Top credit cards with no credit check

7 min Read Published: 21 May 2024

Top credit cards with no credit checkNo matter what you read on the internet, you cannot get a UK credit card without undergoing a credit check. A hard credit check is an important and unavoidable part of getting a credit card in the UK. However, if you are looking for top credit cards with no credit check, it is important to think about why. In this article, we explain why you cannot get a credit card without undergoing a credit check, why it is an important part of the application process and what to do instead if you want a top credit card with no credit check.

Can you get a credit card with no credit check?

No, you cannot get a credit card without a credit check. This applies to all UK credit card providers, with the check taking place during the application process and leaving a mark on your credit file for future lenders to see.

Keep in mind that you may see a different answer to this question online because credit card providers in other countries – including the US – do offer credit cards with no credit check. In the UK, you will always be subject to a credit check during your credit card application process. If you read any claims that you can get a credit card with no credit check, make sure to look up what region that applies to. If a website claims it does apply to the UK, then it is incorrect.

Some credit card providers and third-party services offer to check your eligibility for a credit card and show you how likely you are to be successful in applying. This is different to getting a credit card with no credit check because you still have to go through an application process – that will include a credit check – after you have checked your eligibility.

Why you might want a credit card with no credit check

The obvious reason why someone applying for a credit card might want to avoid a credit check is because they have bad credit. They think the credit check will cause their application to be rejected because it will show a history of missed payments, borrowing too much, CCJs (county court judgements) or other factors that can cause someone to have bad credit.

A bad, or low, credit score is another reason why someone may want to avoid a credit check, but this would not be dealing with the root of the problem. Your low credit score could be due to a minor issue that can be easily corrected. Alternatively, it could be down to a more significant problem that requires time and patience to fix. Either way, it is better to address any issues than look for a quick fix or try to avoid scrutiny of your finances altogether.

Someone with no credit history at all may also be tempted to search for a no credit check credit card. However, any good credit card eligibility checker would likely show credit cards specifically designed for and marketed at people trying to build up a credit history from scratch.

Ultimately, a credit check is only something to avoid if you have made several credit card applications in the recent past. Each application leaves a mark on your credit file and too many in a short space of time will make it seem like you are desperate for credit and struggling to manage your finances, making it even less likely that you will be accepted for a credit card. Unless this applies to you, a credit check should not be something to avoid, but rather something to prepare for and use as motivation to make sure your credit file is in good order.

Alternatives to a credit card with no credit check

Even if no credit check credit cards existed in the UK, they would not be a long-term solution to managing bad credit. Instead, the better option is to make sure your credit file looks as attractive as possible and that you are in the best possible shape to apply for credit. Here are some alternative options for searching for a credit card with no credit check:

  • Bad credit credit cards - There are specialist providers who can offer credit cards to people with bad credit, even after a full credit check. We cover the best credit cards for bad credit currently available in the UK in our ‘Compare credit cards for bad credit’ article.
  • Credit builder credit cards - You can use a credit card to build credit. Spending responsibly, borrowing within your means and repaying what you owe on time will steadily build an impressive credit file.
  • Improve your credit score - You can check your credit score for free and follow our simple steps to make easy changes that can have a significant impact on your ability to borrow. Borrowing responsibly over a long period of time is the most certain way to improve your credit score, but you may be surprised by the difference a few basic changes can make.
  • Free debt help - If your credit file has suffered because of past financial issues and you are struggling to access a credit card or any other kind of borrowing, or you desperately need cash to pay debts, it is time to reassess your relationship with money. Your first stop should be a free debt help charity. These organisations can help you restructure your debt, reorganise your finances and put you on the path to greater financial stability.

How to build credit with a credit card

Instead of trying to find a way around credit checks, try tackling bad credit head on. If you already have a credit card or are able to qualify for a credit card for bad credit or a credit builder credit card, you have the opportunity to turn your situation around. This will take the sting out of any future credit checks and help you access the best credit cards available.

The first step should be to assess your current situation by checking your credit score. Your credit score is a numerical rating based on the information held by the UK’s credit reference agencies (CRAs) – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion – about your borrowing history.

You may have a low score if your credit report features no previous history of borrowing, a history of unpaid bills or missed debt repayments. It will also be low if you have experienced bankruptcy, an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) or a County Court Judgement (CCJ) against your name in the past six years.

How to get a high credit score

You should aim to fill your credit report with positive examples of borrowing and repaying. The easiest way to do this is to stick to a few key credit card principles including:

  1. Clear your balance in full - Pay at least the minimum payment every month, but more if you can, preferably the full balance. This will show you are able to restrict your borrowing to what you can afford to repay, as well as helping you save on interest payments. We explain why paying more than the minimum is so important in our article ‘What is the minimum payment on a credit card?’.
  2. Pay on time - Late or missed payments will only set you back further, damaging your credit score and jeopardising any introductory offers you have on your card. You will usually also need to pay extra fees and charges. Paying on time is an important part of showing debt responsibility and building a good credit score. Set up a direct debit so that you do not forget to make your monthly repayment.
  3. Stick to your credit limit - Exceeding your credit limit will lead to extra charges and fees, and leave a mark on your credit file. Stay well within your limit to show that you are spending responsibly and carefully managing the credit that is available to you. Maintaining your balance below 25% of your available credit is a good place to start.

How to find out which credit card is best for you

Money to the Masses uses Creditec*, an online comparison service that enables you to find credit card deals tailored to you without affecting your credit score. You will want to compare as many different options as possible before you get a new credit card, so it is a good idea to do a fast online comparison. With only a few basic details, the Creditec tool will build a personalised list of credit cards suited to your needs to help you navigate the huge number of options out there. You can then pick the result that suits you best. None of this will affect your credit score as the eligibility process uses a soft credit check. Click here to start your comparison*.

How to improve your credit score

There is no way to get a UK credit card with no credit check, so you will need to prepare to have your credit file scrutinised when you apply. One way to improve it is through building credit using a credit card but this can take time. If you do not have this luxury, your first step should be to tick off any simple changes that can give your score a quick boost. Here are some to get started on today:

  • Get on the electoral roll - Registering to vote makes it easier for CRAs to confirm your name and address.
  • Make prompt payments - Not just credit card repayments, but pay all bills or debts on time. This could be your phone contract, energy bills, existing credit card debt or loan repayments.
  • Check your credit report for mistakes - You can check your credit report for free with each of the major CRAs and report any mistakes, including spelling errors or an out-of-date address.
  • Avoid people with bad credit - A joint account or loan with someone who has a poor credit history will affect you. You can find out who you are linked to from the main UK CRAs and ask to be disassociated if you no longer have a relationship.
  • Clear existing debt - This is easier said than done, but paying off any outstanding debt will usually improve your credit score. It will be harder to get a credit card or a loan if you already owe a lender money.

We cover the other simple ways to boost your credit score in our article ‘How to improve your credit score quickly’.



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