Select your stage
Pregnancy
Baby
Toddler +
 

Sarah Willingham

My Piggy Pick
of the week

1-minute guide to Credit cards for families

Having a baby isn’t cheap. The average family spends £1,800 before their baby even arrives. if you borrow £1800 on a market leading card it will cost you £75 per month and be paid off in 2 years INTEREST FREE

Credit cards can help you spread costs, or can offer cashback rewards. Choose a credit card that is suitable for your circumstances

IMPORTANT! Never forget that the debt MUST be repaid at some point, so only ever spend what you can afford to repay

 

Need to know

  • Cards offering interest free periods on purchases are a great way of spreading the initial costs of preparing yourself for parenthood. Work out a repayment plan before you take on the debt though
  • If you can afford to repay your balance each month, then look at cards that offer you rewards. Cashback cards often have 5% introductory offers. That’s £100 if you spend £2000. Certain cards also focus on petrol or supermarket shopping cashback rewards, or airmiles
  • Cards from supermarkets give loyalty points for purchases and you can then use your points to help pay for your weekly shop, or even better, save them up for treats
  • Providers will base their approval and credit limit on your current earnings, so if you’re on maternity pay, expect to be offered a lower limit
  • Your credit rating (or credit score) will affect your ability to get the best cards. There are credit cards out there even if you have a poor credit score so don’t give up. There are also specialised cards that can help you build up a good credit score
  • Applying online takes between 5 and 9 minutes, and often you’ll hear within 60 seconds. Most applications now accept electronic signatures, but some will send you documents in the post
 

Credit Cards

I want a credit cards for: 

Barclaycard - 31 month 0% balance transfer

check this out

Why we like it:

  • 31 month 0% balance transfer
  • 0% interest on purchases for 6 months
  • instant online decision
  • contactless payment technology
  • £20 fee refund on balance transfers over £2000

Watch out:

  • 18.9% APR
  • transfer fee of 3.5% reduced to 2.99%
  • need a good credit rating
  • minimum £20,000 salary
  • no balance transfer from other Barclaycard

What happens next

 
check this out

Representative Example: representative 18.9% APR (variable) if you spend £1,200 at 18.9% annual purchase rate (variable)

Tesco low balance transfer fee

check this out

Why we like it:

  • 12 months 0% interest on balance transfers
  • 12 months 0% interest on purchases
  • 0.65% balance transfer fee
  • Clubcard points when you use the card

Watch out:

  • 18.9% APR
  • minimum salary of £5,000

What happens next

 
check this out

Representative Example: representative 18.9% APR (variable) if you spend £1,200 at 18.9% annual purchase rate (variable)

Halifax 30 month 0% balance transfer

check this out

Why we like it:

  • 0% on balance transfers for 30 months
  • 0% on purchases for 6 months
  • Online and mobile banking available

Watch out:

  • 18.9% APR
  • 3% handling fee on balance transfers

What happens next

 
check this out

Representative Example: representative 18.9% APR (variable) if you spend £1,200 at 18.95% annual purchase rate (variable)

MBNA Platinum

check this out

Why we like it:

  • 0% on balance transfers for 29 months
  • 0% on money transfers for 29 months
  • 0% on purchases for 3 months
  • contactless technology

Watch out:

  • 18.9% p.a.
  • 2.89% handling fee on balance transfers
  • 4% handling fee on money transfers
  • no transfers from MBNA cards

What happens next

 
check this out

Representative Example: representative 18.9% APR (variable) if you spend £1,200 at 18.9% annual purchase rate (variable)

Halifax MasterCard

check this out

Why we like it:

  • 28 month 0% balance transfer
  • 6 months 0% on purchases

Watch out:

  • 18.9% APR
  • variable APR after offer period
  • 2.45% handling fee

What happens next

 
check this out

Representative Example: representative 18.9% APR (variable) if you spend £1,200 at 18.95% annual purchase rate (variable)

Tesco Clubcard - 30 month 0% balance transfer card

check this out

Why we like it:

  • 0% interest for 30 months
  • 3 months interest free purchases
  • earn Clubcard points for all spending (the equivalent of 1.25% cashback on Tesco shops)

Watch out:

  • 18.9% APR
  • 2.9% transfer fee
  • need good credit history

What happens next

 
check this out

Representative Example: representative 18.9% APR (variable) if you spend £1,200 at 18.9% annual purchase rate (variable)

American Express Platinum Cashback

check this out

Why we like it:

