Guide to credit cards

In principle, a credit card is quite a simple idea: you can spend money up front, then repay it over a period of time. The sooner you repay the money you’ve borrowed, in general, the less interest you’ll pay on it.

In recent years, though, we’ve seen more and more specialized cards appear. These days, balance-transfer cards exist, as do low-rate credit cards, reward and cashback cards – even ‘bad credit’ credit cards.

We hope you’ll find our guide to credit cards useful. If you’d like some more information, you could check out a more extensive credit card guide.

Balance-transfer credit cards

Bringing all your debts together can make life a lot simpler. Balance-transfer credit cards are a bit like debt consolidation loans, since they let you put multiple debts onto a single card.

Today’s balance-transfer credit cards can offer another benefit too: 0% interest on the accumulated debt for an agreed period of time. There’s normally a fee of around 3% of the balance transferred, but the lack of interest charged should more than make up for this.

Low-rate credit cards

Rather than get a card that charges 0% interest for a limited period, in some cases it makes more sense for someone to apply for a card that charges a low rate permanently. Different cards will suit different people: it’s important to look around, do your calculations, and figure out which one is likely to cost you the least in the long run.

Reward / Cash Back credit cards

Some people spend a lot on their credit cards. With the right credit card, they can actually benefit from that, in the form of a reward / cashback for spending money on the card. Just make sure you always take the interest into account: if you don’t pay the balance off in full every month, that interest will probably cost you more than you’re making through your rewards or cash back.

Bad credit credit cards

If you have a bad credit rating, you might find you have real problems borrowing any money. Bad credit credit cards can help people in that situation. Not just by giving them access to credit, but by giving them a way to repair their credit rating – by staying on top of their new card and showing potential lenders they can manage their money.