A Visa card is a safe way to pay for things, all around the world.

Visa is the company that sends the money to the company you're buying from when you spend on a Visa card. Visa doesn't supply the credit cards or charge anything for you using a Visa credit card. Visa doesn't even deal with you directly as a customer - it only deals with the banks.

A credit card is a plastic card that gives you access to credit that you can spend. Credit is similar to a loan, but the money does not arrive in your bank account as a lump sum. Instead, it is loaded onto a credit card for you to use if you wish to.

Are there other credit card providers in the UK?

The Visa logo is on Visa credit cards, but other companies offer a similar service. These include MasterCard and American Express.

What's the difference between Visa and Mastercard?

When choosing which credit card to get, people often see it as a Visa vs MasterCard situation.

They offer a very similar service. Both check with your card provider whether the purchase is approved. They confirm to the retailer whether your payment can be made. And they both send the money to the company you're paying.

The main difference between Visa and MasterCard is where they're accepted. Their security schemes, and the extra benefits they come with, may also vary.

What types of Visa cards are there?

There are several different types of credit cards for you to choose from. You may come across some of the following on your search for the best Visa credit card:

  • Interest-free purchase cards charge no interest on your purchases for several months

  • Balance transfer credit cards charge no interest on your existing credit card balance for several months

  • Money transfer credit cards can send money straight to your bank account, and charge no interest for several months

  • Overseas credit cards charge lower fees for using them abroad

  • Cashback credit cards give you back some of the money you spend on them

  • Rewards credit cards give you vouchers when you spend on them

  • Air miles credit cards let you earn points that you can use for flights or holidays.

What credit card should I get?

If you want a credit card, you shouldn't think of your choice as Visa vs MasterCard. You should find the credit card that suits you best. Whether it's a Visa credit card or a MasterCard one does not matter.

Think about what you'll be using your credit card for. You should also look at interest charges and balance transfer services. Many also come with other benefits, such as cashback, air miles or shopping vouchers.

The best way to choose a credit card is to look at our comparison tables.

How to apply for a Visa credit card.

  1. Look at the Visa credit card comparison table at the top of this page to see which one will suit you best.

  2. Consider using a credit reference agency to see what your credit record looks like. You want it to look as attractive as possible to lenders. Alternatively, you could use our eligibility checker to see your chances of being accepted before you apply.

  3. Click through to the bank offering the credit card you want from our comparison table.

  4. Fill in the application form required.

  5. If you've applied for an instant-decision credit card, you'll find out straight away whether it's been approved.

  6. Wait for your card to arrive in the post.

How long does it take to get a credit card?

If you apply online, it shouldn't take very long at all. The application itself takes around 10 minutes. You'll get an instant decision and you should have your card within 10 days. If you apply within a bank branch or by post, it's likely to take longer. Here are some tips to speed up the process of getting a new credit card.