Best credit cards in the UK

8 min Read Published: 04 Sep 2023

Best credit cards in the UKWhen choosing the best credit card from the wide array available, it is first useful to consider what a credit card is and how credit cards work.

What is a credit card?

In essence, credit cards provide a tool to help people manage their finances by borrowing money up to a set credit limit that is then paid back in full or spread over monthly instalments. The amount that needs to be paid back will be determined by the interest rate as well as any special offers, which often include interest-free periods when you first take out the card.

Credit cards fall into a number of different categories, including balance and money transfer options that allow you to manage existing debts or short-term cash-flow issues. There are also cards designed for those purchasing big-ticket items that offer low rate or 0% interest periods, as well as those that provide cashback, rewards and other perks. Finally, some cards are designed specifically for business users, travellers or those looking to build their credit rating.

Here we help you navigate the UK market to help you find the best credit cards for you. These specific cards have been chosen by considering factors including the interest rate, annual fees, introductory offers, interest-free periods, rewards and cashback.

Find out which credit card is best for you

Money to the Masses has teamed up with Go.Compare to help find the best credit card for you. By entering a few simple details, you'll be provided with a tailored list of the best credit cards based on your individual circumstances. You can select the feature that interests you most meaning you can sort the results by card type, total fees and even by cashback offered. To make things even easier, the credit cards that have been pre-approved will be highlighted, meaning you can be confident that you'll be accepted should you apply. Your details will be used for a soft credit search meaning your credit score will not be impacted. Click on this link to get started.

Best 0% purchase credit card

NatWest Balance Transfer review Natwest Purchase and Balance Transfer credit card

  • Best for: Spreading the cost of large purchases
  • Representative APR: 23.9% variable
  • Interest-free period: 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers for 21 months (Balance transfers are subject to 2.99% fee)
  • Annual fee: £0
  • Why we like it: All that are accepted will get the full 21 months

For other best-buy 0% purchase options, see our article 'Compare the best 0% purchase credit cards'

Best 0% balance transfer credit card

Everyday Long Term Balance Transfer Credit Card Santander Everyday Long Term Balance Transfer Credit Card

  • Best for: Transferring existing credit or store card debt
  • Representative APR: 23.9% variable
  • Interest-free period: 28 months
  • Transfer fee: 3.00%
  • Why we like it: This card offers a long interest-free period and all that get accepted will get the full 28 months. If you want a fee-free option, the Natwest Balance Transfer credit card is a good choice though with a shorter interest-free period of 16 months..

For other balance transfer options, see our article 'Best 0% balance transfer credit cards'

Best money-transfer credit card

MBNA Credit Card MBNA Money Transfer Credit Card

  • Best for: Paying off more expensive debts
  • Representative APR: 23.9%, based on the individual circumstances of the applicant
  • Interest-free period: Up to 14 months, depending on individual circumstance
  • Transfer fee: 3.49%
  • Key information: 0% only applies to money transfers made in the first 60 days of the account opening
  • Why we like it: It comes with the longest interest-free period (although you could be offered a shorter duration) and has a reasonable transfer fee.

For more details on money transfer cards and alternative options, read our article 'A complete guide to the best money transfer credit cards'

Best credit-building credit card

Tesco foundation credit cardTesco Bank Foundation Credit Card

  • Best for: People with poor or no credit
  • Representative APR: 29.9% variable
  • Starting credit limit: £100 to £1,500, monthly repayments from £25
  • Eligibility: CCJs are considered if more than 18 months old
  • Perks: Collect Tesco Clubcard points, track spending through the mobile app, 3 years of free access to your credit report and score
  • Why we like it: Although it is slightly more stringent on who it will accept, Tesco offers one of the lowest APRs and also offers the added bonus of Tesco Clubcard points and access to your credit report and score

Read about the best options for those with bad credit in our article 'Compare the best credit cards if you have bad credit'

Best cashback and reward credit card

Amex cashback card American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday Credit Card

  • Best for: Fee-free cashback and perks
  • Interest rate: 30.7% APR variable
  • Cashback: 5% cashback on purchases (up to £100) for the first three months, falling to 0.5% on spending up to £10,000 and 1% on everything over £10,000 after the introductory period. Minimum annual spend of £3,000 to qualify for cashback. Cashback credited to card balance after 12 months
  • Rewards: Offers and discounts with selected travel and retail partners, as well as pre-release tickets to music, cinema and theatre through American Express Experiences
  • Interest-free period: Maximum 56 days on purchases if you pay in full each month (30.7% APR variable on purchases)
  • Annual fee: £0
  • Why we like it: American Express is known for its market-beating rewards schemes and this card does not disappoint, combining attractive cashback and rewards without the high annual fees attached to some of its other cards. If you are happy to switch cards after one year, check out the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold card as the £160 fee is currently waived for the first year.