  • 0% for 16 months on purchases
  • 1.25% cashback on every £1 spent
  • 2.5% cashback bonus for one month each year

Watch out:

  • 16.5% APR
  • Minimum income £20k
  • Annual fee £25

What happens next

 
check this out

Representative Example: representative 18.7% APR (variable) if you spend £1,200 at 14% annual purchase rate (variable)

Tesco Clubcard - Purchases

check this out

Why we like it:

  • 0% interest for 18 months
  • 0% interest for 3 months on balance transfers
  • earn Clubcard points for all spending

Watch out:

  • 18.9% APR
  • 2.9% transfer fee
  • need good credit history

What happens next

 
check this out

Representative Example: representative 18.9% APR (variable) if you spend £1,200 at 18.9% annual purchase rate (variable)

Santander Purchase card

check this out

Why we like it:

  • 18 months interest free on purchases
  • 9 months interest free on balance transfers
  • Fraud protection
  • manage account online 24/7

Watch out:

  • 18.9% APR
  • 3% handling fee for balance transfers
  • need good credit rating

What happens next

 
check this out

Representative Example: representative 18.9% APR (variable) if you spend £1,200 at 18.9% annual purchase rate (variable)

Halifax

check this out

Why we like it:

  • 0% interest for 15 months for purchases and transfers
  • if you bank with Halifax you may be pre-approved
  • 0.8% transfer fee (after refund)

Watch out:

  • 17.9% APR
  • offer period can decrease depending on credit rating
  • very high interest rate to withdraw cash

What happens next

 
check this out

Representative Example: representative 17.9% APR (variable) if you spend £1,200 at 17.95% annual purchase rate (variable)

Fluid Visa

check this out

Why we like it:

  • 0% interest for 12 months for balance transfers with LOW 0.75% handling fee
  • 0% interest for 12 months on money transfers
  • 0% on card purchases for 3 months
  • Contactless payment technology
  • No annual fee

Watch out:

  • 18.9% APR
  • 4% handling fee on money transfers

What happens next

 
check this out

Representative Example: representative 18.9% APR (variable) if you spend £1,200 at 18.9% annual purchase rate (variable)

Tesco Clubcard

check this out

Why we like it:

  • 0% interest for 18 months
  • 0% interest for 3 months on balance transfers
  • earn Clubcard points for all spending

Watch out:

  • 18.9% APR
  • need good credit history
  • 2.9% transfer fee

What happens next

 
check this out

Representative Example: representative 18.9% APR (variable) if you spend £1,200 at 18.9% annual purchase rate (variable)

Nationwide select

check this out

Why we like it:

  • 0% on balance transfers for 26 months
  • 0% on purchases for 15 months
  • cashback of 0.5% on all sterling purchases
  • no commission on purchases abroad

Watch out:

  • Must have or open Nationwide FlexAccount
  • 15.9% APR
  • 2.4% handling fee or min. £5.00 on balance transfers

What happens next

 
check this out

Representative Example: representative 15.9% APR (variable) if you spend £1,200 at 15.9% annual purchase rate (variable)

Barclaycard Freedom Rewards card

check this out

Why we like it:

  • 0% balance transfer for 9 months
  • £30 worth of points if you spend £300 in the first 3 months
  • collect points on all purchases
  • double points on petrol and supermarket spending
  • triple points on Freedom partners (BHS, Currys PC World)

Watch out:

  • PAY OFF PURCHASES IN FULL EACH MONTH to access rewards and avoid interest
  • no opening purchase offer
  • 18.9% APR
  • 2.9% handling fee on transfers

What happens next

 
check this out

Representative Example: representative 18.9% APR (variable) if you spend £1,200 at 18.9% annual purchase rate (variable)

Tesco Clubcard

check this out

Why we like it:

  • earn Clubcard points for all spending
  • converting points to vouchers can be worth the same as 1.25% cashback
  • 0% interest for 18 months on purchases
  • 0% interest for 3 months on balance transfers

Watch out:

  • 18.9% APR
  • need good credit history

What happens next

 
check this out

Representative Example: representative 18.9% APR (variable) if you spend £1,200 at 18.9% annual purchase rate (variable)

Sainsbury's Nectar

check this out

Why we like it:

  • earn Nectar points wherever you spend
  • 0% on purchases for 16 months
  • 0% on balance transfers for 16 months
  • no annual fee

Watch out:

  • 16.9% APR
  • 3% handling fee for balance transfers
  • rewards from Sainsbury's spending capped at £1000 spend per month

