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0% on balance transfers - These cards let you move debt from an existing credit card (or cards) onto a new credit card and pay no interest on the balance you transfer for a period of time. You could however be charged a balance transfer fee for moving money onto these cards and you must pay off the minimum amount each month and the outstanding amount before the 0% deal expires to avoid being charged interest.

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0% balance transfer
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0% on purchases - Useful if you’re planning to buy more expensive items, these cards allow you to spread the payment over a number of months without paying interest. That’s assuming you pay off the minimum amount each month and the outstanding amount before the 0% deal expires.

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0% on purchases credit cards
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0% on balance transfer and purchases - These offer interest free periods for new purchases and interest free balance transfers from other credit cards. Again, you could be charged a fee for transferring your balance and you need to make sure you pay off the minimum amount each month and the outstanding amount before the 0% deal expires. 

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0% balance transfer and purchases credit cards
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Reward cards - Some credit cards offer a feature whereby you can earn cashback, points, air miles or another reward as you spend. Each card will have its own terms and conditions, however, so be clear on what you’re signing up for. Don’t forget, you’ll need to pay off the balance in full each month to avoid charges.

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Rewards cards
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Credit building cards – If you have a low credit score, these types of cards – also known as bad-credit cards – could help you out. They might give you access to funds and, when used in the right way, could help you build up your credit rating.

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Credit building cards
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Use abroad - Designed specifically to use while you’re travelling or on holiday, these cards usually have low or 0% fees for foreign usage charges. They may also come with favourable exchange rates while you spend abroad.

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Use abroad
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Money transfer credit cards - These cards allow you to transfer cash from your credit card directly into your current account. You can repay the balance, often interest-free, over a set period of time. But watch out, there’s usually a money transfer fee, and if you don’t pay the minimum amount each month interest will be charged.

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Money transfer cards

Frequently asked questions

  • How do credit cards work?
  • What are some of the pros and cons of credit cards?
  • What does APR mean?
  • Why should I pay off more than the minimum fee each month?
  • How can I check my credit score?
  • Why might I be rejected for a credit card?
  • Does comparethemarket.com compare all the credit cards on the market?
  • Why compare credit cards with us?

How do credit cards work?

Credit cards let you purchase things on credit, online and instore. Each month, your card provider will send you a statement (online or by post) informing you of the outstanding balance you owe and the minimum payment required.

If you choose to pay just the minimum amount, and not the statement in full, you may incur interest charges on the outstanding balance. Every credit card is different and so charges and fees will differ – always read your terms and conditions with care.

What are some of the pros and cons of credit cards?

Credit cards are protected by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. If you make a purchase between £100 and £30,000, you can get the money back from a card issuer if either the seller goes bust or your item is faulty. Credit cards can also help to build your credit score.

On the other hand, people can (and often do) get into serious debt problems when it comes to the misuse of credit cards so you have to use them carefully. Find out more about some of the charges which can affect credit card users

What does APR mean?

The annual percentage rate (APR) lets you know how much interest you’ll pay for borrowing money on a credit card. This is typically stated as a yearly interest rate.

For most cards, you can avoid interest payments on transactions if you pay your balance in full each month by the due date. Learn more about APR, including the difference between personal and representative APR.

Why should I pay off more than the minimum fee each month?

It sounds obvious, but the more you pay the faster your debt will disappear so always aim to pay more than the minimum payment due. The minimum payment is the lowest amount you need to pay in order to avoid potential penalties.

It’s usually calculated as a percentage of your balance – don’t think of it as a fixed amount. It’s not. The amount you need to repay each month as a minimum will fall as your balance reduces.

How can I check my credit score?

The three main credit reference agencies are Experian, Equifax and CallCredit. These all have information about you which lenders can see before making a decision on offering you credit. Since May 2018 and with the introduction of new GDPR regulations, it remains free to check your credit score online.

Why might I be rejected for a credit card?

Your credit history, also known as your credit report or score, is a major factor in determining if you’ll be accepted for a credit card. Lenders will take your score and use it to judge how likely they think you’ll be able to repay debt on a card. Learn more about credit building cards.

It’s worth knowing that you may be asked to pay a higher rate of interest if a lender sees you as a higher risk. Each lender will have their own reasons for the rates they set and so understanding what’s in your credit file is a really good place to start. 

Does comparethemarket.com compare all the credit cards on the market?

We have many credit cards for you to compare, from major banks and leading credit card providers. But we don’t compare every single credit card available in the UK.

That’s because some credit card providers have exclusives through their own branches or websites, or on other price comparison websites – in the same way that we sometimes do. Also, there are credit cards which are only available to people in clubs or membership organisations.

Why compare credit cards with us?

We let you compare credit card deals quickly, so that you can find one most suited to your needs. It’s super-easy to filter your choices by card type, so when it comes to finding great credit card deals for you it won’t take long at all.

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