Best cards in 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.

OUR BOTTOM LINE

I'm a big fan of 0% introductory-rate credit cards. I'm an even bigger fan of credit cards with no overseas charges. So you can imagine what I think of a card that gives you both.

It might seem an odd combination. A lengthy 0% intro rate on new purchases, plus a middling 0% balance transfer rate. So who thought of throwing in fee-free overseas purchases overseas on top? I don't know, but I admire their originality. A very special delivery from the Post Office.

CREDIT RATING REQUIREMENT: GOOD/EXCELLENT

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT POST OFFICE PLATINUM CARD

Post Office Platinum Card makes a splash with one of the lengthiest interest-free periods on new purchases around, but it also throws in a halfway decent balance transfer rate, and foreign travel benefits too.

  • 0% intro new purchases offer – There’s no interest to pay on your purchases for a whacking 28 months, that's almost two-and-a-half years. This is right up there with the very best 0% new purchases deals... but there's more.
  • 0% intro balance transfer offer - Some interest-free purchases cards only offer a token 0% rate on balance transfers, but this one stretches to a respectable 18 months. Yes, there are much longer deals available, but this isn't meant to be a main attraction.
  • No fees overseas – Most 0% purchases still hit you with fees for overseas use, even during the intro period. Post Office Platinum has no foreign usage charges, in Europe or worldwide. This also applies to online purchases in a foreign currency (although not cash withdrawals).
  • Travel money benefits – If you use your Platinum card to buy foreign currency from Post Office Travel Money, it will not charge you a cash fee for it. You can order and buy in any of its 11,500 branches, although its best rates are available online.
  • Other benefits – There is no annual fee and you also get the standard 56 days interest-free credit on new purchases once the 28-month introductory period is over, provided you pay your balance in full and on time each month. After the intro rate ends the representative APR is pretty standard for the market. You can manage your account through a secure mobile app or online servicing.
  • Worth knowing – As with most 0% intro rate cards, you must make all your minimum monthly payments on time, and never exceed your credit limit. One slip-up and the Post Office is likely to withdraw the 0% deal altogether and charge the card's standard APR instead. Also, there is no 0% introductory rate on cash advances. Instead, you pay a 2.5% fee with a minimum £3 charge (waived for foreign currency). The Post Office is a broker, not a lender, so the card is actually provided by Bank of Ireland UK, and so you can’t transfer a balance from any Bank of Ireland card.

WHAT COULD BE IMPROVED

Post Office Platinum Card shines but could do with being buffed up in one or two places.

  • Balance transfer fee – You have to pay a one-off fee when you transfer your balance, and it's at the higher end of the scale at 2.89%. So if you shift over £1,500, you will have to fork out £43.35. Some cards have a smaller fee or none at all, although with fewer benefits. Always check the competition before you apply.
  • You have to act fast – To take advantage of the 0% balance-transfer offer you have to act sharp and switch your existing balance within three months.
  • There are no rewards – I'm not sure if this is a valid complaint, given that it does not advertise itself as a rewards card. You can't have everything, but you can always ask... can’t you?
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