Whether you're planning a big purchase or want to reduce the amount you pay in interest, there are a range of credit cards to suit a variety of spending patterns.
Before you take the plunge it is worth thinking about what you want a credit card to do and what you want to use it for.
If you will be clearing your balance in full each month, you may do better out of a cashback or reward card. If you’re planning to travel then check our guide to the best fee-free cards to take abroad.
This round-up contains our Moneywise Best Buys for balance transfer, money transfer and 0% interest cards - putting you in charge of your money and letting you know how to get the most out of your plastic.
Top balance transfer credit cards
If you are in debt then a balance transfer card, if used properly, can be a great way to manage that debt and reduce the amount you’ll need to pay back.
Look for a card that offers a substantial 0% period, so you can clear your debt before it reverts to its normal APR and you end up paying interest. Remember 0% interest doesn't mean free - many of these cards will charge a balance transfer fee.
Sainsbury's Bank Balance Transfer Credit Card
29 months 0% balance transfer with 2.74% fee, 19.9% APR
MBNA Balance Transfer Credit Card
29 months 0% balance transfer with 2.75% fee, 20.93% APR.
This card has a 29-month 0% period with a fee of 2.75%.
Virgin Money Balance Transfer Credit Card
29 months 0% balance transfer with 3% fee, representative 21.9% APR.
This card has a 0% balance transfer over 29 months with a fee of 3.00%.
Halifax Balance Transfer Credit Card
29 months 0% balance transfer with 3.00% fee, representative 19.95% APR.
This card has a 29-month 0% period with a fee of 3.00%.
Balance Transfer Credit Card - Virgin Money
27 months 0% balance transfer with 1.45% fee, representative 21.9% APR.
This card has 27 months at 0% and comes with a fee of 1.45%
Fee-free balance transfer credit cards
NatWest/RBS/Ulster Bank Balance Transfer Credit Card - Existing Customers Only
0% on balance transfers for 20 months, no fees, 19.9% APR
This card offers no fees on a 20 month balance transfer, but is for existing customers only.
Sainsbury's Bank Nectar No Balance Transfer Fee Credit Card
0% on balance transfer for 16 months, 20.9% APR
This card offers 16 months 0% on balance transfers with no fees to pay.
Santander Everyday Credit Card
0% balance transfer for 18 months with no transfer fee, representative 18.9% APR
This has a 18-month balance transfer period and charges no monthly account fee.
Longest 0% interest purchase credit cards
If you are going to spend large amounts, find a credit card offering 0% on purchases - ideally one with a long interest-free period that charges a reasonable interest rate after the introductory deal.
MBNA Purchase Credit Card
0% on spending for 26 months, 20.9% APR variable
This card offers a 0% rate for 26 months on any purchases made within 60 days of opening the account. Note however that you may be offered less interest-free months depending on your credit score.
Barclaycard Purchase Credit Card
0% on spending for 27 months, representative 21.9% APR variable
This card offers 0% interest on all spending for 27 months, with a representative 21.9% APR. The card also offers 27 months 0% balance transfer with a 3.5% transfer fee.
You have to make sure that you pay off everything in full by the end of the 0% period to avoid paying interest.
Sainsbury’s Bank Dual Credit Card
0% on spending for 27 months, representative 20.9% APR variable
The current best buy for 0% purchase cards is the Sainsbury’s Bank Dual Credit Card which offers 0% interest on spending for 27 months. However, you could be offered fewer months depending on your circumstances. It comes with a representative APR of 20.9% variable.
This card lets you collect Nectar points whenever you shop. You could earn 750 bonus points each time you spend £35 or more on Sainsbury’s shopping with your credit card, up to ten times in your first two months - that’s a maximum of 7,500 points.
Best credit cards for money transfers
Money transfers work similarly to balance transfers, except the cash is paid into your current account so you can use it to pay off a loan or an overdraft instead of credit card balance.
But remember to watch out for the high fees associated with these accounts - you can often pay between 3% and 4% for money transfers.
Tesco Bank Clubcard Credit Card (Money Transfer)
0% money transfer for 28 months with 3.94% transfer fee, representative 19.9% APR variable
If you're looking for the longest 0% interest period, then you will have to pay a higher transfer fee. Tesco Bank offers a 28-month transfer period but is subject to a 3.94% fee.
MBNA Platinum Credit Card
0% money transfer fee for 24 months with a 2.99% transfer fee, representative of 22.9% AER
MBNA's card offers a 24-month transfer period with a 0% fee.
How are Moneywise Best Buys selected?
We look across as much of the market as possible to find the best deals using industry data from Defaqto.
All our picks are nationally available - online, by post or by phone. We try and pick products that are available to both new and existing customers, but we’ll highlight some offers for existing customers if they’re much better than what else is on offer.
We select accounts which offer the longest 0% purchase, balance transfer and money transfer periods - while also taking into account the interest rate after this period. We prioritise cards that do not charge a monthly fee.
We reserve the right to use our discretion at all times.