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You could get better offers by improving your credit score
You could get better offers by improving your credit score
0% balance transfer credit cards
A 0% balance transfer credit card allows you to move an existing debt from one credit card provider to another. You can use this to manage existing debt, or consolidate several credit card repayments into one manageable monthly repayment.
There are some deals that will give you an interest-free period of more than three years. But be aware that you may have to pay a fee to transfer the balance, and you must always make at least the minimum repayment.
0% purchase credit cards
A 0% purchase credit card is ideal if you are planning a significant purchase, like a dream holiday or a car, and want to spread the cost over a period of time without wasting money on interest payments.
Some 0% purchase credit cards offer an interest-free period of more than two years. But be aware that you must always make at least the minimum repayment and if you don’t clear the balance before the interest-free period ends, you will be charged interest.
Why should I use the Eligibility Checker?
Using our Eligibility Checker makes you less likely to be one of the millions of people who get declined for credit cards every year. Eligibility Checker shows you which cards you’re most likely to be accepted for, so you can avoid the ones that are more likely to decline you. Getting declined can damage your credit score, and this makes it harder to borrow money in the future.
How does it work?
Why do I have to give you my personal information?
How long does it take?
What are ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ credit searches
Credit rating agencies build up files on all of us based on a mix of publicly-available information (such as whether you’re on the Electoral Roll) and data from financial companies about products you have or have had, such as loans and credit cards.
From this they calculate a credit score, which companies check when they’re working out whether to give you a product, and on what terms. Managing your finances well and always paying off what you owe in time will give you a good score. Missing payments, as you’d expect, will lower your score.
Finance companies make hard searches when you apply to them for a credit product, and each hard search remains on your credit report for two years. This matters because, for many lenders, a clutch of hard searches in a short period suggests you might be struggling to get a product, or that you’ve opened several accounts that could prove difficult to manage.
Soft searches occur when you or someone else looks at your file, but not in connection with an actual application. For example, when you put your details into our Eligibility Checker, we look at your file and work out how likely you are to be accepted for a range of deals, based on what we know about various firms’ acceptance criteria.
Why can’t I just look at a list of cards?
We think you should have as much information as possible to help you choose a credit card. As well as all the card features, it’s important to know your chances of being accepted for a card, so you can make sure you choose the right card for you, and protect your credit score as much as possible. If you’d prefer to look at some credit cards without this extra information, you can see all cards here.
Barclaycard – Platinum Purchase Offer
Barclaycard Platinum Purchase Offer
- 0% interest on balance transfers for up to 28months for balances transferred within the first 60 days. After this period the rate will be 19.9% p.a (variable)
- A 3.5% balance transfer fee will be applied to your account at first. 0.8% will be refunded by Barclaycard if you transfer a balance within the first 60 days. Conditions apply – see T&Cs
- 0% interest on purchases for up to 28 months on purchases made within the first 60 days. After this period the rate will be 19.9% p.a (variable)
- You must be 18or over and a UK resident
- You won’t get this card on any other comparison site.
MBNA – Long 0% Balance Transfer Card
MBNA Long 0% Balance Transfer Card
- 0% interest on balance transfers for up to 29 months for balances transferred within the first 60 days. After this period the rate will be 21.93% p.a (variable). A 2.75% balance transfer fee applies
- 0% interest on money transfers for up to 12 months on money transfers made within the first 60 days. After this period the rate will be 23.93% p.a (variable). A 4% money transfer fee applies
- You must be 18 or over and a UK resident
What is a credit card?
What can you use a credit card for?
to transfer an existing balance
Spread the cost of a large purchase over a longer period of time
to improve my credit rating
to earn rewards on my spending
Earn rewards like cashback and vouchers when you spend
What types of credit cards are there?
- 0% purchase cards enable you to buy items upfront, and you can then pay off the amount you’ve spent over a number of months without incurring any interest charges
- Balance transfer cards allow you to transfer an existing credit card balance to a new card that charges less interest
- Reward cards offer cashback or loyalty points.
Some cards, for example, charge 0% on purchases for up to two years or more, and they can be a cost-effective way to pay for a big-ticket item, such as a washing machine or sofa. If you clear the debt before the 0% deal expires, you will pay no interest whatsoever.
Those who have run up debts on another card or cards at a high rate of interest can save money with a balance transfer deal. Let’s say you have accumulated debts of £3,000 on a card that charges interest at 19%. If you switch the outstanding balance to a card that charges 0% interest for 24 months, you can instantly cut the cost of your debt.
Be aware you’ll usually have to pay a balance transfer fee and you should try to pay off your balance before the interest-free deal ends. If you can’t, you’ll need to move it to another 0% balance transfer card. Alternatively, you could use a low rate balance transfer card that offers a low rate of interest for the life of the debt.
Pros and cons of credit cards
Credit cards can be a great way to pay for goods and services without having to stump up the money upfront. You can even use your credit card like an interest-free loan, allowing you to borrow money for free. What’s more, if you buy something with a credit card, the Consumer Credit Act means you can get your money back if the product doesn’t turn up or is faulty.
But let’s not forget that it’s easy to run up expensive debts with a credit card, especially if you pay off only the minimum balance each month. You can also get into financial difficulty if you don’t stick to the rules. For example, most companies charge a penalty if you miss a payment, make a late payment or breach your credit limit. Bear in mind, too, that most issuers reserve their best deals for people with a spotless credit record, so your application could be turned down.
