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Compare credit cards to find the best one for your needs
When you first think about getting a credit card, you may not realise how many different types there are, and which ones may be the most suitable for your needs. If you are not sure exactly which of the many credit cards are the best for you, then it can help to understand the range of different types of credit cards on offer, their advantages and drawbacks, and what you can expect from each one. You can also learn exactly what you have to do in order to qualify for each of these credit cards, so that you can plan your budget knowing exactly what you need to do to get your credit card, and use it wisely.
The standard credit card
The standard credit card is one which most people will be familiar with. These credit cards, also known as Classic cards, offer greater advantages than the basic card, but are more restrictive than the premium cards. They are also not likely to offer any kind of affinity service to their borrowers. Most standard cards are available to UK residents who are over the age of 18 and in work, providing that they pass a basic credit check. Different credit card companies will ask for different requirements, but the essentials are age and having a reasonable credit history.
Basic credit cards
If you only want a basic, low-interest credit card which allows you to borrow up to a limit but doesn't offer free periods, then you are likely to find what you need with a basic credit card. These tend to have lower APR rates than standard cards, but the charges on purchases begin immediately. If you are planning to stick with the same credit card for a long period, then this may be ideal.
Premium or gold credit cards
Want more from your credit card than just a standard APR? Premium credit cards offer higher spending limits combined with low interest rates. They may also offer you other advantages, including better loan rates, competitive travel insurance, and full guarantees for purchases made through the card. However, in order to get a premium card, you have to earn a certain amount, usually over £10,000 a year, but some may be higher. You can also expect to pay more in annual fees, according to the benefits offered on the card.
Bad credit history credit cards
If you have had a bad credit score in the past, then you may be able to improve that rating, or at least have the advantages of a credit card, by choosing a card which offers better credit card deals for people with bad credit. If you have been refused credit cards by other companies, then these could be the group for you, helping you to get more out of your card, and also helping you to rebuild your credit score by spending and then repaying the debt. You must, absolutely, repay any outstanding charges on your card at the end of every month, particularly as these cards have high fees and high APR, but if your credit rating is in a hole, they can be the only way for you to improve your score.
Cash back credit cards
Infrequently offered by the big banks, cash back credit cards are very popular with people who want to get more back from their credit card. If you feel that low interest rates or 0% on some finance is not enough for you, then you could benefit more by taking out a cash back credit card. These types of card allow you to gain reward points by spending money, sometimes in specific places online or on the high street, and they can be very beneficial to the user purely because they do allow them to get more for their spending. However, these cards tend to have a higher rate of interest, and the points and rewards earned by borrowers are not always enough to justify using these cards.
Interest free credit cards
If you want to use a credit card without having to pay a high rate of APR, then no-interest rate credit cards can be ideal for both purchases and balance transfers. While some cards offer these rates on purchase deals for a few months, others may extend them to more than a year. They may also offer discounts on balance transfer fees, or other benefits. The cards do require that you pay off debts at the end of the 0% period, but you may also decide to switch cards again in order to take advantage of their interest-free rates.