Compare First Credit Cards

Compare the best first credit cards for people with no credit history on offer in the UK and the first time credit card that gives you the best deal on spending. Our best first time credit card comparison makes it easy to find the starter credit card that will charge you the lowest interest rate so building your credit history is easy and affordable.
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Nationwide Credit Card (Balance Transfer)
Interest Free PeriodCredit RatingRepresentative APRNew to Credit
56 daysGood17.9%yes
Representative Example: The annual purchase rate is 17.9% p.a.(variable) so if you spend £1,200 your representative APR will be 17.9% (variable).
 
Sainsbury's Bank Nectar Credit Card
Interest Free PeriodCredit RatingRepresentative APRNew to Credit
56 daysGood16.9%yes
Double Nectar points on Sainsbury's shopping and 1 Nectar point for every £5 spent on your card elsewhere.
Representative Example: The annual purchase rate is 16.94% p.a.(variable) so if you spend £1,200 your representative APR will be 16.9% (variable).
 
Vanquis Visa Card
Interest Free PeriodCredit RatingRepresentative APRNew to Credit
up to 56 days on purchasesPoor39.9%yes
Suitable if you are new to credit, had had CCJs or other issues with credit. Can apply for up to £1,000 credit.
Representative Example: Representative 39.9% APR variable. Based on £1,000 credit limit & annual purchase rate 39.94% p.a. variable.
 
Halifax All in One Card Credit Card
Interest Free PeriodCredit RatingRepresentative APRNew to Credit
56 daysGood17.9%yes
The APR and length of the promotional offer are dependent on your personal circumstances.
Representative Example: The annual purchase rate is 17.95% p.a.(variable) so if you spend £1,200 your representative APR will be 17.9% (variable).
 
M&S Bank Credit Card
Interest Free PeriodCredit RatingRepresentative APRNew to Credit
55 daysGood16.9%yes
Representative Example: The annual purchase rate is 16.9% p.a.(variable) so if you spend £1,200 your representative APR will be 16.9% (variable).
 
fluid Low Fee Balance Transfer Card
Interest Free PeriodCredit RatingRepresentative APRNew to Credit
50 daysGood18.9%yes
The introductory rate is for balances transferred within the first 60 days of your account opening.
Representative Example: The annual purchase rate is 18.9% p.a.(variable) so if you spend £1,200 your representative APR will be 18.9% (variable).
 
Aquis Credit Card
Interest Free PeriodCredit RatingRepresentative APRNew to Credit
up to 56 days on purchasesPoor29.8%yes
Credit offered by Vanquis Bank.
Representative Example: The annual purchase rate is 29.84% p.a.(variable) so if you spend £1,000 your representative APR will be 29.8% (variable).
 
Virgin Atlantic White Credit Card Account from MBNA
Interest Free PeriodCredit RatingRepresentative APRNew to Credit
46 daysGood17.9%yes
3,000 miles with your first card purchase plus an additional 7,000 bonus miles when you apply before 30 June 2014 and make £1,000 on card purchases within 90 days of account opening (T&Cs apply).
Representative Example: The annual purchase rate is 17.9% p.a.(variable) so if you spend £1,200 your representative APR will be 17.9% (variable).
 
Nationwide Select Credit Card
Interest Free PeriodCredit RatingRepresentative APRNew to Credit
56 daysGood15.9%yes
To be eligible you have to hold a FlexAccount with a Visa debit card (not cash card) and pay in £750+ each month (excluding internal transfers).
Representative Example: The annual purchase rate is 15.9% p.a.(variable) so if you spend £1,200 your representative APR will be 15.9% (variable).
 
AA Rewards Credit Card
Interest Free PeriodCredit RatingRepresentative APRNew to Credit
50 daysGood16.9%yes
Earn Reward Points every time you spend, earn double on fuel. Redeem on a range of products including shopping vouchers and cash back.
Representative Example: The annual purchase rate is 16.9% p.a.(variable) so if you spend £1,200 your representative APR will be 16.9% (variable).
 
Lloyds Bank Advance Credit Card
Interest Free PeriodCredit RatingRepresentative APRNew to Credit
0 daysGood11.9%yes
Representative Example: The annual purchase rate is 11.95% p.a.(variable) so if you spend £1,200 your representative APR will be 11.9% (variable).
 