Read about the best cashback and reward credit card options in our article 'Compare the best cashback and reward credit cards'

Best travel credit card

Lloyds Bank Balance Transfer credit card review Barclaycard Rewards Credit Card 

  • Best for: Earning as you spend abroad and in the UK
  • Foreign transaction fee: 0%
  • Cash withdrawal fee: 0%
  • Representative APR: 27.9% variable
  • Perks: Earn 0.25% cashback on everyday spending (excluding balance transfers, money transfers, cash withdrawals, buying currency or travellers’ cheques or gaming-related purchases). Get up to 5 months of free Apple subscriptions when you take out a new card (subscriptions include Apple TV+, Apple Music, Apple Fitness+, Apple News+ and Apple Arcade)
  • Why we like it: For those able to pay off the balance in full each month, this card allows you to earn cashback and enjoy rewards while also not charging foreign transaction fees

For a comprehensive review of travel credit cards, see our article 'Compare the best travel credit cards'

Best low-rate credit card

Lloyds Bank Balance Transfer credit card review Lloyds Bank Premium Low Rate 

  • Best for: Minimising charges if you can’t pay off the full balance each month
  • Representative APR: 10.9% variable
  • Balance transfers: 10.9% variable (5% fee)
  • Purchases: 10.9% variable
  • Annual fees: £0
  • Why we like it: For those who choose not to switch between interest-free introductory offers, Lloyds Bank provides a consistently low APR for a long period, which allows you to budget more easily

Best business credit card

barclaycard select business credit card Barclaycard Select Cashback Credit Card

  • Best for: Businesses looking to earn rewards and who have a turnover of at least £10,000 per year
  • Representative APR: 27.1% variable
  • Annual fee: £0
  • Credit facility: Subject to application, financial circumstances and borrowing history (minimum of £1,000)
  • Perks: Uncapped 1% cashback on eligible business spending, free access to accounting software FreshBooks. Earn 2% cashback on all BT and EE spend (Offer ends 29/09/23)
  • Why we like it: In a crowded space, the Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card represents the middle ground between no-frills, fee-free options and the all-singing, all-dancing business cards handy accounting software but budget-busting annual fees

Find other best-buy business cards in our article 'Compare the best and cheapest business credit cards'

Best student credit card

TSB Student credit card TSB Student Credit Card

  • Best for: Students looking to foster good credit habits
  • Representative APR: 21.9% variable
  • Credit limit: Subject to status
  • Perks: 0% interest if you pay the balance in full each month
  • Eligibility: Must have had a TSB student account for at least 3 months prior to applying
  • Annual fee: £0
  • Why we like it: Credit limit is subject to status. The incentive of being interest-free means that it could be a good foray into credit cards for those who pay the balance in full each month

Best all-round credit card

NatWest Balance Transfer review Natwest Purchase and Balance Transfer credit card

  • Best for: Flexibility. Offers a decent 21 months for both purchases and balance transfers. Balance transfers must be made within the first 3 months.
  • Representative APR: 23.9% variable
  • Interest-free period: 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers for 23 months (Balance transfers are subject to 2.99% fee)
  • Annual fee: £0
  • Why we like it: This card offers excellent flexibility and a long interest-free period on both purchases and balance transfers. There is no monthly fee, however, those wishing to transfer a balance will be required to pay the 2.99% balance transfer fee

How to pick the best credit card

When looking at the options available, the first point to consider is: do you need a credit card? Can you afford to take on the debt and service the monthly repayments? Are there other financial products, such as personal loans, which may better suit your needs and cost you less? While credit cards have many benefits, they are not suitable for everyone and can lead to serious financial problems if misused or mismanaged.

Pros and cons of credit cards


  • By using a credit card for purchases between £100 and £30,000 you are protected under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act if the goods or services are faulty, aren’t delivered as promised, aren’t as advertised or if the trader or retailer goes bust.
  • Sensible use of credit can help improve your credit score, which could help secure loans, mortgages or other borrowing in the future.
  • Credit cards can be used to reduce or pay off other debts, such as personal loans, store cards or payday loans. By making the most of interest-free periods, you can make a sizeable saving and potentially pay off debts sooner.
  • If you can pay off the card in full each month, you can benefit from great cashback and reward deals from many providers


  • Credit cards can be expensive, with interest rates and fees often making them more costly than other borrowing options
  • If you aren’t careful, it can be easy to get caught in a spiral of debt if you start to miss payments or borrow more than you can reasonably pay off. In the long term, this can affect your credit score and may impede future borrowing. If you find yourself in this situation, look at our article on

How to get accepted for a credit card

The process of applying for a credit card is relatively quick and straightforward, with many online applications letting you know immediately if you have been accepted. Typically you will have to provide your name and address, date of birth, nationality, employment status and salary or income. Some applications may require extra proof of identification, such as a copy of your passport, driving licence, bank statement or recent utility bill.

Things to consider before applying for a credit card

Before you submit the application, it pays to consider your eligibility and likelihood of being accepted as failed applications will appear on your credit record. A good place to start is checking your credit score through services such as Experian, Clearscore, MSM Credit Monitor*or Credit Karma*, which will give you a good indication of how likely you are to be successful.

In addition, many card providers also offer online eligibility checkers which can tell you how likely you are to be accepted without leaving a footprint on your credit record. The golden rule is: if you are turned down for a credit card, don’t apply for any more. Instead, consider asking the provider why you were rejected and see how you can improve your credit score. There is great advice on how to do this in our article "How to improve your credit score quickly".



If a link has an * beside it this means that it is an affiliated link. If you go via the link Money to the Masses may receive a small fee which helps keep Money to the Masses free to use. But as you can clearly see this has in no way influenced this independent and balanced review of the product. The following link can be used if you do not wish to help Money to the Masses or take advantage of any exclusive offers - MSM Credit Monitor, Credit Karma