Credit Cards in the United Kingdom

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Being frugal is one way to survive in the United Kingdom. You see people driving sleek cars in London, Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester or whichever city  and wonder how rich people in the country are. No, they are not rich but frugal.

In a good month in the UK, it is always possible to live on a salary and savings yet sometimes, unexpected situations happen and throw people off budget.  Let’s say you get involved in an accident and the insurance company in the UK expects you to pay up the deductibles before it can  foot the rest.  This is just a typical example of incidents that although may not occur to an individual repeatedly, sets them off quite some pounds. 

When in a situation that requires you to pay up a certain amount of money in the UK yet your coffers have dried up, the next stop is borrowing. Yes, borrowing in the UK doesn’t necessarily mean someone is poor but that he is unable to foot a bill that can’t just wait any longer. Smart people anticipate such possibilities and never think twice about signing up to reliable credit card issuers sin the UK.

It makes a big difference to have a credit card which basically allows you access to an agreed amount of credit and spending it on the go. You don’t have to visit the lender all the time a situation comes up. As long as your borrowing is still within the agreed limit, you can use the credit card just like your ordinary bank card. 

You can’t Dismiss the need for Credit card in the UK

A credit card is a type of payment card in which charges are made against a line of credit instead of the account holder’s cash deposits. A credit card issuer can be a bank or financial services company. When someone uses a credit card to make a purchase, the account accrues a balance that must be paid off each month. Although failure to pay off the credit card on time could result in interest charges and late fees, credit cards can also help users build a positive credit history. The amount of a credit card line of credit, usually called a credit limit, is determined by the card holder’s credit score and income.

Ways you can use your Credit Card in the UK

Credit cards in the UK are not a luxury but a necessity especially for people who understand that borrowing can be done seamlessly. Having a credit card simply saves one the embarrassment that comes when a pressing need for money arises yet the bank balance is reading nil and close people too can’t just help. 

So in the UK, a credit card in your wallet will mean that you can do all these and many more;

Buy using credit card in the UK

As soon as one sets foot in the UK, it is easy to note how careful and well organised people are. Nobody wants to cause an inconvenience by swiping a debit card which has no money to be deducted. Instead, they will simply turn to the credit card, make a smile and swipe like a boss and boom, the bill is paid. So many if not all outlets in the UK recognize and accept payment using credit cards. 

People in the kingdom prefer to use credit cards because they can buy anything within that limit and pay later. Their monthly budget will not be affected, even if they buy items of high value on credit. One of the most important benefits of credit cards for people in the United Kingdom is that they can convert the total amount of their purchases into low-cost EMIs to enable them to repay it easily over a period of time. This has helped revolutionise the shopping experience.

Benefit from Interest-free cash withdrawals on credit cards in the United Kingdom

There are a few credit cards in the United Kingdom that allow one to withdraw money up to a certain limit in case of emergency, with no interest charged up to 45 to 50 days. One can make use of it in times of financial emergency.

Unlimited reward points on credit cards in the United Kingdom

Credit cards issuers in the UK try as much as possible to keep users happy. One way of retaining customers is by offering rewards on every purchase made using the card. In most cases, the points are in association to specific brands which then means that a purchase made from those brands will earn you points. These points are essentially savings on money which can still be accessed for future spending. For instance, IDFC FIRST Bank credit cards offer unlimited and never-expiring reward points, which are easily redeemable.

Insurance coverage credit cards in the United Kingdom

Majority of the credit cards offer insurance services to its customers, for instance one gets personal accident coverage, as well as comprehensive travel insurance coverage and this is one of the significant benefits of credit cards, which make them attractive.

Credit cards in the UK makes spending when travelling easy and convenient

As a holder of any credit card issued in the United Kingdom, you get a chance to travel-spend stress free. One thing that travellers always detest is the agony of differences in currency and acceptable mode of spending at different points of purchase.

