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Best credit cards of 2018

Updated July 13th, 2018

We’ve searched the UK credit card market, and reckon these are some of the best deals around today. So take a moment to review our shortlist of the best credit card deals – for 0% credit, balance transfer, travel, cashback, rewards and more. Here are the Motley Fool’s pick of the best credit cards:

Lloyds Bank® Online Platinum 29 Month Purchase and Balance Transfer Mastercard

Good for: Interest-free balance transfers and spending

Lloyds Bank Platinum credit cardSome cards offer lengthy 0% balance transfer introductory offers, others offer interest-free purchases. Lloyds gives you both in one card, and for a generous 29 months in both cases. We reckon this double benefit makes Lloyds Bank Online Platinum one of the best all-round credit card deals on the market today.

0% balance transfer period

29 months

Transfer fee

2.50% on transfers in first 90 days

0% purchases period

29 months

Purchase representative APR

18.9%, subject to status

Credit requirement

Good

Extra benefits

0% on balance transfers AND purchases for a full 29 months is what makes this card a winner


Tesco Bank® Balance Transfer Credit Card

Good for: Maximum 0% balance transfer credit card

Tesco Clubcard Credit Card

Tesco’s balance transfer credit card leads the pack for those looking to transfer an existing card balance for the maximum possible period, with an 0% introductory rate for a market-leading 36 months. The card also gives you a three-month 0% introductory rate on purchases, followed by an APR of 18.9% thereafter. You can also collect Clubcard points on your spending in Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket chain, and everywhere else. Tesco’s finest piece of plastic.

Balance transfer period

36 months

Rate

0%

Transfer fee

2.69%

Introductory purchases

0% for 3 months

Purchase APR

18.9%

Credit requirement

Good

Extra benefits

1 Tesco Clubcard point for every £4 spent (£4 min) in Tesco and 1 point for every £8 (£8 min) outside Tesco


Sainsbury’s Bank® Dual Offer Credit Card

Good for: Top 0% credit card with Nectar points

Sainsbury's Bank Dual Offer Credit CardYou can really taste the difference with this great interest-free credit card deal from Sainsbury’s Bank, which is a 0% balance transfer credit card and 0% purchase credit card rolled into one, offering a generous 27-month introductory rate in both cases. This card will be particularly tempting for regular Sainsbury’s shoppers, who can also earn Nectar bonus points on top, including on fuel.

0% balance transfer period

27 months

Transfer fee

2.90% on transfers made in first three months

0% purchases period

27 months

Purchase representative APR

18.9%, subject to status

Credit requirement

Good

Extra benefits

Earn up to 5,000 bonus Nectar points on Sainsbury’s shopping in your first 2 months. Thereafter 2 Nectar points for every £1 spent on Sainsbury’s shopping and fuel, and 1 point for every £5 elsewhere.


Santander® All in One Credit Card

Good for: 0% credit card with cashback on top

Most UK credit cards don’t charge an annual fee, so make sure you’re getting something in return if yours does. The Santander All in One Credit Card has a fee of £3 a month but in return you get a 0% credit card with interest-free purchases for the first 30 months. That introductory period applies to balance transfers as well, and better still, there is no balance transfer fee. As if that wasn’t enough, you get 0.5% cashback on all your purchases as well. Great for holidays, too, with no foreign transaction fees on purchases either. Overall one of the best credit card deals, provided you don’t mind that £3 monthly fee.

Introductory 0% offers

0% on purchases for 30 months and 30 months on balance transfers (with no transfer fee)

Representative APR

15.9%

Fee

£3 a month (£36 a year)

Credit requirement

Good

Initial cashback offer

5 cashback offers of up to 25% from a range of retailers within 60 days

Cashback benefits

Cashback of 0.5% on all purchases with no maximum limit. Cashback offers up to 15% at a variety of online and high street stores


American Express® Platinum Cashback Credit Card

Good for: High-spending cashback fans

American Express Platinum cash back credit cardThere aren’t that many cashback credit cards to choose from at the moment, but this is definitely worth your attention. American Express Platinum Cashback Credit card offers a handsome 5% cashback on all your spending during the first three months, up to a maximum £125. After that, you get at least 1%. There is an annual fee of £25 but so as long as you spend more than £2,500 a year, you should easily cover that. Members also get Amex extras such as refund protection and purchase protection on their spending.

Introductory 0% offers

None

Representative APR on purchases

22.9%

Annual fee

£25

Credit requirement

Good

Initial offer

5% cashback up to a maximum of £125 on all spending during your first 3 months of membership

After 3 months

1% cash on all your spending up to £10,000, rising to 1.25% on spending above that. Access to music, theatre and film events


Barclaycard® Freedom Rewards Card

Good for: Free and easy 0% credit card with a point to prove

Barclaycard Freedom Rewards Credit CardBarclaycard Freedom isn’t just a combined balance transfer credit card and 0% purchase credit card, both lasting for 12 months — it is also one of the best rewards credit card deals in the UK today. You collect points whenever you use the card, with no upper limit, and spend them online, on the high street, or at cinemas, theatres, zoos or your favourite pizza restaurant. Tuck in!

