The best credit card deals UK are to be had online The reason for this is that the Net allows you to compare initially hundreds of different competing cards at any one time
However, if you look closely, you will see that most of the cards carry the main brands of Visa and MasterCard Basically the way the system works is a card issuer will use MasterCard or Visa and use their branding to attract business and recognition and acceptance on behalf of merchants In effect the banks and credit card companies are 'agents' for these two credit card companies Just ask yourself – when was the last time you seen a credit card with either of these logos – do you see my point? So the upshot of this is that even though there are a lot of card issuers, there are only two main players in the UK market! Why is this significant? The answer is simple This makes it harder to get a better deal in the UK for example than in the US where there are other active and competitive card companies such as Discover card and American Express (although expensive)
Does this mean that it is hard to get a good deal in the UK? Yes and no is the short and simple answer Let me explain Competition is still strong amongst card issuers and some of these issuers are able to get a better deal from the 'big guys' some pass this on to the customer and others don't In order to get the best rate you have to take a few factors into consideration 1
What is the apr on the card? 2 For what time period? 3 Are there any transfer fees on balance transfer? 4 Are there any penalties for late or missed payments resulting in the card apr going to a high 'punitive rate'? What looks like a fairly attractive offer can in fact be a bad deal so it is vital to find out the above listed information to make an informed decision When is a deal the best deal? The best deal is when all the above mentioned factors, low apr, low to no transfer fee, a period that should be 6 months or greater and no hidden punitive clauses hidden in the terms and conditions
If there is a tick beside all these points then the card is worth applying for The application is very straight forward It's just basically filling in an online application form One of the great benefits of filling out an online application form is that you will usually get an instant decision, within a few minutes at the most If, however, you are turned down – a good thing to do first is to ask for a copy of your credit record – to see if something is wrong! In fact the credit card company should ask you if they can send you a 'reason why' letter explaining why
You should then apply to experian, or other credit reference agency to get a detailed look at what is going on The reason for doing this is that it is not a good idea to go and make another application immediately as 'turn downs' on credit applications show up on any credit search and impair your credit score! So you can actually damage your credit score for further applications Is a good credit record a guarantee that you will get a good deal? The short answer to this at present is no! There are several reasons The first is the economic climate has changed As of the August 2007 credit shock lenders are becoming more particular about 'who' they lend money to
It used to be just a 'formality' by just filling out an online application form In fact as of the time in writing this article, 40 % of credit card applications are being turned down This includes 'new applications' and 'refinancing' and 'teaser applications' In fact 70% of the turn downs have good credit records – this means that even if you have the best credit card deals UK available to you may not get the card you want!