UK Credit Cards

October 6, 2010UK Credit Cardsby EconomyWatch


Credit cards in the UK offer purchase flexibility and financial freedom to customers. The UK has a long history of credit cards, with Barclaycard arriving on the market in 1966. Today, the market is flooded with a range of credit card products. One can select a UK credit card based on individual credit and purchasing needs.

Today, paying your credit card payments online is becoming increasingly popular. Here are some related links to find out more about online credit card payments to some major credit cards in the UK:

Can't find your credit card payment online? Search EconomyWatch for more information.

Types of UK Credit Cards

Some of the most popular categories of UK credit cards are:

Personal Spending Credit Cards: Almost every financial institution provides personal credit card services. This service caters to the financial needs of individuals. The personal credit card product line offers several products, such as:

  • Standard credit card for customers with credit ratings barely enough to qualify for a credit card.
  • Gold credit card for people with good to excellent ratings. This UK credit card comes with several rewards programs, such as shopping discounts, air miles or cashback.
  • Platinum credit card for people with excellent ratings and a sound financial history. The Platinum card symbolizes high status in the society. It comes with a high spending limit and an array of facilities, such as travel insurance, personal concierge and additional cards.

Business Credit Cards: Business credit card UK comes with huge purchasing limits and added features. It is designed to meet the financial needs of business enterprises. The business card offers discounts on purchases for business purposes, such as office equipment, official travel and meetings.

Zero-Interest Credit Cards: This card offers a no-interest period for balance transfers and purchases for a specified duration. It also offers relief from high interest rates charged on outstanding bills. However, an individual is required to make timely payments and not exceed the credit limit in order to enjoy the zero interest benefits.

Rewards Credit Cards: Most credit cards offer some form of rewards. Rewards cards allow users to earn points on everyday purchases. These points can be later redeemed to get discounts, gifts, vouchers and other complimentary benefits. A cashback card provides a percentage of the total purchase amount as cashback.

UK Credit Card Spending

Statistics compiled by APACS, the banking payments association, show that United Kingdom cardholders spend around £10 billion a month on their credit cards.

According to the report, there are more credit cards in UK than there are people, although growth has stopped in the aftermath of the Credit Crunch. The APACS annual report has shown that nearly two thirds of adults own a credit card. The number of people with multiple credit cards in the UK is now more than half cardholders.

Features of UK Credit Cards

Popular categories of UK Personal Credit Cards include:

  • 0% Introductory APR
  • Travel Rewards Credit Cards
  • Money Back and Rewards Credit Cards
  • No Annual Fee Cards
  • Gas Credit Cards
  • Business Credit Cards

Low Interest Credit Cards in UK

Low interest and 0% APR credit cards have grown in popularity as the UK credit card market has become more saturated. So it is always better for a credit card holder to opt for a card provider charging lower interest rates. For example, a person with fairly large balance should try for a credit card provider who can offer 0% for transferring his or her debt or can switch to a having a comparatively lower APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for life.

Moreover, before applying for a credit card in United Kingdom, one should look for a card with lower rate of interest, or depending on usage habits focus on more airline miles, petrol rebates, gift certificates, cash rewards or other benefits of the rewards program.

Specialty Credit Cards

Some banks offer specialty cards in association with different organizations or institutions. The BT credit card, WWF MasterCard, UNICEF Visa Card, Disney Card and Marks and Spencer Card are a few examples of specialty card.

UK Credit Cards Issuers

In United Kingdom, most of the traditional banks or building societies offer various credit cards. Companies such as Abbey, Alliance & Leicester, Barclays, Co-Operative Bank, Halifax, HSBC, and Lloyds TSB are regarded as the major credit card providers in the country.

Visa, MasterCard and American Express are all extremely active in the UK, while Diners Club is also present. Some of the most popular UK credit card issuers are HSBC, Citibank, Abbey National, Bank of Scotland, Barclays and MBNA.

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