Andrew Hagger, money expert from Moneycomms.co.uk shares his tips on how to play your cards right:
- Work out what it is that you want from a card - e.g. to transfer a balance from another card at 0%, get interest free borrowing for a big purchase or perhaps to earn rewards or cashback. If it’s a balance transfer deal you’re looking for, don’t automatically plump for the card with the longest 0% term as these come with the higher balance transfer fees. Also, if you switch balances from one card to another, make sure you destroy your old card and close the account – that way it removes the temptation to use it again in the future.
- If you always pay your card statement in full every month, look for a card that gives you something back such as the Santander123 card which gives you cashback on your spending. However if you’re someone that only partially pays their statement balance then cashback and reward cards are not for you as the interest charges will wipe out any benefits you accrue.
- Before you apply for a new card take a look to see if your credit record is up to date and in good nick - try Equifax.co.uk or Experian.co.uk where you can view a copy for just £2.
- Shop around and make sure you are getting the best deal you can, simply check out the best rates and offers on Moneynet.co.uk or Money.co.uk.
- If your credit record means that banks reject your application, try using a credit builder card such as Aqua where you can improve your score by using the card responsibly and making payments on time every month. The interest rates on credit builder type cards are higher than standard cards (typically 35%-40% APR), however if you pay off your whole balance each month the rate doesn’t matter as you won’t be charged.