How to find the right credit card for you

With so many types of credit card on the market, it might be tricky figuring out the differences between them. Whatever your reason for wanting a card, we’ve got some handy tips to help you decide which is the right one for you.


24 Apr 2018


Why take out a credit card?

Everyone has their own reason for taking out a credit card. You might be looking to spread the cost of a big purchase, build up a healthy credit score, transfer an existing balance, or you might even want a secure way to spend money abroad.

Whatever the reason, it’s important to be responsible with your credit. That means making regular payments on time, only spending what you can afford to pay back, and clearing your balance as soon as possible.

couple in bakery

What are the benefits of credit cards?

If you’re trying to compare credit cards, you might see a lot of perks, offers and terms that make it tricky to choose one. To help you along, here’s some typical benefits you might get from taking out a credit card:

  • Build your credit score: If you repay your credit card early or on time, and never miss payments, you could improve your credit score. This could help when applying for other forms of finance such as a mortgage. Find out more in our credit score guide.
  • Debt consolidation: Balance transfer credit cards let you move your outstanding credit card balances into one account, and could offer a smart way to organise your finances. Some also offer 0% interest periods on balance transfers to help customers consolidate their debt and avoid paying higher interest elsewhere.
  • 0% interest on purchases: Some card providers offer 0% interest periods on purchases, to help spread the cost of more expensive items.
  • Rewards: Some credit cards offer rewards that mean you could receive regular discounts on your grocery bill – or even money off a holiday abroad.
mother and daughter shopping

How to find the best credit card for you

To help you find the right card type, we’ve broken down some of the reasons people take out credit cards, and listed some cards that could be the right fit.

We all have different money habits and goals, so while there’s no one-size-fits-all card for everyone, it helps to do some research into who’s offering what.

And remember, if you’re still unsure what a card does or if it’s a good fit, it’s always worth calling your bank for more information.

Looking for a way to help spread big costs?

Then a purchase card could be what you need. This card might offer a 0% interest purchase period, which can help spread the cost of larger purchases.

Looking to lower your monthly repayments?

An Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the amount of interest rate charged on a debt. So if you choose a card with a low APR, you may be able to lower your monthly payments.

Want to build your credit score or have bad credit?

Starter or foundation credit cards are for people who haven't had credit before, and who might not have a credit history or credit score. They're also used by people who have a low credit score and are looking to improve or rebuild it.

They tend to have lower credit limits and additional features to help you stay in control. For more details, check out our Foundation Credit Card.

Looking for extra rewards and benefits?

Premium credit cards sometimes have monthly or annual product fees or charges but they often also offer extra rewards and benefits, like points earned on everyday shopping, travel insurance or money off flights.

Looking to consolidate your debt?

Then a balance transfer card could help. Basically, you’re moving a balance or debt from one card with high interest and transferring it into a new card with low interest – so you’ll pay less interest each month. Keep in mind that transfers usually come with a fee.

Banks sometimes offer 0% interest periods on balance transfers, which could make repaying even less expensive. For a closer look at what kind of features different cards offer, you could compare Tesco Bank Credit Cards here.

woman at desk with laptop

How do balance transfer cards work?

This is a common question, but thankfully, transferring a balance is normally straightforward and most of the time, it can even be done online.

It’s worth remembering that banks might charge a fee for balance transfers.

Typically, you can transfer up to 90 to 95% of your available credit limit. This is to make it easier for you to stay within your agreed credit limit when you make the transfer.


To make the most of your credit card, it’s worth finding one that suits your spending style. If you use it wisely and avoid overspending, you could build up your credit score, spread costs, consolidate debts or earn rewards with confidence.

To get started, you can compare Tesco Bank's credit card types here.

women shopping with credit card

Important information

The content on this page aims to offer an informative introduction to the subject matter but does not constitute expert financial advice specific to your own situation. All facts and figures were correct at time of publication and were compiled using a range of sources.