Which? Best Rate credit card deals at a glanceThe best cards for shopping, rewards and borrowing
23 November 2010
Which? analyses the whole credit card market to find the best deal for your needs, whether it's for shopping, rewards or borrowing.
The first step is to decide what sort of credit card best matches your needs. We've summarised each card type below, but for more information read the free Which? guide to choosing a credit card.
Best balance transfer credit cards
Who they're good for: Consumers with existing debt who are likely to pay off the bill within the 0% period or who are willing to switch at the end of the period. These cards can be a good way to ‘park’ some debt, allowing you to concentrate on repaying other, more expensive debts.
Best deals: 16-month 0% deals are currently available from Virgin Money, MBNA, Barclaycard and Yorkshire/Clydesdale Bank. See the full 0% balance transfer table to apply now.
Things to watch: The 0% deal on balance transfer cards usually starts on the date the card is issued, so make your transfer as soon as you get the card in order to maximise your 0% period.
Best life-of-balance credit card
Who they're good for: Consumers who are unlikely to pay off their card debts within 12-16 months and don’t want to switch cards regularly, but who want to pay less interest on existing borrowing than they do at the moment.
Best deals: MBNA charges just 5.9% for life on balances transferred to its MBNA Rate for Life card. Use the Which? credit card finder to compare more deals and to apply today.
Things to watch: Interest rates on new shopping tend to be higher, so don't use a life-of-balance for new borrowing once you've transferred your balance.
Best 0% purchases credit cards
Who they're good for: These credit cards charge no interest on new purchases for up to 13 months, so can be useful to spread the cost of large purchases over a year.
Best deals: Tesco Finance currently offers a market-leading 13-month 0% deal on new purchases. 12-month deals are also on offer from Sainsbury's, MBNA and Barclaycard. See the full 0% purchases credit cards table to apply now.
- To find out how you could spread the cost of Christmas interest-free, as well as earning money on your shopping, read our news story Pay no interest for a year on Christmas shopping.
Things to watch: The 0% deal on purchases usually starts on the date the card is issued and may not coincide with your usual repayment date. Make a note of the date your 0% deal runs out to avoid incurring interest in the final month.
Best cashback and reward credit cards
Who they're good for: Consumers who pay off their bill in full every month. You receive a percentage of your shopping bill back, either as cash knocked off your bill once a year or as vouchers to spend in-store.
Best deals: For big-spenders, American Express pays up to 1.25% cashback on all spending. Cashback cards from Egg and Capital One both pay a 1% reward, but come with an annual fee. Virgin's Charity MasterCard has no fee and pays cashback equivalent to 0.8%. See the full cashback credit cards table to apply now.
- For the best cards to use in particular high street and online shops, read our news story Get up to 5% rewards on your Christmas shopping.
Things to watch: The Amex cashback card has a standard APR of 19.9% so is only suitable if you always pay off your credit card bill in full.
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