What happens next

 
check this out

Representative Example: representative 16.9% APR (variable) if you spend £1,200 at 16.94% annual purchase rate (variable)

Sainsbury's low rate nectar card

check this out

Why we like it:

  • 6.9% APR Representative variable
  • double nectar points on Sainsbury's shopping
  • 1 point for every £5 spent elsewhere
  • no annual fee

Watch out:

  • PAY OFF BALANCE IN FULL EACH MONTH to access rewards and avoid interest
  • rewards from Sainsbury's spending capped at £1000 spend per month
  • no balance transfer fee BUT no interest free period for transfers or purchases

What happens next

 
check this out

AA

check this out

Why we like it:

  • 0% on purchases for 10 months
  • 0% balance transfer for 12 months
  • double points on fuel purchases
  • AA members can earn upto 4% back

Watch out:

  • 16.9% APR
  • 3% handling fee for balance transfers
  • no transfers from Virgin or MBNA cards

What happens next

 
check this out

Representative Example: representative 16.9% APR (variable) if you spend £1,200 at 16.9% annual purchase rate (variable)

Virgin Atlantic White

check this out

Why we like it:

  • No annual fee
  • 6 month 0% balance transfers
  • 1 mile for £1 on AmericanExpress or £2 on Visa
  • Bonus miles introductory offer

Watch out:

  • 17.9% APR on purchases
  • no balance transfers from MBNA cards

What happens next

 
check this out

Representative Example: representative 17.9% APR (variable) if you spend £1,200 at 17.9% annual purchase rate (variable)

Amex British Airways

check this out

Why we like it:

  • no annual fee
  • comes with travel accident insurance
  • 1 Avios point for £1 spend
  • 9,000 bonus point introductory offer

Watch out:

  • 15.9% APR
  • no balance transfer
  • minimum £30,000 salary

What happens next

 
check this out

Representative Example: representative 15.9% APR (variable) if you spend £1,200 at 15.9% annual purchase rate (variable)

Virgin Atlantic Black

check this out

Why we like it:

  • 2 miles per £1 on AMEX
  • 1 mile per £1 on Visa
  • Additional 11,500 bonus miles before 30th June 2014

Watch out:

  • £140 annual fee
  • 52.1% APR

What happens next

 
check this out

Representative example 18.9% p.a. variable on card purchases. This is equivalent to 52.1% APR representative variable based on a credit limit of £1,200. Annual fee of £140 is payable.

Amex British Airways Premium

check this out

Why we like it:

  • 1.5 Avios for virtually every £1 spent
  • 25,000 bonus miles introductory offer
  • travel insurance
  • companion voucher when you spend £10,000

Watch out:

  • annual fee of £150
  • interest of 56.4%

What happens next

 
check this out

Representative example 19.9% p.a. variable on card purchases. This is equivalent to 56.4% APR representative variable based on a credit limit of £1,200. Annual fee of £150 is payable.

American Express Cashback Everyday

check this out

Why we like it:

  • 5% cash back in first 3 months up to £100
  • Up to 1.25% cash back after 3 months
  • No annual fee

Watch out:

  • 19.9% APR
  • minimum household income £20k
  • need good credit rating

What happens next

 
check this out

Representative Example: representative 19.9% APR (variable) if you spend £1,200 at 19.9% annual purchase rate (variable)

Santander 123

check this out

Why we like it:

  • 1% cashback at supermarkets
  • 2% cashback at department stores
  • 3% cashback at petrol stations
  • up to 56 days interest-free credit on purchases when you pay your balance in full and on time each month

Watch out:

  • 22.8% APR
  • petrol cashback limited to £300 spend per month
  • £24 annual fee after first year

What happens next

 
check this out

Representative Example: representative 16.5% APR (variable) if you spend £1,200 at 12.7% annual purchase rate (variable): includes £24 annual fee

Sainsbury's low rate cashback card

check this out

Why we like it:

  • 7.8% APR variable
  • double nectar points on Sainsbury's shopping
  • one nectar point for £5 spent elsewhere
  • no annual fee
  • 2 nectar points per £1 spent on Sainsbury's fuel

Watch out:

  • no balance transfer fee BUT no interest free period for transfers or purchases

What happens next

 
check this out

Representative Example: representative 6.9% APR (variable) if you spend £1,200 at 6.95% annual purchase rate (variable)

American Express Platinum cashback

check this out

Why we like it:

  • 5% cashback for 3 months up to £125
  • standard rate of 1.25% (doubled during anniversary month)