Find the right credit card
The best credit card for you depends on whether you will pay off your balance each month and how you intend to use the card. Our Eligibility Checker will ask you a selection of questions to help determine which type of credit card best suits your needs, without leaving a mark on your credit file.
There are hundreds of different credit card deals, but you can compare all the leading offers quickly and easily with MoneySuperMarket’s online service. So, whether you want to switch a balance or you are looking for a 0% deal on purchases, we have all the information you need at the click of a mouse.
MoneySuperMarket is a credit broker – this means we’ll show you products offered by lenders. We never take a fee from customers for this broking service. Instead we are usually paid a fee by the lenders – though the size of that payment doesn’t affect how we show products to customers.
Pay off as much as you can – in full if possible
When using a credit card, it’s best to pay off your entire credit card balance every month if you can afford to – this way you won’t pay interest and you can avoid building up debt. If you can’t afford to pay off the full balance, pay off at least the minimum monthly payment – ideally more.
Don’t miss payments
Set up a direct debit
Don’t apply too often
Each time you make an application for a credit card, it leaves a record on your credit report. Too many applications will make it look like you are in desperate need for credit and as a result, your application may be rejected.
Get useful rewards
Some credit cards have extra benefits that reward you when you use them a certain way. While some of them can be tempting, it’s better to get a credit card that will give you rewards for the way you spend already. For example, an airmiles credit card is only going to be useful if you’re a regular flyer, no matter how tempting lounge access might be – but if you’re a regular shopper at a particular high street store, there might be a credit card that gives you cashback for shopping there.
Be careful when going overseas
If you’re planning to use your credit card overseas, check whether or not you’ll be charged for doing so. Many credit cards charge foreign transaction fees, so it can be a good idea to look for a card that won’t charge you for using it abroad.
Don’t use your card for cash withdrawals
Some cards will charge a fee if you use it to take cash out of a machine, and on top of that you’ll be charged interest from the moment you receive your money. So avoid using your credit card for cash withdrawals unless it’s an emergency.
Protect yourself from fraud
Credit card fraud, like any fraud, can be very serious – you should always take care when using your credit card, and be careful where you keep it. Never tell anyone your PIN and regularly check your statements to make sure there are no surprises.
What is APR?
However, you might see the term ‘representative APR’ on adverts for credit cards – this means that the interest rate quoted only has to be offered to at least 51% of successful applicants, so it may not be the actual rate you get when you apply.
Do interest rates change?
Credit card providers can change interest rates at any time, so it’s always a good idea to stay on top of your credit balance. If you have a 0% offer on your credit card, this will only be for a set number of months so you should make sure you clear your balance before it ends, or shift your balance to another 0% card.
How do I apply for a credit card?
How do I know what card to apply for?
First you need to know what you’ll use the credit card for – cards come with different features that are useful for different purposes. If you have a large purchase coming up, you might want to spread the cost with a 0% purchase card, if you fly a lot you might want an airmiles card, and if you want to transfer a balance to avoid interest payments, a 0% balance transfer card could be ideal.
Can I withdraw a credit card application?
You’ll generally get a cooling off period of two weeks from when you receive your card, and you’ll have 30 days to pay off your balance. You can cancel by contacting your provider, either by post, phone, online, or in-branch.
What is my credit rating?
What is a soft search?
What if I have a bad credit rating or no credit rating?
If you have a bad credit rating or you don’t have a credit history because you’ve never borrowed before, you won’t qualify for the very best credit card deals. However, some credit cards are designed specifically for those who need to build up their credit score. Just be aware they often come with low credit limits and high interest rates.
What happens if I miss a repayment?
If you miss a repayment on your credit card balance, you may have to pay a penalty fee. What’s more, if you have any type of promotional offer with your card, such as an interest-free deal, this may be cancelled.
What if I get rejected for a credit card?
If you get rejected for a credit card, this will leave a mark on your credit report and could lead to further rejections in the future. It’s therefore a good idea to use MoneySuperMarket’s Eligibility Checker to see how likely you are to be accepted before actually applying and it won’t affect your credit score.
How do I get more credit?
You might be able to get more credit from your provider if you prove yourself to be a responsible borrower by repaying on time and never missing any payments. Once you’ve established a good credit history, you might be successful when asking for a higher credit limit.
Can I pay off debt early?
Can I get joint credit cards?
You can’t get joint credit cards in the same way as bank accounts and mortgages, but you can add additional users to your own credit cards. However, you should remember that it’s still the primary cardholder’s responsibility to pay off the balance.
What is Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act?
The Consumer Credit Act was established in 1974, and under Section 75 the credit card lender is jointly responsible with the retailer or supplier for any goods or services you purchase with your credit card. This means if those products are faulty, or if there was any contract breach or misrepresentation on the retailer’s part, you can claim from your credit card company as well as the retailer.
However, you can’t recover money from both sides, so it’s useful for when the retailer has gone bust or they won’t respond to your communication. You should be aware the purchase value must be between £100 and £30,000 in order for you to be able to claim.
How do I cancel my credit card?
Why use a credit card?
What card is best for me?
What is a balance transfer?
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