1. Decide what you need

The best way to stay ahead of the curve is to decide what you want from your credit card. There are two main types:

  • 0% deals: This is when a new card charges you no interest on certain transactions for a fixed term. This could be for card purchases, balance transfers or money transfers.

  • Reward deals: This is when you get something back from your card provider for spending. You can find credit cards that reward you with cashback, points for certain retailers or even airmiles.

A tiny disclaimer though, with any of the above, if you miss your repayments you will likely lose out more than any benefits you get.

2. Look at how you use your card

If you pay off your credit card each month...

A 0% deal isn't likely to offer much of a benefit to you.

Clearing your balance monthly helps improve your credit record, but also means you could be reaping the benefits of a reward credit card.

Here is a breakdown of the different types of reward credit cards available.

If you want to avoid interest charges...

A 0% deal could be a better fit for you, whether you need it for purchases, balance transfers or money transfers.

When choosing the right term, work out how long you need to clear your debt and find a 0% deal that matches.

Otherwise, you could have a remaining balance to pay off at the end of your term, causing you to start paying interest.

0% deals on balance transfers and money transfers can charge a fee, so look out for these when comparing credit cards.

3. Compare then apply

Always check what credit cards are available for the type you need, e.g. 0% on purchases with some form of reward.

Credit card providers can change their deals at any time - unfortunately there is no special time you should look for the best deal.

Spend as long as you need to find the right deal. If you're worried about getting accepted, you can use our eligibility calculator to shortlist the credit cards most likely to say yes.