Choosing your credit card and how to apply

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Are you a recent graduate who’d like to reduce interest payments on your student credit card debt? Perhaps you’re about to start a family, or you need a credit card that helps you keep up with the fast pace of city life?

We appreciate that everyone has very different needs. That’s why we offer a wide range of credit cards that can fit into your life conveniently and flexibly. If you apply for a Barclaycard through our online form we’ll provide you with an instant decision on your application.

Below are a few factors to consider first.

1. Decide on the most important feature you need

Before you apply, you should be clear about exactly what you’re hoping a credit card will help you with. Certain cards are better for interest-free balance transfers, purchases, cashback, contactless payments or rewards from specific retailers.

If you want several features, one credit card may not offer you the best value, so you’d need to focus on the feature that’s most important to you.

2. Work out how much you can afford to pay

We do everything we can to make sure you’re not overstretched financially before we offer you credit. However, for your own peace of mind, it’s important that you review your finances before you apply.

It’s worth deducting what you spend every month from what you earn as a household. Since a credit card is an extra financial commitment, you should have money left over to pay off part, or all, of your balance.

3. Check if your application’s likely to be approved

Every time you apply for credit, a hard footprint is left on your credit file that could have a negative impact on your credit rating.

We’re the first credit card company in the UK to give you a safe way to check your likelihood of getting credit before you apply. Our pre-application check leaves a soft footprint on your credit report without affecting your rating, so it’s a quick way to decide whether to go ahead and apply. Check to see if you are eligible.

4. Understand the application process

When you apply, we run a credit check to make sure your identity and personal details are correct and that you can afford to take on extra credit. Doing this involves sharing your information with credit reference agencies like Experian, Equifax or Callcredit.

If you’re successful, we use a risk profile that’s based on the results of your credit check to decide what Annual Percentage Rate (APR) you will pay. We tend to lend less at first but this may be increased after six months, depending on how you’re managing your account.

Get more advice if you need it

Read how we make our credit decisions PDF PDF (123.904KB)

Get tips on how you could improve your credit file information PDF PDF (45.9776KB)

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Find the best Barclaycard for you

Whether you’d like to transfer a balance, make purchases more flexibly, get cash back or try contactless technology, we have a credit card to suit you.

See all our credit cards