With Christmas just around the corner many of us are worried about how we are going find the extra money for this very expensive season. We all know we should scrimp and save but few of us actually do.
Credit cards offer an easy option but how do you know if you are getting or using the right card. You also need to keep a watchful eye on your credit cards low introductory rates are just that - a low rate for the first few months, after which annual percentage rates (APRs) often shoot up.
Now is the perfect time to look at whether you are getting the best from your credit card.
What type credit cards are available?
Credit cards normally fall into the following categories:
- 0% Balance Transfer Rate Credit Card
- 0% Purchase Rate Credit Card
- 0% Balance Transfer & Purchase Rate Credit Card
- Reward Scheme Credit Card
- Life Of Balance Credit Card
- Standard Purchase Rate Credit Card
- Charity Credit Card
- Cashback Credit Card
Everyone likes to have a choice, but there is so much bright and glossy plastic out there it can sometimes make your head spin and not every credit card will be right for you.
It is important to find a card that suits your lifestyle which is why our best buy tables looks at all your needs when recommending a credit card and not just at the best introductory rate.
How do I find the right UK credit card for me?
There are two common reasons for getting credit cards. One of these is to make purchases like Christmas presents. The other reason is to mend your balance, by transferring your existing debt into one place and making it a lot easier to manage.
You can also take out cash advances, although few people would advise this as the rates are very high and there is rarely an introductory period.
Many companies also offer credit card cheques, which can be used to pay bills, or make postal purchases. Certain credit cards serve a better purpose than others depending on the situation.
For example, while some credit cards may be ideal to use abroad, others could prove very costly. You need to think about where and when you will be using the credit card most and check out the features of the card.
Paying it back
Many people have different ways of dealing with debt. Some of you may be opposed to having any debt hanging over you, so you ensure that your credit card bill is paid in full every month.
For this type of person it is not so much about the best rate - you are better off looking for plastic perks and benefits, such as gifts, holidays or cold hard cash.
Most people will spend a lump sum on an item and look at paying it back over time. In fact, the average balance of a cardholder is £1,500.
People falling into this group are best off playing the field and looking for the best introductory purchase rates. But if you have built up debt, you will also need to look at cards that have a low balance transfer rate as well.
Make sure you get accepted for a credit card
In the last year, 1.7m credit card applications were declined. Don't let it happen to you. By completing a few simple questions online we can help you understand your profile and find providers that are more likely to accept your application. Find out which credit card providers are more likely to accept your application
There are plenty of credit cards on the market, so play the field.
If you're clever with the way you play the field you can avoid paying hundreds of pounds in interest.
Credit card companies compete hard with one another to get new customers - which is good news for the consumer.
But you should also be careful - too much plastic can lead to credit card chaos or a blot on your credit score, while missed payments can result in heavy fines which drive you deeper into debt.
Remember, if you treat credit cards right, they will be good to you. Bear in mind though - it is important to manage credit effectively and don't borrow what you can't afford to pay back.
By using our search tools to compare credit cards, you can compare the best offers available from all credit card providers in the UK including the leading 0% balance transfer credit cards and 0% purchase credit cards.
Visit all our best buy tables and find the best credit card for your circumstances here