Compare first credit cards

If you've never had a credit card before, these first time credit cards could accept you without any credit history.

Find the cards most likely to say yes

See which cards you are most likely to be accepted for without affecting your credit score.

8 results found, sorted by lowest representative apr. How we order our comparisons.
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Barclaycard Forward Credit Card
Purchases
0% for 3 months
Representative APR (variable)
33.9% APR
Sign up for a Barclaycard and get up to five months free of Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple News+ and Apple Arcade. Continues as paid subscription after trial ends. UK only, T&Cs apply.
The rate shown here is the rate you will receive if accepted for the card. Not available to applicants who already have a Barclaycard credit card.
Representative Example: The standard interest rate on purchases is 33.9% p.a. (variable), so if you borrow £1,200 the Representative APR will be 33.9% (variable).
Eligibility
CCJs Allowedonly one allowed
Credit Ratingpoor
History of Bankruptcyfalse
Minimum Age18 years
Minimum Income£3,000
UK Resident

We are classed as a credit broker for consumer credit, not a lender.

Our services are provided at no cost to you. We may receive a commission from the companies we refer you to, but this does not affect what you will pay for the product you choose.

Last updated: 27 July 2021

How to get a credit card for the first time?

If you have never had a credit card before, don't worry. Everybody has to get their first credit card at some point, and while some providers may not accept you if you apply, there are those that will.

What is a credit card?

A credit card is a payment card that does not directly take money from your bank account when you spend. Instead, the credit card company will send you a bill for your spending at the end of the month.

When you apply, the credit card company will check your credit record to help them decide whether to give you the card or not.

If you have never borrowed money before, you will have nothing on your credit record. This means credit card companies will not have any information to work out how well you can handle your finances.

The above comparison table includes credit cards that may accept you even if you have never used one before.

How to choose the best first credit card, UK wide, that suits your needs

For each card the table shows:

If you want to use a card to borrow, you can enter how much you want to spend and how long you need to pay it back. We will then show you how much you would have to pay back in total for each card on the table so you can choose the best one.

Here is a closer look at how to get a first time credit card.

How to check if you will be accepted

You should apply for a card that is likely to accept you instead of applying for several in one go. This is because seeing too many applications on your credit record can put lenders off.

Use an eligibility checker to find out what cards you can get and improve your chances of being accepted when you apply. You can find our credit card eligibility checker here.

Here is some more information on how to find credit cards that could accept you.

Things to do before applying for a card

A credit card can be a smart way to spend, but only if you use it in the right way. Spending on a credit card creates debt, so you could run in to financial difficulty if you are unable to pay it off every month.

Before you apply for your first credit, make sure you understand a few key terms:

  • Representative APR: The rate you are actually offered may differ from the representative APR. This is only the advertised rate, which providers must offer to just 51% of successful applicants.

  • Introductory APR: Providers will often offer low (or even 0%) interest rates to bring in customers. Bear in mind that these interest rates will not last forever. You will be moved onto the standard interest rate once the introductory period ends.

  • Credit limit: The credit limit you end up with will depend on your credit history and financial situation. Sometimes you won't know the exact details until you have your card, but you may be able to request a higher limit.

  • Fees and charges: Missing a payment, exceeding your credit limit, withdrawing cash and some overseas spending will likely result in a penalty charge.

  • Minimum repayments: This is the minimum amount you must pay off each month, though it is always best to try and pay off your entire balance. Failing to meet the minimum payment could affect your credit score.

What to look for in a first credit card

What you need from your first credit card will depend on how you plan to use it. You can find out more about some common credit card uses below.

0% on purchases: These cards won't charge any interest on what you spend for a set period. Here is how they work.

0% balance transfers: These let you transfer a balance from one card to another so you can cut out interest and pay off your debt cheaply. Find out more about balance transfers here

0% money transfers: These cards let you move cash from your credit card to your bank account. Here's more on how money transfer cards work

Cashback: These cards pay you a percentage of the amount you spend on your card. Here's how to use cashback credit cards

Rewards: These cards give you points that you can exchange for rewards like air miles or supermarket loyalty points. Here is how rewards credit cards work.

How to improved your chances of being accepted for your first credit card

Although you may not have a history of borrowing there are ways you can establish your self as someone who is responsible with their finances. Here are some things you can do:

  • Get on the electoral roll: Registering to vote provides proof of address, which can help improve your credit score

  • Opening a bank account: Managing a current account can help you establish yourself as financially responsible. You can set up direct debits to pay your bills such as you cell phone bill, gym membership, etc, and if you always have enough money to cover these expenses it can help in showing that you can be trusted with credit.

  • Pay your bills on time: Making payments by the due date goes a long way in showing that you'd be a trustworthy borrower.

  • Get a job and regular income: A regular salary will mean that you'll have the funds to repay any debt you incur, which should help your chances in being approved.

What to watch out for after you've been accepted?

If you've been accepted for your credit card, there are a few things to watch out for to help get a better deal in the future:

A strong credit history will help you get accepted for a wider range of cards in the future, meaning you could get a lower interest rate, a higher credit limit or more tempting extra features like interest free periods or balance transfers.

If you use your starter card sensibly for several months, your credit record will look better to credit card companies. Make sure you always:

Here is how else you can build and improve your credit record

First credit card FAQs

Here is how to find a card more likely to accept you. The above comparison includes credit cards that may be available to first time borrowers.

Yes, looking at it helps lenders decide whether to accept you as well as what APR and credit limit they offer you.

Yes, student credit cards are more likely to accept you, even if your income is low and includes your student loan.

Paying the full amount by direct debit means you never miss a payment or pay interest. Here are all the ways to repay.

Yes, credit card providers each offer their own protection services as well as Section 75 and the Chargeback scheme.

The maximum you can owe on your card at any point, set by your provider after you apply. Here is how they work and how much it costs if you exceed it.

About our credit cards comparison

Our comparison tables include providers we have commercial arrangements with. The number of listings in our tables can vary depending on the terms of those arrangements, as well as other market developments. They are all from lenders regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Here is more information about how our website works.

We have commercial agreements with some of the companies in this comparison and get paid commission if we help you take out one of their products or services. Find out more here.

You do not pay any extra and the deal you get is not affected.

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