Buyers' Guide - Credit cards for spending

Whether you pay your credit card off in full each month or you've got a big purchase to make and want to spread the cost, it's worth making sure your credit card is right for you. With hundreds of cards on offer, the choice can be confusing. Here's some help from the Moneywise Buyers' Guide.

When you're choosing a credit card, start by working out how you're likely to use it. If you've got something expensive to buy, pick a card with 0% on purchases.

That way you can spread your payments and avoid paying interest. Just make sure you pay it all off before the 0% deal runs out.

If you clear your balance in full each month look for a card that will reward you when you use it, with cashback, vouchers, or loyalty points.

It's also worth checking the interest-free period – how long you're given each month before you have to pay your bill.

The longer it is, the longer the money stays in your account. But remember, it's only interest-free if you pay your bill in full.If you don't pay off your card each month, go for one with the lowest interest rate or look for a 0% balance transfer deal. But watch out for balance transfer fees, which can be up to 3%.

If you use your credit card when you go on holiday, beware! Most add hefty fees if you pay for meals, go shopping or take out cash while you're overseas. Pick carefully and you can cut these costly charges. It often makes sense to have a separate card for overseas spending.

Whichever card you pick, make sure you don't just pay the minimum amount each month - it could take years to clear your debt and the interest charges will really mount up.