A simples guide

Compare Credit Card Providers

Searching for a new credit card can be confusing, and sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. That’s partly because there are dozens of credit card providers out there.

The sheer number of providers does make it more complicated, but its good news too. The more credit cards there are, the harder they have to compete to win customers, so that means there could be more offers and deals for you.

So to make sense of the different offers out there and who’s providing them, you’ve come to the right place.

We’ll give you options to help you find the right deals from providers on the market, from high street banks and money brands to well-known retailers, supermarkets, and other trusted brands.

The first thing to consider when choosing a credit card is why you need it. You should try to avoid using credit cards if you can help it. But if you want one, think what kind of card would work best for you.

There are actually eight different kinds of credit cards to compare with comparethemarket.com. They range from zero percent interest credit cards and cashback cards, through to credit building credit cards.

Zero percent balance transfer credit cards

These cards let you move an existing credit card balance over to the new card, and for a set time you won’t have to pay any interest on that balance. The time limit could be anything from a few months to a year or two.

Remember though you’ll also need to factor in the cost of the ‘balance transfer fee’. Some cards will offer 0% transfer feeds but some providers charge a fee which is often a percentage of the total amount you hope to transfer.

A lot of the providers of this kind of credit card are financial brands, like Bank of Scotland, Barclaycard, Halifax, Virgin Money and Santander.

There are a couple of retail brands though, like Asda Money, Tesco Bank, M&S Money and Sainsbury’s Bank.

To compare this card look at the APR and the length of the zero interest deal. Our credit card comparison page works out how much this could save you over the full deal period.

Zero interest on new purchases

This kind of credit card charges no interest for a certain length of time for any purchases you make. Again, offers usually last between three months and two years.

Providers include leading banks and credit card brands like MBNA and Barclaycard, plus other brands including AA and Saga.

Some of these cards will also enable 0% interest on balance transfers (just be mindful of fees for transferring the balance). 

Zero interest on balance transfers and purchases

These cards have a combination of 0% interest on new purchased and balance transfers, each for a set period of time.

Cashback and Rewards cards

These cards might be useful for people that use their cards a lot, but always pay off their balance every month. With a cashback card you get a certain percentage of your spending back as ‘cash’ – or money off your bill.

We compare cashback cards from AA, American Express, Asda Money, Natwest, Royal Bank of Scotland and Santander.

Reward cards might give you loyalty points, vouchers or travel miles instead of cash. Providers of this kind of card include those above, and also Barclaycard, Lloyds Bank, M&S Money, Nationwide, Natwest, Sainsbury’s Bank, Tesco Bank, TSB and Virgin Money. Check our comparison page to find out exactly what each card will offer.

Low APR cards

Low APR cards have lower fees and interest rates than the average credit card.

The providers are mainly banks, building societies and credit card brands such as Lloyds Bank, Halifax, Barclaycard, MBNA, Natwest, Sainsbury’s Bank and Tesco Bank.

Use our comparison page for information so you can work out the best deal for you.

Credit Builder cards

If you have a poor credit record or have been refused a card because you don’t have much credit history, you might be able to apply for a credit builder card.

These are available from providers including Barclaycard, Capital One, Lloyds Bank, Ocean Finance and Vanquis Bank.

Use our comparison page to look at each one, and note that they have a wide variety of APRs and some can be quite high. Credit limit will usually depend on your personal circumstances.

From your bank

The final type of card are those available from your own bank. They can only be accessed if you already have an account with that bank.

Whatever you choose, we make it easy to look at the features of each card so that you can decide on the right credit card to suit you.