Introductory balance transfer deal

0% for 12 months on transfers made in first 60 days, with 0.15% fee

Introductory purchases offer

0% for 12 months

Representative APR on purchases

21.9%

Credit requirement

Good

Rewards

Each £1 spent at UK supermarkets, petrol stations and Transport for London earns 2 points, plus 1 point everywhere else. £5 vouchers for each 1,750 Freedom points to spend at more than 70 partners including Amazon, Argos, Boots, Debenhams, M&S and Topshop, or many cinemas and restaurants


Creation® Everyday Credit Card

Good for: Travel card with no overseas charges and low APR

Creation Everyday credit cardThis is simply one of the best travel credit cards, with no overseas charges on either purchases or cash withdrawals to worry about while you are away. This easy-to-understand credit card also charges a low APR of just 12.9% on all your purchases, balance transfers and cash advances. One of the best overall credit card offers, simple as that.

0% introductory offers

None

Charges on overseas spending

Zero

Charges on overseas cash withdrawals

Zero

Representative APR

12.9%, subject to status

Credit requirement

Good

Benefits

No foreign usage charges anywhere in the world on either purchases or cash withdrawals. You pay interest on cash withdrawals but at the same low representative APR of 12.9%


American Express® The Platinum Card

Good for: Travel benefits for high flyers

American Express Platinum credit cardSometimes it is worth paying for the little luxuries in life. Like complementary airport lounge access in more than 120 countries, hotel room upgrades, late checkout times, car rental benefits and a 24/7 travel concierge service catering for your every need and whim. You can live the Platinum Lifestyle for just £450 a year, and earn some of that back with free worldwide travel insurance and points on all your purchases. No pre-set spending limit either, but you must pay off your full balance every month.

0% introductory period

None

APR

Nil, but you must clear your balance every month

Annual fee

£450

Credit requirement

Good

Initial bonus

Earn 30,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend £2,000 in the first three months

Benefits

Airport lounge access, worldwide travel insurance, hotel benefits and loyalty program, Platinum Concierge service, restaurant benefits, Amex offers and events, points on all your purchases with no earning cap, and plenty more


Vanquis Bank® Chrome Credit Card

Good for: Credit repair with a low APR

Vanquis Bank Chrome Credit CardThose with past credit problems are resigned to paying sky-high APRs, if they can get credit cards at all. Vanquis Bank’s Chrome Credit Card is a welcome exception, offering a low representative APR of just 24.7% to those with a limited credit history or past problems. On most other credit cards for bad credit, APRs start at 35% and can soar to 60%. Vanquis says it focuses on each applicant’s current credit situation and recent history, rather than dwelling on past mistakes. This low-rate credit card for bad credit could help you build a brighter financial future.

Introductory offer

0% interest on purchases for first three months

Credit limit

Between £250 and £1,000, subject to status, potentially rising to £4,000

Representative APR on purchases

 

Variable APRs from 24.7% to 59.9% m be reduced after a year if you manage card sensibly

Credit requirement

Based on individual merit and credit scoring. Applicants who have been turned down in the past considered

Extra benefits

Mobile app banking, SMS and email payment and statement reminders, online banking


Lloyds Bank® Platinum Low Rate

Good for: Gimmick-free, low-cost borrowing

Lloyds Bank Platinum credit cardForget all those card gimmicks such as 0% interest, cashback and rewards – all many people need from a credit card is an ongoing low APR. Lloyds offers one of the best options, charging as little as 6.4% on purchases, against 18.9% on most cards. You can also transfer debt from your existing card balance during the first three months, with no fee in the first 90 days. By securing a loan long-term rate, you do not have to waste time wondering when your 0% credit card introductory rate is coming to an end.

Balance transfers

Although there is no 0% introductory rate here, you can transfer an existing balance free of charge for the first 90 days

Fee

None

Representative APR

6.4%, subject to status, rising to 14.9% for those who don’t qualify for this low rate

Credit requirement

Good

Benefit

A simple and straightforward credit card, no frills but with a low interest rate for the long term


5 Things You MUST Check Before You Apply For A Credit Card

Thanks to the research we’ve done for you, you should have a good idea of which credit card suits your needs best. Now there’s just one more important page you need to read: “5 Things You MUST Check Before You Apply For A Credit Card” is a special report from The Motley Fool, and it’s completely free!

This expertly prepared report will inform you how to repair your credit history, explain why your credit report may contain errors and how you can fix these, as well as guide you through exactly how the UK credit scoring system works and why you need to understand it. All that’s left to do is click here for access, and it won’t cost you a penny!


The Motley Fool receives compensation from some advertisers who provide products and services that may be covered by our editorial team. It’s one way we make money. But know that our editorial integrity and transparency matters most and our ratings aren’t influenced by compensation. The statements above are The Motley Fool’s alone and have not been provided or endorsed by bank advertisers. The Motley Fool has recommended shares in Lloyds, Tesco and Barclays.