you could consider it.

There’s no monthly or annual fee to worry about. The rate is neither the best nor the worst you can find, so ideally you want to clear your balance in full and on time each billing cycle.

If you do, you will be able to take advantage of up to 56 days of 0% interest on your purchases.

Approval for this card will, as usual, depend on your credit score; but smile says that if you are approved, you will get exactly the rate advertised, which is a refreshing approach compared to other providers.

Realistically, if you have a specific purpose in mind, such as spreading the cost of an upcoming expenditure, or minimising the amount of interest you’re paying on existing card debt, there’s likely to be cheaper options out there.

There are also no extra rewards or perks to make this card look a little bit less dull. But, hey, it does the job, and if you’re after a very simple but effective card, it could be worth a closer look.

The smile 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

  • No annual fee

Cons

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

How does this card compare with other similar cards on the market?

Table: sorted by representative APR, promoted deals first
Name Product Purchases Balance transfers Annual/monthly fees Rep. APR Incentive Link
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
Sainsbury's Bank Dual Offer Credit Card Mastercard
0% for 19 months reverting to 21.95%
0% for 19 months
(3% fee)
£0
21.9% (variable)
Earn 750 bonus Nectar points each time £35 or more spent on Sainsbury's shopping, up to ten times in your first 2 months, up to a total of 7,500 points, offer available for new customers. Earn 3 Nectar points per £1 spent in Sainsbury's and Argos. Earn 1 Nectar point for every £5 spent elsewhere.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
Halifax 0% Purchase and Balance Transfer Mastercard
0% for 17 months reverting to 19.95%
0% for 17 months
(2.99% fee)
£0
19.9% (variable)
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 19.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 19.9% APR (variable).
Sainsbury's Bank Nectar Balance Transfer Credit Card Mastercard
0% for 3 months reverting to 21.95%
0% for 28 months
(2% fee)
£0
21.9% (variable)
Earn 750 bonus Nectar points each time £35 or more spent on Sainsbury's shopping, up to ten times in your first 2 months, up to a total of 7,500 points, offer available for new customers. Earn 3 Nectar points per £1 spent in Sainsbury's and Argos. Earn 1 Nectar point for every £5 spent elsewhere.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
Sainsbury’s Bank No Balance Transfer Fee Credit Card
0% for 3 months reverting to 21.95%
0% for 18 months
(0% fee)
£0
21.9% (variable)
Earn 750 bonus Nectar points each time £35 or more spent on Sainsbury's shopping, up to ten times in your first 2 months, up to a total of 7,500 points, offer available for new customers. Earn 3 Nectar points per £1 spent in Sainsbury's and Argos. Earn 1 Nectar point for every £5 spent elsewhere.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 21.95% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 21.9% APR (variable).
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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 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 smile Gold 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 £300 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 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 smile Gold 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 77% 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 Gold Credit Card abroad?

Non-sterling transactions are subject to a 2.75% charge. For example, if you spend 200 euros (£171.85), it'll cost you around £4.73.

What is the minimum payment on the smile Gold 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.

Finder credit card ratings

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

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