Which Credit Card is Best for Me?
Written by Robert Bester, Consumer Finance Expert Robert has been a writer for six years, specialising in consumer finance and the UK lending market. Concentrating on consumer credit products, Robert writes informative articles that help customers manage their personal finances efficiently.
17th January 2022
4 minute read
Credit cards can come in handy for a multitude of reasons. Making online purchases, booking that much longed for trip abroad, making an essential investment such as in a new car or property repair or even as a way of better managing your finances for large purchases.
Whatever you turn to your flexible friend for, credit cards are a simple way of borrowing money and paying it back to the lender on a monthly basis.
What’s the best credit card?
There is a wide variety of different credit card types available. The best credit card for you very much depends on your reason for borrowing and current personal circumstances. A great place to start is to check your eligibility with our free online comparison tool, moneymatcher. This should narrow down your search and give you results based on the following card types:
- 0% Balance Transfer card
- 0% Purchase card
- Rewards card
- Credit builder card
- Travel card
- Cashback card
- Low rate card
- Gold & Premium cards
Alternatively, keep reading to help you navigate through all the financial jargon and discover which credit card will be the best match for you.
What is a 0% Balance Transfer card?
A 0% credit card allows you to consolidate debt from other credit cards or store cards and transfer the debt to another lender. 0% balance transfer cards give you a set period in which to settle the outstanding debt, so you can save money on interest.
However, the interest free periods vary, so it’s best to pay the debt back before it comes to an end.
What is a 0% purchase credit card?
A 0% purchase credit card allows you to purchase goods without having to pay back any interest on the amount for a set period of time. For expensive items, its better to completely clear the debt before the interest free period comes to an end to avoid incurring interest on the outstanding debt.
What is an interest-free credit card?
An interest free credit card allows you to purchase items or services for a set amount of time without accruing any interest on the amount spent. Interest free periods can vary, so make sure you’re aware of the cut-off date when making any purchases.
Read more about interest-free credit cards.
What is a rewards credit card?
Having a rewards credit card allows you to accumulate points for a specific loyalty scheme every time you spend money using the credit card. With various different rewards credit cards on offer, you can find yourself collecting anything from Tesco Clubcard points, to air miles through British Airways or Virgin Atlantic, which will contribute to savings when you next make a purchase with these companies.
How to get a credit card with bad credit
Getting a credit card with poor or bad credit isn’t impossible, and there are a range of credit cards specially designed for those with a less than perfect credit history. A credit builder card will allow you to spend money on a monthly basis and as long as you make your repayments, you will also improve your credit score too.
Using credit cards overseas
Using a credit card while you are abroad is a good way of safeguarding against fraud due to the legal protection they offer, but some can attract high charges for making an overseas transaction – especially if you’re drawing out cash from an ATM.
What is a cashback credit card
A cashback credit card rewards customers for spending by offering a small percentage back, either monthly or annually. The amount you’ll get back varies from card to card, so check out a comparison on cashback credit cards here.
What is a low interest rate credit card?
A low interest rate credit card is exactly that – a credit card that only charges a low interest rate on the total amount you’ve borrowed on the card.
These cards are often most widely available to those with a good credit score, so it’s a good idea to check your eligibility through moneymatcher before applying.
What is a premium credit card?
A gold or premium credit card isn’t for everyone, since it usually requires an excellent credit score to apply, and comes with luxury rewards such as a concierge service, that might not be valuable to some.
These cards are very sought after and like the name suggests, are normally only used by premium customers who are willing to pay a high annual membership fee to use it. For general use, this card isn’t usually recommended, unless you will make full use of the perks and rewards on offer.
What is a student credit card?
Student credit cards are great for small amounts of spending for essential items while you’re studying. Credit limits are usually under £500 and you can get up to 56 days to repay any amount borrowed on the card before you’ll need to start paying interest on the amount borrowed.
What is a money transfer credit card?
Money transfer credit cards are great if you need to inject cash into your bank account quickly to cover any unexpected costs or if you’ve gone above your agreed overdraft.
Some even charge 0% on money transfers for a set period. You can find some of the best money transfer credit card deals here.
What is a prepaid credit card?
Prepaid credit cards will only allow you to spend the amount that you’ve already prepaid on the card – so you’ll never go over that amount and incur interest.
These prepaid credit cards are not linked to your bank account, although you can use it to add funds to the account.
How to choose the right credit card
Hopefully the guide above has given you some helpful information on the different types of credit cards available and given you an idea of which product would be right for you. If you aren’t sure that a credit card would fulfil your borrowing needs, read up on a few alternatives to credit cards you might want to choose instead.
To make sure you’re definitely getting the best deal, use our moneymatcher credit card comparison tool to easily compare all the key points such as APR, total cost of borrowing, cost of late and default fees and whether a product has an annual or monthly fee that adds to the overall cost of borrowing.