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The six best credit cards for shopping

From 0 per cent deals to rewards and cashback, here are some of the best credit cards to use when you simply have to shop.

When it comes to spending your hard-earned money, many credit cards offer extra bonuses to their customers.

With this in mind, here is a selection of credit cards that savvy shoppers would do well to make note of.

Best for cashback

If you always pay your bill in full each month you may want to think about owning a cashback card so you earn as you spend.

  • Capital One Classic Extra

The Capital One Classic Extra rewards cardholders with up to 0.5 per cent cashback on all purchases made with the card.

  • American Express Platinum

The American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday Card rewards customers with 5 per cent cashback, up to £100, during the first three months.
 
After this time, cardholders earn 1.25 per cent cashback, with no limit on how much you can earn.

Best for supermarket shoppers

If you’re a regular customer at one of the big supermarkets, you might want to look at a credit card that rewards you for your loyalty.

Nerys Lewis, head of credit cards at Confused.com, says: "Most of the main stores offer their own credit card, which tend to tie in with their reward schemes. 

"Some supermarket cards can have complicated rewards structures, which seem more confusing than cashback credit cards.

"But if you’re prepared to put the time in to work out how best to use the points, they can offer better returns."

  • Sainsbury’s Nectar credit card

The Sainsbury’s Nectar credit card, for example, allows you to collect 10 Nectar points per £1 on Sainsbury's shopping for the first three months.

After this time you can collect four points per £1 on Sainsbury's shopping.

This card really is for the regular Sainsbury’s shopper, however, as disappointingly the rate drops when shopping elsewhere – offering only one Nectar point for every £5 you spend.

  • Tesco Clubcard credit card for purchases

For Tesco customers, the Tesco Clubcard credit card for purchases could be a good choice.

It allows you to earn points on your purchases at a simple-to-understand rate of five Clubcard points for every £4 you spend in Tesco.

And you get one point for every £4 you spend elsewhere.

Best for shopping abroad

Most credit cards charge additional sums when you use them overseas but you can avoid this extra cost by getting a card that doesn't add foreign usage fees.

  • Post Office credit card

The Post Office credit card has 0 per cent commission on overseas purchases.

Plus if you want to buy travel money at the Post Office using your card, you won’t be charged the usual cash advance fee.

Best for big purchases

People looking to make a large purchase, such as a holiday, and spread the cost over a period of time might want to consider one of these two credit cards.

  • Tesco Clubcard credit card for purchases

The first, the Tesco Clubcard credit card for purchases, also mentioned above, offers 0 per cent spending for a market-leading 18 months.

This will allow you to pay for an item upfront and repay it without being hit by interest charges for a year and a half.

  • MBNA purchases credit card

The second, the MBNA purchases credit card is "essentially a loan in credit card form," according to Lewis.

The credit card charges 6.9 per cent interest annually (APR) on all transactions made within the first 90 days.

Lewis says: "If you’re looking to borrow between £1,000 and £7,000 you may be better off choosing this credit card than a loan.

"This is because the cheaper loan rates tend to be offered on higher sums of about £7,500 or more.

"So the relatively low interest rate on this card, plus the legal protection a credit card offers if something goes wrong with a purchase could make this a better option."

Once the introductory 90-day period ends, new transactions are charged at a rate of 16.9 per cent APR.

What credit card is right for me?

Lewis says: "It’s important to remember that the best credit card deals are generally reserved for people with a perfect credit profile.

"Some cards, such as the Capital One Aspire World, also have age restrictions and others require you to earn a minimum amount each year, so always check the small print carefully.

"Before you apply, you can use Confused.com’s free Credit Card Matcher service to judge whether your application for a credit card will be successful without harming your credit score."

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Adam Jolley

Adam Jolley

Adam Jolley is a writer at Confused.com, focusing on credit cards and financial products. Wannabe mountaineer Adam joined us from the world of financial services PR.

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