Credit Cards

We’ve got a great range of guides to help you get more information about the various credit card products on the market. Our guides help you to choose the right credit card or give you advice and guidance on how to deal with credit card debt.

Why credit can work for you

Whilst most people like to stay financially independent, there are times when you need money in advance of payday. For those occasions when you don’t have the money yourself, a credit card...

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What are the advantages and disadvantages of credit cards?

In the UK it has to be said we have something of a credit culture and most adults in Britain are in all sorts of debt, not just mortgages but car loans, store...

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Using a credit card to improve your credit score

Getting into debt is normally something to be avoided, it is expensive and if you can’t afford what you are buying it is easy to get into trouble. But there are ways of using...

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How to lower your credit card interest rates

Credit cards are pretty simple as a concept and they can make life quite a bit simpler for you by taking the headache out of daily purchases and moving money around. However, the interest and charges you pay are anything...

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Choosing the best credit card

There are plenty of good reasons to get a credit card; for convenience, security, quick access to funds in an emergency, etc. But not all credit cards work the same – the various interest rates...

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Have you been unfairly charged on your credit card?

We all know that credit cards have extremely high interest rates and it’s our duty to keep up with the monthly minimum repayment set out by providers, but are you aware that you could have been...

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Cashback credit cards: earning while you spend

Credit cards don’t have to be just a means of spending money – they can also help you make money! Many credit card providers run schemes, often targeted at...

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PPI explained

Over the past few years, payment protection insurance (PPI) has received a lot of negative publicity with financial providers being accused of mis-selling...

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Comparing credit cards

If you’ve decided that you’d like to take out a credit card it can be a minefield trying to find the best option for your financial situation. To help you decide, Money Saving Advice has put together some advice on...

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PPI: could you have a claim?

It’s been several years since the scandal surrounding mis-selling of payment protection insurance (PPI) surfaced and thousands of people in the UK still...

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Should I transfer my credit card debt?

Credit cards are one of the most expensive forms of debt as their Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of interest is extremely high in comparison to other types of borrowing. If you are in...

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Dealing with credit card debt

Credit card debt can seem like a black hole: with high interest rates, the amount you owe can escalate quickly and finding a way out may seem impossible....

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What are the main advantages to getting a credit card?

There are numerous advantages to getting a credit card and really, every responsible adult should at least consider getting one. Here are a few reasons why: Advantage 1: Build up your...

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5 things to consider before using credit cards

Lots of people have credit cards and it’s certainly an incredibly handy thing to have in case of emergencies or to build up your credit. While most don’t rely on...

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What are the main disadvantages to getting a credit card?

For most people, getting a credit card is a great idea; they help to build up your credit rating, protect you from fraud and are pretty universally accepted...

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What are the best things to do to increase my credit score?

Improving your credit score is actually pretty easy, all you need to do is add new positive information to your credit file and avoid adding...

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What credit score do I need for a store credit card?

Getting a store card for your favourite high street shop can be a good way to earn back rewards on things that you would have bought anyway. Unfortunately most store cards have some of the highest...

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How to find the right borrowing option

If you are in need of credit, for whatever purpose, there are many options available to you. You can get yourself a credit card, take out a personal loan or...

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2 great ways to lower your monthly outgoings

There are so many nifty ways to save money in other parts of your life, but the two biggest are being savvy with your shopping and spending. We have already talked about more extreme...

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6 easy rules for getting accepted for your first credit card

Ok so you’ve decided to get your first credit card, whether it’s a Manchester United credit card or a standard card from your bank, you know...

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How are credit scores calculated?

Most of us who have a basic understanding of loans and interest rates know that credit scores are extremely important. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to apply for a personal loan, an auto loan, a student loan, or...

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How do I know if I’m eligible for a credit card?

With online shopping, store cards, smartphone apps and credit and debit cards at our every twist and turn, it’s becoming more and more unusual to use cash when we’re...