It gets desperate if not annoying when you find this nice souvenir on a trip but then it’s impossible to pay for it. Such an experience can be disgusting, right? So credit cards will save your life because they allow you to spend in any currency. The deductible amount is automatically calculated and subtracted from your credit card balance. You can also withdraw cash at any ATM, although this may come with sometimes very high withdrawal fees. 

When it comes to IDFC FIRST Bank credit cards, they give you a unique experience through complimentary lounge access at the airports and railway stations in the United Kingdom and priority check-in. Other than these, one can also enjoy discounts on food in more than 280 restaurants.

Enjoy amazing discounts and cashbacks on credit cards

Credit cards are not simply a substitute for normal debit cards. Yes, they will serve the same way as credit cards but come with extra benefits including discounts and cashbacks which is not something common with debit cards.

So with a credit card in the UK, it is possible to get discounts  at your favourite entertainment and dining outlets, travel and shopping apps, etc. You can also enjoy fuel surcharge waivers at petrol pumps across the country.

How to access the best credit card for you in the United Kingdom

If you’re looking to apply for a credit card in the united kingdom one should follow the guidelines below

1. Find the right credit card

Before applying for a credit card, take some time to consider which one may be right for your needs. Different credit cards can be useful for different things as they are offered in the United Kingdom.

For example, a balance transfer credit card with an interest-free period may be useful if you’re looking to pay down existing credit card debt. Or, a 0% interest on purchases credit card may come in handy if you’re wanting to make a bigger purchase and spread the cost over a longer period without paying interest. 

2. Check your credit score

When lenders are considering your application, they’ll check your credit score. This helps them determine how reliable you are at repaying anything you borrow. 

3. Check your eligibility

Some credit cards may have eligibility requirements you need to meet in order to be able to apply. For example, you may need to earn over a certain amount per year, or be over a certain age. 

4. Make an application 

You’ll need to fill in an application to apply for a credit card. You may be able to do this online, over the phone or in a branch. This is done by making sure that you’re as honest as possible with your application and reviewing it before submitting to make sure there are no mistakes. A declined credit card application may affect your credit score, so it’s important to check it thoroughly.

5. Review the credit card offer

If your application for a credit card is successful, make sure to review the offer from the lender.  As a conscious and rational credit card subscriber, you can’t just ignore to closely check the following.

  1. Fees involved (transaction, withdrawal etc)
  2. Payment due dates
  3. Percentage you’ll need to repay to make the minimum monthly repayment (although you should always try to repay in full to avoid being denied a credit score.

Types of credit cards in the United Kingdom

Low rate credit card

A low rate credit card typically offers a lower interest rate on purchases. While these cards have a lower interest rate, you may have to pay an annual fee.

Rewards credit card

Some credit cards offer cash back or other rewards for everyday spending, like air miles or shopping vouchers, when you use them. They may have a higher interest rate or an annual fee, so try to work out whether the rewards will outweigh the costs. 

0% purchase credit card

Some cards offer periods of 0% interest on purchases. These can be useful if you plan to buy a big ticket item and pay for it upfront. This gives such a credit card holder access fixed period of time to repay without being charged interest.

Balance transfer credit card

Some cards offer 0% interest for a fixed time period for balance transfers from other cards. These allow you to transfer the debt for a small percentage fee of the amount you’re transferring. This can be helpful if it means you’ll pay less interest and fees overall. 

Credit builder card

If you have little, or no, credit history because you’ve not borrowed much in the past, then these cards can help you build your credit score. Interest rates may be higher than other types of cards, but you can avoid interest as long as you pay off your balance in full each month.

Travel credit card

If you travel a lot, a travel credit card can make it cheaper for you to spend money overseas. They usually don’t charge a fee for making purchases or withdrawing cash overseas. 

Money transfer credit card

A money transfer card lets you move money from your credit card into your current account, for a fee. You may consider a money transfer credit card if you wanted to pay off an overdraft, for example. This is different from a balance transfer credit card.

Popular  credit cards in the United Kingdom

  • NatWest Balance Transfer.
  • MBNA Money Transfer Credit Card.
  • Tesco Bank Foundation Credit Card.
  • Barclaycard Rewards Credit Card.