Virgin Atlantic Black Credit Card Account from MBNA
Interest Free PeriodCredit RatingRepresentative APRNew to Credit
46 daysGood52.1%yes
Earn 18,500 Flying Club miles with your first card purchase plus an additional 11,500 bonus miles when you apply before 30 June 2014 and make £3,000 of card purchases within 90 days of account opening (T&Cs apply).
Representative Example: 18.9% p.a. variable on card purchases. This is equivalent to 52.1% APR representative variable based on a credit limit of £1,200. Annual fee of £140 is payable.
 
Santander 123 Credit Card
Interest Free PeriodCredit RatingRepresentative APRNew to Credit
56 daysGood16.5%yes
3% cashback on National Rail and Transport for London (TfL) travel. Plus you can still earn 3% Cashback at major petrol stations. Contactless payments on items below £20.
Representative Example: The annual purchase rate is 12.7% p.a.(variable) so if you spend £1,200 your representative APR will be 16.5% (variable)+£24 fee p.a
 
Nationwide Credit Card (Purchases)
Interest Free PeriodCredit RatingRepresentative APRNew to Credit
56 daysGood17.9%yes
Representative Example: The annual purchase rate is 17.9% p.a.(variable) so if you spend £1,200 your representative APR will be 17.9% (variable).
 
Capital One Classic Card
Interest Free PeriodCredit RatingRepresentative APRNew to Credit
56 daysPoor34.9%no
A quick response in 60 seconds.
Representative Example: 34.9% APR representative variable. Based on £1,200 credit limit & annual purchase rate 34.94% p.a. variable.
 
Tesco Bank Clubcard Credit Card for Purchases
Interest Free PeriodCredit RatingRepresentative APRNew to Credit
51 daysGood18.9%no
Representative Example: The annual purchase rate is 18.94% p.a.(variable) so if you spend £1,200 your representative APR will be 18.9% (variable).
 
Capital One Classic Extra Card
Interest Free PeriodCredit RatingRepresentative APRNew to Credit
56 daysPoor34.9%no
A quick response in 60 seconds.
Representative Example: 34.9% APR representative variable. Based on £1,200 credit limit & annual purchase rate 34.94% p.a. variable.
 
MBNA Platinum Credit Card
Interest Free PeriodCredit RatingRepresentative APRNew to Credit
50 daysGood18.9%-
0% on money transfers for 30 months from the date your account is opened (4% handling fee). For this great rate your balance needs to be transferred within the first 60 days of your account opening. ConsumerMoneyfacts Credit Card Provider of 2014.
Representative Example: The annual purchase rate is 18.9% p.a.(variable) so if you spend £1,200 your representative APR will be 18.9% (variable).
 
Tesco Bank Clubcard Credit Card (Balance Transfer)
Interest Free PeriodCredit RatingRepresentative APRNew to Credit
51 daysGood18.9%-
Representative Example: The annual purchase rate is 18.94% p.a.(variable) so if you spend £1,200 your representative APR will be 18.9% (variable).
 
Halifax Balance Transfer Credit Card
Interest Free PeriodCredit RatingRepresentative APRNew to Credit
56 daysGood18.9%-
The APR and length of the promotional offer are dependent on your personal circumstances.
Representative Example: The annual purchase rate is 18.95% p.a.(variable) so if you spend £1,200 your representative APR will be 18.9% (variable).
 

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How to Get Approved for Your First Credit Card

Much has been written about the problems with getting credit cards if you've had financial problems like bankruptcy in the past, but the difficulties experienced by those completing their first credit card application aren't so well documented.

Man Internet Shopping

Although it might sound strange, lenders are often as cautious – and in some cases more so – about providing credit to individuals who are applying for a first time credit card.

This is because there is simply nothing for them to base their assessment on; if you haven't borrowed money before a lender cannot judge whether you present a secure or risky investment.

Therefore, for those applying for their first credit card no credit history can be a major stumbling block. However, it doesn't necessarily mean that there is no way forward.

Prepare for your first credit card application

If you are hoping to get your first time credit card for a specific purchase, planning well ahead of the event might mean you end up paying less in the long term.

Realistically, the first card you apply for may not provide you with the most competitive rates. However, if you have prepared well enough in advance, this shouldn't matter.

Apply for a credit building credit card and use your card regularly – no matter what the interest rate is – and repay it in full every month before the due date. By adopting this technique you will find that not only will you not have to pay a penny in interest, but you will very quickly notch up a good credit rating allowing you to apply online for another card, at a more competitive rate, having boosted your chances of acceptance.

When it comes to using your first credit card to build credit repaying your balance in full and on time should be your primary focus, not spending or borrowing more money than you can pay off in one go.

