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Hot credit card deals, 21 June 2012

Which? experts round up the best credit card deals

Online shopping with card

Looking for a credit card? Which? picks the best deals of the week. 

Need a new credit card? The Which? Money experts have rounded up all the best credit card deals, analysing the whole market with no agenda other than to find you the best credit card for your needs.

Best credit cards for cashback

If you pay off your credit card bill in full every month, a cashback card will either give you a percentage of your spending as a cash refund or knock it off your bill.

  • The Aspire World MasterCard from Capital One offers 5% cashback for the first 3 months (max £100). You then earn 0.5% on an annual spend of up to £5,999, 1% on amounts between £6,000 and £9,999 and 1.25% on amounts above £10,000.
  • The Platinum Cashback Card from American Express pays 5% cashback for the first three months (max £100), followed by a standard cashback rate of 1.25% on everything you spend. The card comes with an annual fee of £25 a year, so is only suitable for big-spenders. If you spend more than £10,000 in a year, you’ll get 2.5% cashback during the anniversary month the following year.

Action point: To see more deals, take a look at our cashback credit card table.

Best reward credit cards

Reward credit cards pay you a percentage of your spending, either as vouchers to use in-store or to pay for meals, days out or other leisure activities.

  • The BHS MasterCard currently offers the best reward scheme on the market, with a 5% reward rate in-store (and at Dorothy Perkins, Wallis and Burton) and double points on your first BHS purchase. 
  • The House of Fraser Recognition MasterCard offers the next best deal. The card offers 3% in-store, 3% at houseoffraser.co.uk and 1% elsewhere.

Action point: Take a look at our reward credit cards table for a round-up of the best deals each day.

Best 0%-on-purchases credit cards

These cards won’t charge you interest on your shopping for up to 18 months. Make sure you make the minimum payment each month or you’ll lose the deal.

  • NatWest/RBS YourPoints World MasterCard – offers 18 months 0% purchases for customers who apply online. The card also comes with a loyalty scheme at a rate of 1%. Points can be redeemed against flights and other travel products or for goods at some popular high street names.  
  • Tesco Clubcard MasterCard currently offer the next best deal with 16 months interest-free. The card also comes with a reward scheme.
  • The Marks & Spencer MasterCard and Halifax All in One MasterCard offer the next best deals with 15 months interest-free.

Action point: Take a look at our 0%-on-purchases credit card table for more great 0% deals.

Best credit cards for use abroad

If you want to avoid foreign exchange loading fees, these Best Rate credit cards are great for using abroad.

  • For the over-50s, Saga’s Platinum Visa has no foreign loading fees for use abroad and charges a reasonable 11.9% APR on new purchases. The card also includes 55 days interest-free on cash withdrawals, but charges 2% (min £2) for each withdrawal.
  • For customers of all ages, the Halifax Clarity MasterCard also doesn’t charge foreign loading fees or cash withdrawal fees. The card comes with a 12.9% APR on purchases and cash withdrawals. However, there is no interest-free period on cash withdrawals, so you’ll pay interest from the moment you take out the cash.

See our credit cards for use abroad table for a round-up of the best deals on the market.

Best airline credit cards

You accumulate miles (or points) as you spend, which can then be redeemed against flights or travel-related expenses, such as car hire. The cards below include all taxes and charges on reward flight deals.

  • The Thomas Cook Visa card rewards you at a rate of 1% of your UK and overseas spending. ‘Travel Pounds’ can be redeemed against holidays, flights or travel products at Thomas Cook and Going Places.
  • NatWest/RBS YourPoints World MasterCard gives you one point for every £1 you spend. Points can be redeemed for flights with Easy Jet, BA or through travel company ebooker.com, or redeemed against products from brands such as amazon.co.uk, M&S, Boots and Harvey Nichols. You also receive a bonus 2,500 YourPoints for every year you hold the card.

Action point: Our airline credit cards table shows more top travel reward deals.

Best credit cards for 0% balance transfers

If you owe money on your credit card and need some breathing space to pay it off, these providers offer the longest 0% balance transfer deals:

  • The Barclaycard Platinum with Extended Balance Transfer Visa has the longest 0% deal on the market, at 22 months. There’s a 2.9% (min £7.25) balance transfer fee if you transfer a balance within 60 days of taking out the card.
  • New from NatWest/RBS, the Platinum Credit Card MasterCard offers a 22 months 0% balance transfer deal with 3.2% transfer fee with 17.9% representative APR.
  • Halifax offers a 22-month Balance Transfer MasterCard. The card comes with a higher balance transfer fee of 3.5% (min £3.50). There’s also a Halifax 20-month 0% deal, which has a lower transfer fee of 3%.
  • If the deal length is less important to you and you want a cheaper deal than those listed above, the Barclaycard Platinum Low Balance Transfer Visa is currently offering a 16-month 0% deal with a reduced 1.6% (min £7.25) handling fee and a 18.9% representative APR.

Action point: Take a look at our 0% balance transfer table for a round-up of the best deals.

Best credit cards for borrowing

A card with a low typical APR can come in useful if you only want to hold one card and not switch too often.

  • Sainsbury’s Finance Low Rate MasterCard offers the lowest representative APR of 6.9%. You will need to be a Nectar card holder to get the card.
  • Barclaycard Simplicity Visa charges a 7.9% representative APR. The card comes with the Freedom rewards scheme.

Action point: Our table of credit cards for borrowing rounds up the best deals each day.

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