There are lots of credit cards on the market and it can be hard to work out what’s the right option for you. We’ve tried to make it as simple and easy as possible for you to compare credit cards and find a great deal by putting them in categories.

frequently asked questions

Credit cards offer an efficient and easy method to pay for products quickly. They need to be used with care and can help spread the cost of big purchases; they can earn you cashback and loyalty points too. They could even help to cut the cost of any existing debt you may have. Find out more here: beginners’ guide to credit cards.

One of the best advantages of using a credit card for purchases is that you are given extra protection under section 75 of the 1974 Consumer Credit Act. If the retailer should go into liquidation or you receive a faulty item, you can usually ask your card company for a refund.

The problem area with credit cards is building up a debt and not paying off your balance at the end of each month. You will then be charged interest on this. The interest can be high and fuels the existing debt. The longer this cycle goes on the debt can run out of control. In addition, using credit cards for cash withdrawals can be expensive as interest will be charged and you will have to pay a fee for each withdrawal.

For more information, see

  • How to boost a credit score
  • Cutting the cost of loans

APR (annual percentage rate) uses interest rate and other charges to calculate the cost of credit.

A card with a lower APR is not necessarily the best one – different card providers calculate interest in a variety of ways.

You don’t pay interest on purchases you make on your card for a period of 56 days.

With an interest-free card when you spend money, you are not subjected to interest on the resulting debt for a predetermined period. The length of time varies between cards but could be as much as 31 months. Once the interest-free period has come to an end, you’ll be moved to a less favourable rate.

Balance transfer cards mean you can move an existing debt to a new card which will charge a lower interest rate. In some instances you may be charged no interest at all. This means you can be supported to clearing your debt; however, you must do that by the end of the introductory low-interest period or you may be subjected to paying a higher rate; you may not qualify for a suitable new balance transfer card.

Cashback cards mean you can earn money back when you spend. The amount you get back will depend on the card you choose; higher rates are often only offered during introductory periods.

Rewards cards are like cashback credit cards; instead of receiving cash when you spend, you gain rewards. These can be turned into vouchers that can be spent at a range of retailers.

When you apply for a credit card, as a standard procedure, the issuer will carry out a credit check; if you are viewed as having a poor credit rating, the creditor could decide to turn you down or refuse to offer you the deal.

Rejected card applications could damage the way your credit is scored; it’s vital to be realistic about the deals for which you apply.

This will be dependent on what you want to gain from using your credit card; items to consider are whether you’re using it to help clear a debt or to buy your weekly goods. It’s advisable, whatever the case, to shop around and find the best one to suit your lifestyle.

There is no necessity to purchase this type of insurance; you will not be liable for any fraudulent spending on your card once you’ve reported it missing. In the case whereby you have not reported it missing, you will still only have to pay the first £50 of spending.

Insurance that may help you pay off credit card debt is a different item; there are many good income protection policies on the market.

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