Your first credit card limit is also likely to be relative low; another reason why it is essential to plan in advance. There are many cards which are ideally suited for a first timer, you just have to pick the option that's right for you.

Boosting your credit rating

Of course, adopting the above method to try and get your first credit cards will be of no use whatsoever if you don't stick to the normal rules.

This means making sure you are on the electoral roll, checking there are no errors, inaccuracies or omissions in your credit history and that your name is not incorrectly linked with another individual who has financial problems.

If you choose a credit building credit card suitable for first time applicants and make sure you repay your balance on time, don't pay less than the minimum and keep the rest of your credit rating in tip-top condition, it won't take long before you will qualify for some of the better credit card deals on the market.

You can compare the credit cards available to first time credit card holders in our first credit cards comparison table.

Credit Card Comparison

Alternative Credit Cards

You may want to compare the above credit cards with the following.

Bank of Ireland MoneyBack Standard Credit Card

  • You will get 0.5% minimum cashback rate.
  • Get 17.9 percent purchase interest rate AER from Bank of Ireland.
  • New customers enjoy 0 minimum intro balance transfer fee from the credit card.
  • Representative APR of 17.9 percent.
  • Limitless maximum intro balance transfer fee is available to new customers.
  • Representative Example: The annual purchase rate is 17.9% p.a.(variable) so if you spend 1,200 your representative APR will be 17.9% (variable).

Post Office Credit Card

  • A 0% intro balance transfer rate is available.
  • Minimum bal transfer fee of 0 is available.
  • Intro purchase duration of 3 months is offered with Credit Card.
  • Get a purchase rate AER of 17.8% from the Credit Card.
  • Representative Example: The annual purchase rate is 17.8% p.a.(variable) so if you spend 1,200 your representative APR will be 17.8% (variable).

Bank of Scotland Student Credit Card

  • Cash loan rate of 20.0% is available.
  • Enjoy 0 annual fee from Bank of Scotland.
  • A 50% of card limit cash credit limit is available.
  • Mthly balance transfer rate of 1.527 percent.
  • 19.95 percent purchase interest rate AER is available.
  • This Student Credit Card has a 19.95 percent std balance transfer rate.
  • Representative Example: The annual purchase rate is 19.95% p.a.(variable) so if you spend 1,000 your representative APR will be 19.9% (variable).

Dogs Trust Credit Card

  • New customers can enjoy purchase interest rate AER of 16.9 percent.
  • 27.9% cash advance rate is available to you.
  • Get a money transfer fee of 5 percent.
  • Std balance transfer rate of 18.9% is available with the credit card.
  • Interest rate charged from date of transfer debit.
  • Representative Example: The annual purchase rate is 16.9% p.a.(variable) so if you spend 1,200 your representative APR will be 16.9% (variable).

HSBC Commercial Card

  • A 15.9% cash credit rate is available.
  • 15.9 percent representative APR.
  • Max balance transfer fee of 0 is available.
  • A 0 percent balance transfer fee is available.
  • Representative Example: 15.9% APR representative variable. Based on 1,200 credit limit & annual purchase rate 15.9% p.a. variable.

Lloyds Bank Business Credit Card Ex/C

  • This credit card has a representative APR of 22.4 percent.
  • The credit card offers a 16.3 percent cash loan rate.
  • Business Credit Card Ex/C offers a minimum yearly turnover of 0.
  • This credit card has 1 years minimum trading period.
  • Representative Example: 22.4% APR representative variable. Based on 1,200 credit limit & annual purchase rate 16.3% p.a. variable.

RBS Business Credit Card

  • You can have the benefit of minimum annual turnover of 0.
  • Limitless max annual turnover is offered.
  • A balance transfer fee of 0 percent is available from RBS.
  • 23.2% representative APR is offered with Business Credit Card.
  • 0 max balance transfer fee is available with Business Credit Card.
  • Representative Example: 23.2% APR representative variable. Based on 1,200 credit limit & annual purchase rate 16.9% p.a. variable.

Capital One Aspire Business

  • This credit card offers a 16.94% standard balance transfer rate.
  • Customers have the benefit of standard cashback rate of 0.5 percent.
  • 0 percent bal transfer fee is available with Aspire Business.
  • Aspire Business offers a representative APR of 16.9 percent.
  • Representative Example: 16.9% APR representative variable. Based on 1,200 credit limit & annual purchase rate 16.94% p.a. variable.