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Advantages and disadvantages of a credit card cash advance

A credit card cash advance is a service similar to using a debit card. It allows using your credit card along with the card’s pin in order to withdraw the necessary funds rather than using a r...

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5 types of credit cards that will help you save

Credit cards are largely regarded as a simple and efficient way to throw money down the drain. While this may be true...

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Is it better to have a travel credit card or an airline credit card?

You’ve probably noticed the insane amount of TV adverts lately for travel credit cards. You have the airlines, hotels and banks all peddling their card as the best thing since...

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How to get cash back on all your purchases with a cashback credit cards

Cashback credit cards offer money back for every pound spent on them and can be a great little bonus for people with a good credit score and who are able to clear their balance every month. Card providers reward...

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How to deal with your credit card debt

Credit card debt is not as uncommon as you think – thousands of people in the UK are in some form of credit card debt. But not everyone knows how...

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5 potential benefits of a business credit card

If you’re a small or even a large business owner, then there can be big benefits in using a business credit card. Here are five...

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How to use your credit card to your advantage

Many of us use credit cards regularly but ask yourself the question, do you use them for the right reasons? You might have read many personal finance tips that...

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For most people in the UK credit cards are an essential part of everyday life, they give you an enormous amount of convenience when paying for things and they also usually come with an extra level of protection from things like fraud – which is one great reason why you might use one instead of your debit card. Of course some people dislike using credit cards, after all if you have the money why borrow money to pay for things? It seems odd to borrow £50 for your shopping when you have that much in your current account anyway right?

Well there are plenty of reasons actually…

As I mentioned, you get protection. Credit cards are full of features that your debit card doesn’t have. If your card were to be stolen or cloned, the thief would only be able to spend your money up to the credit limit on the card and as long as you report it as soon as possible you would generally not be responsible for the bill.

Credit cards also give back; if you shop around you might well find a deal whereby you get 1-2% cash back on every purchase. It’s not a lot, but if you do all of your shopping with that card and say you spend £500 a month on it – well that’s £5-10 a month you would get back for free.

Also of course, using credit regularly will improve your credit rating. Banks love to see a long history of borrowing money and paying it off and credit cards provide the most convenient way of doing so. You may not think you need to worry about such things, but having a better credit rating will mean you have access to better rates on loans when you do need them; and after all, if you can save just 0.5% on your mortgage rate that will save you hundreds of pounds a year.

So what’s the catch?

Not surprisingly most people are suspicious of all those benefits, after all – why are they incentivising you to borrow money? That has to be bad right?

Well credit card companies actually make the bulk of their money through transaction costs. Sure you will pay interest if you don’t pay off you bill in full, but most people do (and you should too).

Every time you make a purchase, your credit card company will charge the merchant a fee of generally 2-3% of the total amount. Obviously the more people who use that credit card the more money the credit card provider makes.

Getting the best deal

There are a lot of credit cards out there with all sorts of promotions and offers available and deciding on the best card for you is no trivial matter. But that’s where we come in!

Choosing a credit card depends a lot on what you want. Are you looking for a good way to improve your credit? Do you want your first credit card but not sure if you’ll be accepted? Alternatively you might have debt you want to move around to save on interest or you might just want to get the best return on your spending.

There are credit cards for all eventualities and they don’t all work the same. Most cards have a 30 day no interest policy on all spending, but some cards extend that up to 60 or 90 days, which can be handy if you have a big purchase you want to spread over a couple of months.

There are also cards with special offers on balance transfers which can be an excellent way to manage long term debts if you are trying to pay them off with minimal interest. Of course you have to be careful how you use your cards and getting more than one card is sometimes helpful to make the best savings.

But maybe you just want some cash back – you don’t have debts, like using a credit card for the convenience and you want to get free stuff… Well getting on card is fine, but some cards give better deals on certain types of purchases than others, so for the best results some people go as far as to have 3 or 4 different cards for different things.