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What do you look for in a credit card?

What do you look for in a credit card?

Category: Credit cards

Updated: 05/04/2011
First Published: 05/04/2011

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

The credit card market has changed significantly in recent years, with consumers now able to earn rewards, get cash back and pay 0% on purchases from their plastic friends.

It is thought that some 8.6 million people will look for a new credit card over the next year, research from Sainsbury's Finance shows, with options to suit a range of needs.

More than a quarter (28%) of people sniffing out a new credit card deal will look for a card that rewards their custom.

There are a number of cards that reward holders for their loyalty.

They include the AA Credit Card Visa which could well suit drivers that spend a lot of time on the road. The card offers points on purchases, with increased points for £s spent on fuel or other AA motoring products.

Points can be used on a range of products from AA, shopping vouchers or cash back.

If you're a frequent flyer, the British Airways American Express Card may fulfil your reward requirements, as it offers British Airways airmiles on every £1 spent.

A 0% balance transfer card has always been a popular choice amongst consumers, and for obvious reasons.

The cards allow holders a period of time to pay down their debts without taking on additional interest, and it is a market that is in rude health.

Good examples of such cards are the Virgin Money MasterCard from Virgin Money that offers a rate of 0% on balance transfers for 18 months, while Plus MasterCard from Halifax offers 15 months.

If you're accepted for a 0% balance transfer card, you can use it as a tool to clear your credit card deficit. Make an effort to pay off as much as you can each month – failure to make a payment will see the golden rate snatched from your grasp – and only spend on it if you absolutely have to.

For those who actually prefer to get their card out from time-to-time, a 0% purchase card is a better option.

The Tesco Credit Card MasterCard offers 13 months at 0% on purchases, making it a leading contender in the market.If shopping around for a new card every year sounds a bit too much like hard work, then there are cards on the market that offer a consistently low rate.

The Barclaycard Platinum offers 7.9% interest on all purchases and balance transfers and no handling fee – perfect for the credit card holder who doesn't want to be checking their rates from month to month.

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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.