Five Questions About: The best credit card for Christmas

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The Independent Online

Is it too late to apply for a new credit card in time for Christmas?

No, but you need to apply quickly as it can take a couple of weeks for an application to be processed.

Will it cost me to spend on my credit card over Christmas?

Not if you take advantage of one of the great 0% purchase cards available. The Tesco Clubcard credit card is the market leader: you won't be charged interest on any spending you do for the first 13 months, which gives plenty of time to spread the cost of Christmas. However, it's crucial that you pay off the balance before the 0% period ends, as interest will then kick in at an annual rate of 16.9%.

What if I have a balance to transfer from an existing card?

If you are looking for a credit card to transfer a balance on to as well as spend on, look for a deal that has the same length 0% period for transfers and purchases. The Sainsbury's Credit card and Barclaycard Platinum with Purchase have 12-month interest-free offers on both. However, there will be a fee if you make a balance transfer.

I pay my credit card balance off in full every month – what's the best card for me?

Go for a card that rewards you for spending. Top of the table is the American Express Platinum Cashback card which pays 5% cashback for the first three months up to a maximum spend of £2,000. You then earn up to 1.25% on further spending. This type of card is only worthwhile if you pay your balance off in full each month, otherwise the interest you'll be charged wipes out the cashback benefit.

Can I get a credit card with a bad credit score?

If you have a tainted credit history there is no point in applying for one of the leading credit card offers as you'll be turned down. However, there are cards aimed at those with less-than-perfect credit records, such as the Capital One Classic Card. The interest rate is high, at 29.9%, so aim to pay the balance off each month.

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