Watch out:

  • 18.7% APR
  • £25 annual fee
  • need excellent credit rating

What happens next

 
check this out

Representative Example: representative 18.7% APR (variable) if you spend £1,200 at 14.0% annual purchase rate (variable): includes £25 annual fee

Capital One Aspire Elite

check this out

Why we like it:

  • 5% cash back in first 3 months up to £200
  • 2% cash back thereafter

Watch out:

  • 19.9% APR
  • need excellent credit rating
  • £120 annual fee

What happens next

 
check this out

Representative Example: representative 19.9% APR (variable) if you spend £1,200 at 17.57% annual purchase rate (variable)

Fluid Credit Card

check this out

Why we like it:

  • 0% on money transfers for 28 months
  • 0% on balance transfers for 28 months
  • 0% on card purchases for 3 months
  • will pre-check application and suggest alternatives if you're likely to be declined

Watch out:

  • interest of 18.9% at end of deals
  • 2.89% fee on balance transfers
  • 4% fee on money transfers

What happens next

 
check this out

Representative Example: representative 18.9% APR (variable) if you spend £1,200 at 18.9% annual purchase rate (variable)

AA Members Rewards

check this out

Why we like it:

  • 0% balance transfer for 12 months
  • 0% on purchases for 10 months
  • double points on fuel purchases
  • AA members can earn upto 4% back

Watch out:

  • 16.9% APR
  • 4% fee on money transfers
  • 3% handling fee for balance transfers
  • no transfers from Virgin or MBNA cards

What happens next

 
check this out

Representative Example: representative 16.9% APR (variable) if you spend £1,200 at 16.9% annual purchase rate (variable)

AA Credit Card

check this out

Why we like it:

  • 0% money & balance transfer for 16 months
  • 0% on purchases for 3 months
  • double points on fuel purchases
  • AA members can earn up to 4% back

Watch out:

  • must be a homeowner with good credit rating
  • 17.9% APR
  • 4% fee on money transfers
  • no transfers from Virgin or MBNA cards
  • 2.9% handling fee for balance transfers

What happens next

 
check this out

Representative Example: representative 17.9% APR (variable) if you spend £1,200 at 17.9% annual purchase rate (variable)

Halifax Clarity

check this out

Why we like it:

  • No fees on ATM cash withdrawals
  • No fees on balance transfers
  • No fees on any usage anywhere worldwide

Watch out:

  • 12.9% APR
  • Interest rates range from 12.9% - 21.9%
  • no interest free period on cash advances and balance transfers

What happens next

 
check this out

Representative Example: representative 12.9% APR (variable) if you spend £1,200 at 12.95% annual purchase rate (variable)

Saga Platinum

check this out

Why we like it:

  • 0% on purchases for 9 months
  • 0% foreign currency fee
  • 0% on balance transfers for 9 months

Watch out:

  • 11.9% APR
  • 3% fee on balance tranfers & purchases after 9 months
  • Only available to over 50s

What happens next

 
check this out

Representative Example: representative 11.9% APR (variable) if you spend £1,200 at 11.3% annual purchase rate (variable)

Nationwide select

check this out

Why we like it:

  • 0% on balance transfers for 26 months
  • 0% on purchases for 15 months
  • cashback of 0.5% on all sterling purchases
  • no commission on purchases abroad

Watch out:

  • only for existing Nationwide FlexAccount holders
  • 15.9% APR
  • 2.4% handling fee or min. £5.00 on balance transfers

What happens next

 
check this out

Representative Example: representative 15.9% APR (variable) if you spend £1,200 at 15.9% annual purchase rate (variable)

 
 

The inside track

  • It is worth repeating, only spend what you can afford to repay
  • Set up a direct debit for an amount you choose, not just the minimum that card providers suggest – credit card companies are really naughty and often set the minimum payments very low so you end up with a HUGE balance that you cant afford to pay off, so change it to make sure it’s all paid off. If you can’t afford to pay your card off in full each month, set a repayment date and stick to it. If you have a card with an offer period, make sure the money is repaid within this time
  • Credit card providers have a joint responsibility with the seller for goods and services purchased with the card. So if goods you buy are faulty and the seller is being unhelpful, get the credit card company involved
  • Your credit rating can change every time you apply for credit in any form – credit cards, a loan etc. Applying for more than 4 new sources of credit lowers your credit rating. It is REALLY worth checking your score. Credit expert {link} has a free trial that is a good starting point