Applying for a credit card can be confusing with so many options on the market.
Here we explain where to look to get the best credit card deals and how to get the right one for you.
unfortunately get a credit card is not as simple as getting one card that meets all your needs.
There are different types, depending on what you need the card for, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
However, remember that the best credit card offers go to customers with the best credit and who pass affordability checks.
We explain how to apply, why you might want to choose a different card for your situation and what the best deals are on credit cards right now.
What is a credit card?
A credit card is like a loan from a bank or mortgage bank.
Instead of receiving a load of cash in your own bank account, you get a line of credit approved based on your finances and creditworthiness.
This can be used on a credit card in a number of ways, such as paying off old balances, spending, or transferring money.
You get a bill every month that you have to pay back and there are likely to be charges if you don’t pay it in full.
What can you use a credit card for?
There are different types of credit cards depending on how you spend or use the money.
- A purchase card makes interest-free spending possible
- With a balance transfer card you can pay off old debts
- A money transfer card can pay off overdrafts
- A cashback card can pay out rewards on your expenses
- With a travel credit card you can make interest-free purchases and withdraw money abroad.
Some cards offer a combination such as interest-free spending and balance transfers.
Which type of credit card is best?
The best credit card for you depends on your needs.
A interest-free credit card purchase can be a great way to spread the cost of major purchases, such as a vacation or a new kitchen.
If you get a card with a long interest-free period, you can gradually distribute your payments without incurring high interest charges.
The trick is to try to clear your balance before the 0% interest period ends so you can avoid any charges.
A cashback credit card can also be an effective way to make money while you spend.
It rewards you for your daily expenses – and you can give your bank balance a big boost.
These cards offer cashback when you use the card, but be warned that companies offer these cards because they want you to spend.
If you don’t repay your balance in full every month, you will very quickly lose all your earned cashback.
We’ve got a guide to cashback credit cards and where to get the best deals here.
If you are trying to pay off an existing debt, you may want to consider balance transfer credit card credit.
These cards allow you to go for long periods without paying interest on what you owe.
So you can transfer your existing debt to a balance transfer card and pay it off without interest.
You may be able to save thousands of pounds if you use a balance transfer card correctly.
But beware, once the 0% period is over you will have to pay high rates again, so make sure to pay off your debt in the interest free period.
Some of these cards also charge for transferring your debt.
To learn more about balance transfer cards, read our guide here.
You can also cancel your current account credit with an interest-free transfer credit card.
This way you avoid overdrafts, you get credit again from your payment account provider and you can pay off the debt interest-free.
If you regularly go on holiday or travel abroad, travel credit card can help you save while getting a little sun.
Banks often charge you for spending or withdrawing money abroad, a travel credit card will not charge you for expenses while you are on vacation.
Although these cards usually charge for withdrawing money when you are out of the country.
Just because you use your plastic on vacation doesn’t mean the usual rules don’t apply.
Always make sure to settle your balance every month – if you don’t, the interest costs you incur will be greater than the savings you make from using it in the first place.
And don’t be tempted to go overboard with your spending just because you’re having fun in the sun.
For more of the best travel credit card deals, read our guide here.
How do you get a credit card?
You can find the best credit card deals directly from a bank or mortgage broker or find and research offers using a comparison website.
The first thing to do is find out what kind of card you need, such as if you need top credit cards for expenses or if you need to pay off debt with a balance transfer.
Your credit score determines how reliable you are when it comes to borrowing money.
The better your credit score, the more likely that banks will accept you for the best deals, as they only have to provide 51% of applicants with their best credit card offers.
When you apply for a credit card, your bank checks your credit score to see if you’re a good fit for the deal they’re offering.
If you have bad credit, the bank may not want to lend you money in case you can’t pay it back.
Avoid applying for loads of different deals, as each application puts a mark on your credit file and can hurt your chances of getting the best credit card deals.
Comparison websites can often do a soft search that won’t affect your credit, but will tell you which deals you are likely to get approved for.
Once you’ve chosen the card, all you need to do is fill out the online form on the credit card company’s website.
Try to be as honest as possible with your credit information.
If your application is rejected, it may be worth asking the bank for a copy of your credit file to see why you were not accepted for the credit card.
If you are accepted, it may take a week or two for your card to arrive.
What are the pros and cons of credit cards?
A credit card can be an effective way to pay off debt or make a large purchase and spread the repayments.
You can consolidate multiple credit card debt into one monthly payment using a balance transfer, giving you more time to focus on clearing the balance without worrying about interest charges.
Alternatively, an interest-free purchase card is basically the same as a loan to pay for a large item, such as a new kitchen or car.
Tracking repayments can also build your credit score as it gives you a track record of managing debt.
However, it takes discipline, if you miss payments or don’t pay the full balance, you could end up paying high interest rates known as the annual percentage rate (APR).
The APR can be up to 20% or more if you are considered a credit risk.
Even if you have an interest-free credit card, it may be worth making more than the minimum repayment each month and paying off the balance – as the entire debt is due at the end of the contract term, giving you a higher amount you can get. Bill.
Plus, an interest-free card goes to an expensive APR once the deal period ends, so it’s important to clear your balance ahead of time.
An easy way to do this is to set up a direct debit that pays your credit card bill every month.
Remember, the APR will also be charged for missed payments, even in an interest-free period.
Check what you can use your card for, as there can be high charges for spending abroad or cash withdrawals.
Some cards may also incur fees, such as for balance transfers or cash back cards, often with an annual fee.
Also, avoid many applications at once and do a soft search through a comparison website or directly with a provider to check your chances of acceptance.
This is because many applications and rejections can hurt your credit score and make it more difficult to get loans and credit cards in the future.
What is the easiest credit card to get approved?
The better your credit, the more likely you are to be approved for the best credit cards.
You can find the best credit card deals for your situation by searching comparison websites or directly from a provider.
Use a soft search and eligibility check to see the products you are most likely to be accepted for.
You may not always get the deal advertised and instead you will be offered a shorter interest-free period.
There is no requirement to accept what is offered and you are free to shop around, but remember that too many applications can hurt your credit score.
If you can wait, it may be worth taking steps to improve your credit score so you can get a lower rate, bigger balances, or a longer interest-free period at another time.
There are also cards for people with bad credit that can help build your score.