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Finding the credit card to suit you

Finding the credit card to suit you

Category: Credit cards

Updated: 29/06/2010
First Published: 29/06/2010

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.
Despite the obvious problems in the financial world, the credit card market has been a hive of activity in recent months, as providers battle for customers.

This means that as long as you have a half decent credit score, you should be able to find a card that suits your specific needs.

Are you somebody that finds yourself aghast at the amount of money you pay on interest repayments? If so, you may benefit from one of the many cards that offer 0% balance transfers.

Currently, providers are offering interest free periods of up to 15 months on their cards. This means that all the money you pay back during that time will be used to pay down your debt, rather than interest.

This kind of card would work well for somebody that is keen to pay off their debt quickly, and is unlikely to continue spending on it.

Should you be accepted for one, it would be advisable to draw up a budget that sees the entirety or the great majority of your debt paid off before the introductory period is finished.

For instance, a debt of £500 paid back over 12 months would be equal to repaying just over £41 a month.

Set up a direct debit for the necessary amount to be taken out of your current account just after you are paid each month to ensure that you don't miss repayments. Doing so will see the 0% offer repealed and a harsh rate introduced.

The card for you: NatWest Platinum (0% for 15 months).

The thought of not spending on their card will not be one that appeals to everybody. Many people have perfected the art of using their card to perhaps tide them over at the end of the month, paying back the full amount shortly afterwards.

This approach may also be favoured by consumers that regularly purchase big ticket items, as all purchases worth £100 or more are covered when paid for by credit cards. That means that should you order something online and the company goes bust before your goods arrive, you'll be compensated.

In such hectic times, many of us are too busy to constantly shop around for good credit card rates.

If this, or any of the above, sounds familiar, but you're unhappy with the rate of interest your plastic offers, it might be worth considering a credit card that offers a low lifetime rate, meaning you won't be stung by a sudden double digit jump in interest.

The card for you: Barclaycard Simplicity (typical lifetime APR of 6.8%)

If you are looking to spread the cost of an expensive item, such as a new television or car, or a costly event like a wedding or holiday, looking into a 0% purchase credit card may be a good idea.

Interest free periods of up to 12 months are currently up for grabs, meaning you have up to a year to pay back monies owed from the date your card arrives.

This means that if, for instance, you booked an intensive driving course that cost £1,200, you would be able to pay back £120 a month for a year, so you accrue no interest, unlike with personal loans, where you are required to pay back interest on top of the amount you borrow.

As with 0% balance transfer cards, it is important you budget properly and pay back all or as much as you can before the offer period ends, as interest rates will rise sharply.

The card for you: Tesco Bank (0% on purchases for 12 months)

Should you wish to start paying off your credit card debts at 0%, but are looking to make purchases at 0% as well, the Halifax All in One MasterCard offers 0% on both for 10 months.

Find the best credit card rates - Compare credit cards

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.

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