Got a pension question?
- Our help is impartial and free to use. Get in touch online or call us on 0800 011 3797

How to find the right credit card

When you know the type of credit card you’re after, comparison websites can help you find the best deal. But before you pick a deal, you need to understand not all comparison sites show every available option.  

Using comparison websites to find the best credit card

There are a wide range of comparison websites. They can be very useful in providing a quick list of currently available credit cards, and helping you decide which is best for you.

While it’s still best to shop around directly with suppliers when you’ve narrowed your search, comparison websites make your job easier and faster. Different comparison websites also have different deals. So it’s best to check a handful.

Best buy tables

When you first arrive on a comparison website, you’re likely see what’s known as a ‘best buy table’.

A best buy table highlights the most competitive credit cards on the market, as assessed by a particular website.

But these best buy tables might not reflect all the products available on the market.

It’s always a good idea to use more than one comparison table to help inform your decisions.

The information in a best buy table will usually include:

  • the name of the card
  • the annual percentage rate (APR)
  • any 0% introductory offer on purchases made on the card
  • any 0% interest period offered on balances transferred onto the card
  • the fee charged for any balance transfer from another card
  • any annual or monthly fee for having the card
  • any rewards associated with the card, such as cashback or loyalty points
  • any basic qualifying criteria for being accepted for the card – for example, an annual salary of more than £15,000.

The information in the table should help you work out which card most suits your needs.

But it might not include everything you need to know. For example, it might not make clear which interest rates apply following an introductory period, or how much is charged on cash withdrawals or overseas transactions.

The website might provide an indication of likely eligibility for the card. But this isn’t a guarantee of acceptance and features, such as APR and credit limit, might be different for you based on your circumstances and might end up costing you more.

Not all ‘best’ products appear in best buy tables

Most of the larger comparison sites include both providers paying them a fee, as well as those that don’t.

While a best buy table will show you a range of cards to choose from, it’s important to know they might not always include the best available on the market. And they might not offer what’s called a ‘whole of market’ search.

Most comparison websites make their money through people clicking and applying for cards via the site’s best buy tables.

Every time someone follows the link for a card from the site to the card provider and applies for it, the site is paid a fee.

Not all card providers appear on comparison sites and some might only be available to current account holders with the same provider.

Most of the larger comparison sites include both providers paying them a fee, as well as those that don’t.

Check whether they’re ranked in order, for example by price. Sometimes firms can pay to appear on top of the list or more prominently.

It’s important not to just go for a card near the top of the list – check the details to see whether it’s right for you.

Some, but not all, comparison websites also offer what’s known as a ‘whole of market’ search.

This will allow you to look at almost all the credit cards currently available, including the ones not on the best buy tables.

Some sites then offer you the chance to choose a category of cards to look at, such as those with a 0% balance transfer offers or rewards.

You can usually sort these by other criteria too, and rank cards – for example, by APR or interest-free period.

Exclusive credit cards

To make things even more complicated, some comparison websites will do exclusive deals with credit card providers.

This will mean a particular credit card or offer will only be available on that website, and it might be slightly different from the equivalent card on the card provider’s own website.

Was this information useful?
Thank you for your feedback.
We’re always trying to improve our website and services, and your feedback helps us understand how we’re doing.
Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
Talk to us live for…
Talk to us live for…
Talk to us live for pensions guidance using…
Talk to us live for money guidance using…
Hours
  • Mon – Fri:9.00am – 5.00pm
  • Sat, Sun and bank holidays:Closed

* Calls are free. We’re committed to providing you with a quality service, so calls may be recorded or monitored for training purposes and to help us develop our services.

Talk to us live for money guidance using the telephone
Hours
  • Mon – Fri:8.00am – 6.00pm
  • Sat, Sun and bank holidays:Closed

* Calls are free. We’re committed to providing you with a quality service, so calls may be recorded or monitored for training purposes and to help us develop our services.

Talk to us live for pensions guidance using web chat
Hours
  • Mon – Fri:9.00am – 6.00pm
  • Sat, Sun and bank holidays:Closed
Talk to us live for money guidance using webchat
Hours
  • Mon – Fri:8.00am – 6.00pm
  • Sat:8.00am – 3.00pm
  • Sun and bank holidays:Closed
Talk to us for pensions guidance using our web form

We aim to respond within 5 working days

Talk to us for money guidance using our web form

We aim to respond within 2 working days

Talk to us live for money guidance using WhatsApp

Download app: WhatsApp

For help sorting out your debts or credit questions. For everything else please contact us via Webchat or telephone.