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Credit Card UK - Get the best credit card deal

Choosing Your Credit Card UK Online

We're all looking for the best credit card UK, the credit card company with the longest 0 APR interest UK Period.

The evolution of the credit card began when the only non-cash transaction open to us was to sign a cheque. Beginning originally as 'revolving credit', where each customer was given a maximum borrowing limit and could draw-down funds into their current account between their outstanding balance and their limit.

Since then UK credit cards have evolved over time as technology has offered ever more ways to pay for products and services. And now, thanks to 'chip and PIN', even the signature has all but been done away with.

However, despite now being able to charge the retailers a percentage of each transaction for processing payments, the fundamentals of how the lenders make their money from customers with plastic 'revolving credit' have pretty much stayed the same. - Interest on the outstanding balance is charged monthly, the interest rate can change at any time, and a whole range of annual charges and late payment fees exist.

Although, due to pressure from consumer groups and newspapers, the credit card companies' scope to charge late payment fees has been capped at a level closer to the real cost to the lenders of customer payments falling overdue than the 'punishment' levels they had been at.

However, ever since the Office of Fair Trading put this perfectly justified cap on credit card fees, we've seen the interest rates charged by the credit card companies rising to compensate!

Let's face it, they'll get their cash out of us all somehow! - And as this recent turn of events shows, they can change their terms so quickly, that it pays to watch the market closely.

One of the most important principles of all with a UK credit card is to ensure that you have a direct debit in place to cover at least the minimum payment required each month. So you can avoid being charged at all for late payment.

And perhaps the best way to be sure you'll win in the war of the credit cards is to have plenty of unused credit facilities, providing the space to move whatever outstanding balances you have around.

But, beware of balance transfer fees, which exist to discourage us from moving our balances too frequently (too frequently that is in the eyes of the credit card company!).

Remember that nothing should stop you from finding the best rates and terms on UK credit card balance transfers and purchases. Because the lower the interest rate on your card account, the faster you'll be able to pay it off completely.

There are a number of companies which offer 0 per cent on balance transfers for up to 12 months, or maybe even more. Make sure you check as many of them out as possible.

But don't forget that after the introductory period ends, they all generally revert to their standard interest rate, and the chances are that at the end of your promotional period, the standard interest rate will be completely different from that which was in force when you opened your account and the promotion was in full swing.

If you think you'll need longer than the promotional year or so to pay off your debt, perhaps you should take a look at a 'balance transfer for life' offer.

But don't forget that you'll have to clear the balance transfer amount before anything owed on purchases starts to go down. And unless you're with one of the companies offering low balance transfer for life which also offers 0 per cent on purchases for an introductory period, you could be paying their full standard rate on any purchases you make from day one.

 - And the amount spent on purchases will keep being charged interest for as long as it takes to clear the original balance transfer amount.

The only reliable answer is to make sure that you keep separate cards for purchases and balance transfers.

Remember, it pays to keep an eye on your credit card outstandings and the rates and terms being charged across the market.

Because if you don't manage your credit card borrowing carefully, you could get badly burned. But there are enough options out there to avoid it.