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The 30 best credit cards for summer
The 30 best credit cards for summer
Whether you need to improve your credit rating, pay off existing debt or fancy earning some cashback, these are the top credit cards to go for this summer.
My calendar tells me that we are halfway through June, meaning (allegedly) we are now into the summer season.
Much as we may like to dream wistfully of beaches, fish and chips and ice cream, the most important thing to look forward to is being free of debt. And by making a smart credit card choice, you can do just that.
The best cards if you’ve got big spending coming up
Perhaps you have a wedding or baby on the way. Or perhaps you are taking advantage of the let up in the rain to do some home improvements.
Undoubtedly the best way for pay for such expenses is to make use of you savings. However, if that’s not an option, then a credit card offering 0% on your purchases is your next best bet. The top cards in this category offer more than a year of interest-free credit, allowing you a fair bit of time to pay off your debt in manageable chunks.
Below are the nine fee-free credit cards offering the longest 0% periods on purchases:
NatWest Your Points MasterCard
RBS YourPoints MasterCard
Tesco Clubcard Credit Card
M&S Money MasterCard
Virgin Money MasterCard
|Sainsbury's Shopper MasterCard*||12 months|
*You must have a Nectar card to apply
The best cards if you already have credit card debt
For many of us, the interest charged on our credit card debt is already hurting. According to Credit Action, the average borrower owed £4,219 in April on a combination of credit cards, motor and retail finance, overdrafts and unsecured loans.
So if you’ve got a chunk of debt already on a credit card, a quick and (relatively) cheap way to pay it off is to make use of a credit card charging 0% interest on balance transfers.
Much like 0% purchase cards, a 0% balance transfer card allows you to pay off your debt in bits, free from the worry of interest adding to your debt. You will have to pay a fee to move that debt over on to the balance transfer card though.
Below are the eight cards offering the longest 0% periods on balance transfers:
Balance transfer fee
|RBS Platinum||22 months||3.2%|
*Existing current account holders only
The best cards if you’ve got a poor credit history
When we first started dating, my wife used to read women’s magazines with features about ‘getting in shape for summer’. I’ve no idea about managing that physically, but it’s certainly possible to get your finances into better shape by next summer, even if your credit history is on the patchy side.
Creditbuilder credit cards allow you to do just that. They limit how much credit you have access to, but use them properly and your record will start to look far better.
For a full rundown of what these cards offer, check out Top credit cards for poor credit. You should also read How to build an excellent credit history for more tips on getting your credit record in shape.
The best cards if you pay your bill off in full each month
What if you have a good credit history already, and don’t need a year or more in which to pay off any credit card debt?
If you pay your bill off in full each month, going for a card which actively rewards your spending is a smart move.
Perhaps your best option is to go for a cashback credit card. You’ll earn back a percentage of your spending in cold, hard cash to do with as you please! There are three main cards to consider. Both the American Express Platinum Cashback and the Capital One Aspire World cards offer 5% cashback in the first three months. After that the American Express offers a flat rate of 1.25%, while the Capital One offers tiered rates of up to 1.25%, depending on how much you spend.
[SPOTLIGHT]The other cashback card worth a look is the Santander 123 cashback card, which offers different rates of cashback depending on where you spend your money. Check out The best new cashback credit cardsfor a full guide to the cashback you can earn, and the fees some of these cards charge for using them.
Alternatively, you may want to go for a card that offers reward points towards something. I use the Tesco Clubcard credit card so that I can collect more Clubcard points. The Sainsbury’s Nectar credit card does the same with the Nectar scheme, while the AA credit card allows you to save money on car products. For more rewards cards worth a look, read The credit cards that reward spending.
The best credit cards for next summer
Money is tight, so you may be skipping a summer holiday this year. Or perhaps you’re having a staycation like I am.
However, there are credit cards which reward your spending with travel miles towards next year’s holiday. Put all of your spending on them, and by next summer, your flight and hotel may be almost entirely taken care of!
The official Avios scheme (what used to be Airmiles) has the Lloyds Duo cards. You get both a MasterCard and an American Express card, meaning you can rack up miles even when spending in shops that don’t accept an American Express.
British Airways has its own American Express card, offering Avios miles in return for your spending, while Virgin Atlantic has the White Card and the Black Card, so if you only ever fly Virgin, these are worth a look.
We took a look at some more holiday-related credit cards in The credit cards that reward spending.
As with the general rewards cards discussed above, these cards are only suitable for people that pay off their bill in full each month. Otherwise the interest you pay on your outstanding balances will soon be more than the value of the rewards!
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