What are credit cards?

The first credit card in the UK was launched in 1966 by Barclaycard. Initially credit cards worked the same way as charge cards, with a monthly bill to be paid off and a comparatively tiny maximum credit limit of £100

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Fierce competition between the multiple card issuers has seen the credit card evolve over the years into a piece of plastic which, if used responsibly, can make life more convenient for millions of people. A credit card account does this by allowing you to borrow money on a temporary basis, interest free, and hassle free.

With more than 1,500 different credit cards to chose from there is a card for pretty much everyone these days, from the super-rich to those with bad credit histories. The majority of people prefer to opt for the cards that require a full pay off every month, however, there are plenty of deals around that offer interest-free periods that exceed the usual one or two months if that is more suitable for you.

There are even some deals available which offer 0% credit for more than a year as well as the option to transfer balances from other cards so that all of your debt is interest free!

Essentially then, as long as you are sensible and use your credit card primarily as a convenience and not as a means for irresponsible borrowing, they are very handy little pieces of plastic, which incidentally - if you are interested in a bit of trivia - are sized at 85.60 mm x 53.98 mm, in accordance with the international standard.

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