consider them the devil’s best weapon in driving you into insurmountable debt (indeed around 18m people received a default notice on their credit card bill last year), used properly, they could help manage your finances better thanks to interest free periods and balance transfer offers that operate like an interest free loan as long as you play by the rules.
Meanwhile, buying something with a credit card can afford you more protection than buying using a debit card or cash.
who are really on top of their credit card repayments (and won’t get hit by astronomical interest rates) and are prepared to stomach the significant annual fees involved, you’d be hard-pushed to beat the But what if you’ve already run up the debts and despite your best efforts to drive down your borrowing, have come to the end of your 0% interest deal before you've paid it off?
Then it’s all about transferring the balance for as low a fee as possible, usually with the longest window of opportunity to pay it off.
As long as the balance is paid off by the end of the period, these cards stack up against the best of the interest free finance or purchase loans you’d find on the high street - from furniture or electrical retailers for example.
The watchwords here are ‘paid off’ though, and if you think it’s unlikely that you’d clear the debts even over two and a half years, you are probably better off seeking out the best long term low rate deal, currently for purchases in the first three months up to £125, up to 1% after that when you spend up to £10,000 and 1.25% when you spend more than that.
Some credit cards are even designed to help those with bad credit to improve their credit rating, helping open the door to a whole range of other financial products they may not have otherwise been eligible for.
Long gone are the days of simply using a credit card to buy goods and services.
There was an option to view and buy the posted conversations for .
If dipping your toe into the credit card pool is about funding a specific purchase, you need a card offering the longest 0% interest period on new purchases, giving you the longest time to pay off those expensive one-offs.
is the best deal on new purchases currently on the market.
Which sounds generous until you get hit by the 22.9% variable interest rate on anything you do buy.
Pay it off regularly and fully to ensure the cashback you receive isn't eclipsed by the charges.