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UK Credit Cards
 Jul 29, 2004

Residents of the United Kingdom have access to a variety of options when it comes to credit cards. U.K. credit cards are available for a number of different credit situations and financial needs. This article will review the pros and cons of U.K. credit cards.

Indeed, credit cards can be a great way to improve already good credit, rebuild bad credit or establish credit for those who have none. Additionally, for those with reasonably good credit histories, U.K. credit cards offer a range of perks and benefits.

Different levels of U.K. credit cards

There are two main levels of U.K. credit cards: premium and everything else. These cards are aimed at different groups of people with different credit needs.

Premium level U.K. credit cards are directed at those with good credit histories. These cards offer preferred (lower) interest rates and reasonable fees. Additionally, the credit lines offered are usually quite generous. People with access to premium level U.K. credit cards have generally proved themselves responsible and trustworthy. Other benefits of premium level cards include online account management, fraud protection, purchase protection and even limited insurance.

Other U.K. credit cards are meant to help people establish credit or repair damaged credit. These cards, though somewhat reasonable in terms of interest rate, do not have the same perks associated with the premium level cards. These card users pay more interest charges, and their fees are higher. Additionally, they will have lower credit limits, making them unable to enjoy the same credit access of those with better credit ratings.

Special interest U.K. credit cards

It is possible to get special interest credit cards to show your support for different organizations. These cards are available to all, no matter their credit histories (although premium level consumers retain their perks). It is possible to show support for a particular football club or display your enthusiasm for hunting dogs. In some cases, you can even go so far as to put a picture of yourself or your family on your card.

In addition to getting personalized cards, it is also possible to get U.K. credit cards that allow you to help certain causes. You can get a card that donates part of its proceeds to charities or other organizations. It is also possible to donate your rewards points to causes for their use.

Applying for U.K. credit cards

When you apply for U.K. credit cards, it is important to check with the card agreement and make sure you understand what is entailed. Here are some things to consider before you apply:

  • Interest rate. You want the lowest possible interest rate. Check to see if you have an introductory offer that will end soon. Also, find out whether a different rate is charged for new purchases than for cash advances or balance transfers. Also be aware of how the APR is figured, and realize that most credit cards have variable APR.
  • Fees. Know about the fees charged by the card. There is an assortment of fees that credit card companies like to charge: balance transfer, foreign transaction, late, missed payment, over the limit, annual.

Credit cards can be useful financial tools, but they can also cause problems. Make sure you know about your credit card options before settling on one.

* See the online credit card application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Here" button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on issuers website.